Ministers have announced an £18m project to test new “assisted living” technologies in five sites across the UK.

The Demonstrators of Assisted Living Lifestyles at Scale project was announced in The Plan for Growth, published alongside last week’s Budget.

The pilots will test new technologies which can help people with long term conditions retain their independence. The scheme will be funded by the technology strategy board, which hopes to begin taking bids in June.

It is not yet known who can apply for the funding, but HSJ understands it is likely to involve joint working between healthcare commissioners and small and medium enterprises.

The Scottish government is investing a further £5m, as one of the five sites will be in Scotland.

William Vinneall, head of social care in the Department of Health’s policy and innovation team, said: “At the moment assisted living technology is still quite a minority sport…we’re going to look at how we can… make it of more interest to GP commissioners”.