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What is TEC

What is Technology Enabled Care (TEC)?


Technology enabled care (TEC) includes telehealth, telecare, telemedicine, telecoaching and self-care services that put people in control of their own health, wellbeing and support, keeping them safe, well and independent and offering them and their families peace of mind.


TEC also includes personalised sensors and apps that can support fitness, health, care and wellbeing for individuals and carers. Other terms used to cover TEC services include digital health, health IT, mHealth, eHealth, smart home technologies, artificial intelligence and internet of things.


How does TEC work?


Technology enabled care uses phone networks and internet connections to provide access to a range of health practitioners as well as care and support organisations that can respond to emergencies.


Below are some examples:


Lifestyle Monitoring
 

  • Smart phone app that enables people to manage their diabetes, logging data so they can share it with their doctor
  • Wearable device that senses increased visits to the bathroom and identifies possible urinary tract infections
  • Medication reminder system that flags up to a carer that a service user hasn’t taken their pills
  • E-consulting system that allows patients with mental health conditions to speak to their GP online


Emergency response

 

  • Pendant alarm that an individual can press if they fall so a monitoring centre can send help
  • Home asthma monitoring system that reports a worsening breathing condition to doctors

 

Different types of TEC


Telecare


Typically, telecare services are provided through local authorities, housing associations, industry services and voluntary organisations. They include personal alarms, a wide range of home sensors (e.g. fire and flood detectors) and activity monitoring. Alerts are monitored by remote control centres that can respond quickly to emergencies.


Telehealth


Telehealth and telemedicine involve video and phone connections between patients and clinicians as well as remote monitoring by clinicians of long term conditions (e.g. diabetes) using medical devices in the home (e.g. blood pressure and glucose monitors).


mHealth and apps


Accredited fitness and health/care apps (including mental health) are available for use on smartphones and tablets and are often referred to as mobile health or mHealth.


Digital health


eHealth, Health IT and digital health are broader terms that can also include web-based home health support systems as well as electronic health and care records used by practitioners. Increasingly, they cover predictive data analytics, machine learning, care robotics, virtual reality, voice operable systems and artificial intelligence.