I have to say that I approached the first Virtual ITEC Conference with a fair degree of trepidation. It’s been a tough year for us all and we, for one, needed this to be a success as we were launching Yorbl.
Would the TSA be able to handle this new way of doing things? Would they set it up and manage it in a way that both exhibitors and delegates could find it, navigate it and get the most out of it easily? Would delegates actually attend and engage?
Well, I can honestly say that I needn’t have worried. It was a great event that Yorbl genuinely benefitted from, and from the many comments and discussions we are now having as a result, so did the delegates attending.
Sure, there was the odd glitch here and there but nothing that wasn’t handled quickly and professionally. The various talks were all well put together and delivered and the TSA Team handling the Network Hub and the various rooms were excellent.
For Yorbl and I, apart from the fantastic level of interest that was shown in our new Digitally Enabled Care solutions (our Sales Team’s diaries are literally filled with meetings for 4 weeks ahead!) and the huge fun we had on the “Social Wall”, the highlight of the event was the push towards genuine interoperability and collaboration from the TSA and many of the exhibitors.
For us, as a new player in the industry, coming from a genuinely “digital first” platform, the need to be able to connect to and with other manufacturers/developers technologies is a must.
The opportunity to take collaboration further and engage in collaborative projects and R&D going forward is also, I believe, vital to the development of the truly connected digital Health and Care solutions we know we will all need in the future.
At the Conference, I thankfully saw the first real evidence of this actually happening.
I myself had several hugely productive conversations with potential partners that are already developing into real world collaborations that will help drive Digital Health and Care forward.
For example, we had a team objective of talking with all the major ARC Platform providers to ensure that we could facilitate the proper testing of our new solutions and confirm, beyond doubt, that Yorbl Lifeline and Vita etc. can connect to and Yorbl communicate effectively with ALL of them. This is something we believe is another must for us.
Thankfully, although I had some serious doubts about the success of this endeavour given past experience, I am happy to report that we will be becoming a Certified UMO partner as soon as we can get the testing etc. done and Appello, Archangel, Legrand/Jontek and Tunstall have all committed to facilitating the testing we have been requesting.
I have to say a big thank you to all of these organisations for this show of genuine commitment to openness and interoperability. It is absolutely welcomed and so vitally important to the true digital development of our industry. I look forward to reporting back on its successful execution in the near future!
Another area of particular interest and relevance for me was just how many of the Delegates we spoke to, as well as many of our industry colleagues, believed that the current Standards around Telecare and connected devices are now outdated. I have to say I wholeheartedly agree.
For example, it seems to me that with the increasing capability and robustness of other connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth, LoRaWAN etc. and the overall proliferation of IOT technology in Digital Health and Care, the continuing insistence that the 869MHz Frequency is the ONLY acceptable solution for Social Alarm equipment is doing nothing but holding back innovation and progress to the benefit of the few.
Overall, I am hoping that this new focus on Interoperability and openness from the TSA and the “Voice” of many in the industry will force a rethink on that particular issue and a number of others. We shall certainly be talking about it more.
Finally, I would like to close by congratulating the team at the TSA for their significant efforts and the great Conference that they produced. Whilst I know we all miss that human contact (and the opportunity to drink some of Tunstall’s beer ), I must say the virtual event was excellently run and very productive.
Bravo guys and I look forward to next year's conference in whatever form it may be.