Bexley, Wandsworth Councils onboarding remote monitoring, video calls with COVID-19 the spur (UK)

With Round 2 of the pandemic hitting the UK (and rising rates in EU and also parts of the US), it’s timely that borough councils have already stepped up their efforts to extend home monitoring and connectivity to the most vulnerable older adults and disabled. Here’s a short roundup:

  1. The London Borough of Bexley has been working with Docobo to install their DOC@HOME technology to connect residents with their GP to manage their health and well being at home. DOC@HOME connects with the patient via tablet (Android) tablet, computer, Docobo TV, or smartphone to their clinical teams to enroll, set up, and manage their patients using Docobo’s reporting platform. This version of DOC@HOME used two types of question sets: to set up a doctor consult requested by the resident or staff member and to conduct monthly wellness checks. The pilot was completed with one care home with these results (2019 vs 2018 same period): 71 percent fewer visits by GPs to the care home, and 36 percent fewer visits by residents to A&E. Bexley is now rolling out to 20 care homes using an NHS Digital pathfinder grant. Later plans will be rollout to individual homes.
  2. The Bexley Council is also piloting another Docobo product, ARTEMUS, a risk stratification platform, with the Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to create an analytics and decision support platform to support a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing at the individual level. Risk stratification at its most essential level uses data to classify residents or patients at their level of health risk (multiple chronic conditions) with the objective of mitigating long-term escalations in care needs and emergencies and integrate support, particularly to integrate support for those with dementia. 1 and 2 from NHS AI Lab Hat tip to Adrian Flowerday of Docobo for his LinkedIn post.
  3. Wandsworth Council is working with Alcove to provide the Carephone tablet to their residents who receive a care or support package. The Carephone enables them to make video calls with family, friends, care workers, and other approved service providers. Wandsworth Council article.

Kent County Council announces videophones for vulnerable residents in £1.5 million COVID response initiative (UK)

Kent County Council has launched an initiative to connect 2,000 of its most vulnerable residents to KCC support staff. Alcove, an assisted care technology provider, and care transformation consultancy Rethink Partners will set up the videophone tablet-type units. The £1.5 million Video Carephone program will support “vulnerable and digitally disadvantaged elderly residents and those with a learning disability (who) will be able to receive virtual video care and health consultations, as well as video contact with friends and family while minimising the infection risk to other residents and care staff.” The unit is delivered to the person’s home, ready to go; presumably there is already in place an internet connection with a router as the KCC website release is not specific on the technical side.

This was rolled out in response to the COVID pandemic, but this program is also aligned with the national digital switchover program starting in 2023. The release also includes a testimonial from Robert Greenfield of Gravesend (above left). Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 20 years ago, he set it up himself, using it not only to communicate with his home care provider but also friends and family. An interesting sidelight is that Mr. Greenfield edits a magazine (MS) for others with the MS diagnosis and will be writing about it.