In recognition of Digital Leaders Week, Gavin Bashar of Tunstall Healthcare explores the potential impact of the UK’s move from an analogue to digital communications network, and how this could transform the way we support people at home with technology.
Tunstall has recently completed a series of Digital Roadshows across the UK, to update our customers on the digital transition. With support from BT, Virgin Media, Housing LIN and TSA, our nine events attracted almost 500 delegates.
We recognised that across the social care and housing sector there is still real need for clarity on what the transition to a digital platform actually means. As a result, we set out to dispel some of the myths, and outline the resources we have available to help customers manage the transition effectively. We also wanted to explore the way digital technologies can make new models of care achievable and to realise all the benefits this delivers.
Community alarms/warden call systems, as they were known, have a long history in the UK, but even as new innovations such as telecare were introduced, the primary function of systems remained reacting to emergencies. The next generation of digital telecare, or connected care as it is also known, not only enables care to be more person-centred, but also more proactive and ultimately predictive.
A key factor in this shift is the way digital technology enables information sharing. Unlike analogue systems, digital networks are ‘always on’, allowing sensors in the home to connect and send vital information to a shared digital platform accessible by relevant stakeholders such as health and social care professionals. Improved integration also improves the user experience, and of course reduces costs. Family members and carers can also engage with this information, for example, viewing their loved one’s patterns of activity via an app to help them offer support where it’s required. Using digital technology to broaden the circle of support not only improves quality of life, but also reduces reliance on statutory services.
Relatively simple technology, which has been available for some time, such as fall detectors and medication dispensers, can make community care delivery more effective, by reducing the need for unnecessary home care visits. Digital technology develops this further, enabling a wide range of devices to connect intelligently and use data analytics to provide meaningful, actionable insight. It offers objective information about patterns of behaviour to inform assessment, meaning care can be targeted where, when and how it is needed most.
Digital connectivity is also becoming increasingly preventative, facilitating timely support which avoids the need for more complex care. For example, discreet sensors in the home can monitor activity, managing risks but also enabling earlier, lower cost interventions e.g. increased use of the bathroom may indicate a urinary tract infection. Treating this with antibiotics at an early stage can prevent deterioration in health, improving quality of life, avoiding a possible hospital admission and the associated risk of hospital acquired infection or reduction in mobility. The next generation of systems will become more predictive, using patterns in data to anticipate possible events such as falls by identifying changes in behaviour.
Operationally, the move to digital can also make financial sense for monitoring centres. Software upgrades and changes to equipment configuration can be made remotely, reducing the number of engineer visits required. And it’s also been found that making proactive outbound calls from monitoring centres, rather than simply responding to incoming alerts, can flatten out the peaks in demand, meaning staffing can be arranged more effectively. This preventative approach is, of course, also supportive of maintaining independence at home, improving outcomes and reducing the cost to public budgets.
As anyone working within the telecare industry will know all too well, there are many challenges associated with this change in our national infrastructure, and Tunstall is working tirelessly with customers, communications providers and industry bodies to address these. However, we should also recognise the amazing opportunity we have to create a better future for the people we support, and embrace this positive disruption
ADASS has published its latest budget survey of Directors of Adult Social Services with headline 'Human Cost of Failing to Address the Crisis in Adult Social Care.' TSA's Chair Alyson Scurfield and Business Strategy & Transformation Lead Nathan Downing discuss why social care in the UK has now
The Digital Difference: how the transition to Digital will revolutionise health and social care In recognition of Digital Leaders Week, Gavin Bashar of Tunstall Healthcare explores the potential impact of the UK’s move from an analogue to digital communications network, and how this could
Adam Carter, Senior Project Officer, National Trading Standards Scams Team highlights the importance of vigilance and awareness as more and more people are becoming victims of fraud Did you know that you are twice as likely to fall victim to fraud than any other crime (ONS 2018), scams cost the
Nathan Downing, TSA Associate, lifts the lid on the world of the DPS... The traditional approach via tenders and frameworks for equipment and service procurement for care settings is well established within the public sector - but there’s a new kid on the block in the form of the DPS, or Dynamic
Tim Barclay, Chief Executive Officer at Appello - the UK’s largest provider of digital telecare services The UK is undergoing a digital change of significant proportions, as the telecommunications infrastructure shifts from analogue to digital. Housing providers are beginning to consider digital
Alyson Scurfield, TSA CEO So much as happened this past year, not just at the TSA but across the whole TEC sector. Matt Hancock took over as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, vowing to make a digital transformation in healthcare and have a ‘bonfire of the fax machine’. Mr Hancock, an
Phil Hollett – Director CSL It is not a surprise anymore. Everyone now understands that the transition from analogue to digital is not not going to happen. It is happening, and we need to embrace it to ensure we maximise the benefits it offers and are not just scarred by the challenges and changes
16th August 2018 by Gillian Austin, TSA Training Associate The summer has been a busy time for learning, education and training. Lots of services are accessing the one day CPD training days that support Call Handling activities, as well as the Assessing for Telecare day that supports dispersed
By Steve Carefull 27 April 2018 I can't think where this year has gone. January was as busy as any I can remember and it has just carried on getting busier. In a rare moment of reflection, I wondered how my life had become so complicated and hectic. It dawned on me that I enjoy the privilege of
26th March 2018 by Gillian Austin, TSA Training Associate Over the last 18 months I’ve embraced the opportunity to get stuck into something I feel strongly about - learning, education and training. It’s very important to give people the knowledge, skills and understanding to support the activities
As part of TSA’s own transformation, Alyson announced in January the separation of all our standards activity from our membership services. We have created a new standards arm called TEC Quality and our goal is to show, beyond doubt, that the industry’s quality standards framework is independent
Posted on 15 Jan 2018 Gillian Austin - TSA Associate Supporting social care teams to undertake basic telecare assessments The Telecare service in Dumfries and Galloway is jointly managed by Social Work Services and Communities. In 2017 work began to look at how the council could begin to deliver
By Alyson Scurfield, Chief Executive of TSA 20 November 2017 Amongst the many health IT events each year, the International Technology Enabled Care conference stands out for its special focus on the people who will benefit the most from innovative solutions – users, patients and carers who can be
By Paul Burstow 20 November 2017 Do you want to be the disruptor or the displaced? I posed this question at this year’s International Technology Enabled Care conference in Birmingham because, for me, it sums up the opportunity and the challenge facing UK TECS. How does the sector respond to the
By Liz Ashall-Payne 20 November 2017 Think of any aspect of your health and wellbeing which you might want to improve upon. Have you ever tried to search the app store for a solution? You can be certain that an app already exists for it, there may even be upwards of a thousand! What is not
By Steve Carefull 20 November 2017 A pilot service using Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to support people with social care needs is underway in Hampshire County Council. PA Consulting Group, which leads the Argenti Telehealthcare Partnership that runs the Council’s care technology service, has
By Stuart Sheehy 20 November 2017 When and how will a consumer market develop for independent living technology? The question is definitely a matter of when, not if. The factors driving this are well known: Substantial growth in our older population; Improving medical technology, allowing people
By Alyson Scurfield, Chief Executive of TSA 22 September 2017 By 2025, all analogue telephone services in the UK will be switched off and replaced by digital systems. Ofcom and telecommunications providers advise that systems relying on ‘voice-band data’, such as security and fire alarms, many
By Paul Burstow 22 September 2017 When the NHS celebrates its 100th birthday in 2048 there will be over 100,000 centenarians living in the United Kingdom. What will that mean for health and care? Inevitably, much will have changed. So to scale-up 20th century solutions to meet anticipated demand
22 September 2017 Paul Shead - TSA Chair I am delighted to be writing my first article for eLink since being elected Chair of TSA by the Board of Directors in June. This is an annual appointment, accountable to the Board, managing Board meetings and providing direct liaison between the Board and
By Moira Mackenzie – NHS 24 22 September 2017 In the world of health and wellbeing, technology enabled care (TEC) is a relative newcomer. Scotland launched its TEC programme in 2014 in order to embed and expand technology at scale and demonstrate that it can be a cost-effective way to help improve
By Alyson Scurfield, Chief Executive of TSA 29 August 2017 This blog was first published on the Independent Age website Technology in our daily lives When we think of care, we naturally think of the important contributions of our friends, partners and family as well doctors, nurses, social workers
Steve Carefull PA Consulting/Argenti 26 July 2017 Online shopping, holiday booking, dating, e-learning, banking, ordering a cab or a curry; many areas of our lives have been changed by the shift to digital channels. Support for health and wellbeing too is offered digitally, from fitness monitors
Nick Rutter, Sprue Aegis & Pilgrim Beart, DevicePilot 26 July 2017 As Telecare makes the leap to digital, prevention becomes cheaper than cure. Addicted to cure? In the UK around 85% of telecare data traffic is ‘inbound’ from the home, typically when a resident presses a panic button. But in Spain
Dr Victoria Betton mHabitat 26 July 2017 Involving end users – patients, citizens and practitioners - in the process of design and development means that digital technologies are more likely to be feasible, engaging and underpinned by evidence of what works. The mHabitat team helps the NHS, wider
Paul Allis Brain in Hand 25 July 2017 Faced with increasing demand for services and tightening budgets, commissioners and providers expect digital technology to play a significant role in the transformation of healthcare services. The push to harness the opportunities digital technology can
By Karen Bridgewater, Dudley Telecare Service 18th July 2017 Positive relationships rarely start with a cool assessment of faults and failures. The same goes for audits. Like everything else in life audits can be good, bad or indifferent and many of us will have experienced several of them –
By Paul Burstow 18 July 2017 Last week Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Social Care said that the care system remained fragile and at risk of reaching a tipping point. Health and social care has been evolving in different ways in each of the Home Nations since devolution but the
By Steve Sadler - TSA 30th June 2017 Most Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS) in the UK come in the form of alarm services, for the benefit of 1.7 million older and vulnerable people living at home. These services support independent living through care at a distance, and rely upon remote
Page 2 of 3 (29 results)