Vunerable residents could see some face-to-face care visits replaced by video chats.

A pilot scheme has been launched, funded by Essex County Council and Essex Cares Limited, with 40 residents due to get a mix of home visits and video chats.

John Spence, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “It is important that we keep pace with new technology.

“I am pleased Essex is trialling this system to have a positive impact on people’s lives. It will allow our vulnerable adults to live independently, providing them with something that is accessible from the comfort of their own homes.”

Keir Lynch, chief executive of ECL, added: “We are delighted to be pioneering a new method of providing care and well-being across the county.”

The fear is elderly and vulnerable residents may struggle with the technology, some may lose much of the human contact they have and the video system is no match for the human touch.