Connect to protect: TEC solutions for the COVID-19 crisis

Tunstall has always played a pioneering role in helping to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our society, using technology to enable them to get help in an emergency 24 hours a day, and to monitor and manage their health in a community setting. In recent weeks we have been focused on working with our customers help them continue to deliver their services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to introduce new solutions to support individuals during the outbreak. 

Checking on wellbeing 

Where people are already using community alarms (or telecare as it’s also known), we can provide a proactive calling service, helping Local Authorities, Housing Associations and other providers to support people in their homes. Tunstall operators will call residents on a regular basis to check on their wellbeing and offer advice/signpost to other services as required. Service users can press the button on their Lifeline home unit or on their pendant in the event of an emergency and be connected to Tunstall Response 24 hours a day. Where individuals don’t already have a system in their home, they can download the Tunstall Connect app to their smart device to benefit from regular wellbeing calls and two-way contact services with Tunstall Response.  

Remote health monitoring 

Customers can use Tunstall's Integrated Care Platform (ICP) including triagemanager and myMobile to monitor people’s health and wellbeing at home. Users download the myMobile App to their smartphones, and then record readings from devices such as thermometers as well as answering some questions about their health. The data can then be viewed by clinicians on the triagemanager browser-based portal where they can triage patients using a simple based traffic light system to identify patients/individuals most in need of intervention. A multi user version , myKiosk, is also available for use in care homes. 

In practice 

We have established relationships with health and care providers across the UK, and are working closely with them to help address the challenges brought by the pandemic. For example, we’re using technology to enable hotels or previously decommissioned care homes to be used as step down facilities to enable timely hospital discharge, quarantine and rehabilitation.  

Remote health monitoring is being used to: 

  • Monitor residents in care homes for symptoms such as a rise in temperature to enable early intervention 

  • Support people with long term health conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at home, empowering them to self manage and reducing the risk of exacerbations 

  • Monitor the health and wellbeing of local authority staff during the crisis using health questionnaires 

  • Support young adults with eating disorders who may not be able to access services as normal during lockdown 

Our opportunity 

COVID-19 is the biggest challenge ever faced by our health and social care system. However, it’s vital that we learn lessons and don’t lose the gains made as a result. It’s been demonstrated in the last few weeks how much technology can do to connect and protect people, and how quickly this can be done. We have an opportunity to reshape the way we deliver services, moving away from location-based care to person-centred, integrated support in the community. Seizing this momentum can help the UK to recover more quickly and be more prepared should we ever face such as crisis again.  

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