A telecare device that may solve the ‘soft fall’ and unconscious problems (UK)

click to enlargeGuy Dewsbury of the eponymous Gdewsbury independent research consultancy brought to this Editor’s attention his recent commission for West Yorkshire-based MonitorGo in evaluating their new smartphone-based personal alarm. He analyzed the device’s features here in a comparison chart and writeup, versus what is commonly available in the market. If it reliably does what it says it does (our normal caveat), it could be a big step beyond the Ur-Pendant, addressing our (and Neil Versel’s) concerns earlier this week on the persistence of ‘ancient history’ PERS [TTA 31 Mar].

It goes well beyond common mPERS as well. There are 12 features, including GPS location, hard fall detection and 24/7 third-party help line monitoring (via Medvivo), but the key differentiating features are the soft fall detector, unconsciousness/inactivity detection and false alert detection/response–as well as usability as a simplified smartphone with unlimited calls to UK landlines and 250 mobile-to-mobile minutes. (more…)

Integrated care – how can technology help? (+ earn 12 CPD points)

There has been a recent rush to book for the Royal Society of Medicine’s two day conference entitled “Integrated Care- how can technology help” on 24th & 25th November, so we are featuring it one more time, especially as it looks to be only one of two health & care technology events this autumn that also offers CPD points (the other is the TSA conference next week).

With a wide range of speakers from across the world, including Adam Darkins (ex VHA, now Medtronics), Robert Wah (President, American Medical Association) as well the UK’s very own Cathy Hassell and Tim Kelsey,  this conference will explore the many ways in which technology can assist in the effective delivery of integrated care to improve patient outcomes, at reduced cost.

The event will cover all the principal care disciplines which so often end up failing to work together to deliver holistic care: primary care, secondary care, mental health, social care and third sector engagement. Even within each of these areas, coordinating care can be challenging when people have to rely on paper and word of mouth to communicate. Technology offers a way of (more…)

The NICE way to a long and healthy life

The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) has produced truly excellent draft guidance entitled Dementia, disability and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to prevention.

As pointed out by David Oliver’s Kings Fund blog, which alerted this Editor to the NICE document, what is particularly exciting about these guidelines are “the principles and linking themes behind them, and the fact that, instead of just advising clinicians, the guidelines include direct advice to the government on health and wider social policy”.

Put another way, this document represents a holistic approach to coordinating the principal health drivers for a long and healthy old age: a major step to helping people achieve the vision of looking forward to old age. The table on page 15 of the draft emphasises just how wide (more…)

Medvivo: correction

On 13th July this editor wrote a piece entitled “Wearables & mHealth: a few observations “ which included a paragraph on staff reductions at Medvivo which we suggested might be a part of an overall reduction in Medvivo’s engagement with telehealth. We had tried to contact the company beforehand, without success, however following publication of the story, this editor was then contacted by Andrew Cowie, Chief Executive of Medvivo. He kindly pointed that with the acquisition of Magna Careline, Medvivo’s headcount has actually increased by some 50, significantly more than the number who are en route to leaving the company. The other observation mentioned in the paragraph as supporting our concerns was, apparently, entirely coincidental (and transitory), and the following paragraph, which actually related to the BBC, was so worded that Medvivo (incorrectly) took it to refer to them. We therefore unreservedly apologise, and invite readers to check out the revised article.

Wearables and mHealth: a few observations

The Telegraph reports on the creation of Amazon UK’s wearables store, following on from their US launch that we covered on April 30th. Unlike in the original US launch, locating the store is not that challenging, however it is very much a jumble of products: if you know what you want then you probably don’t need a store to find it; if you don’t, there’s precious little to guide you to find the right product.

One of the wearables they’ll doubtless think carefully before stocking is (more…)

Medvivo comes of age (UK)

A year after this editor began his three year stint with Telehealth Solutions, we had a corporate near-death experience, as money got very tight waiting for that first big telehealth order (thankfully it came, courtesy of NHS Norfolk). In those days of reduced salaries, and few employees, we could only dream of becoming a full service remote healthcare monitoring organisation.

This week’s announcement of the acquisition of Magna Careline shows how things have changed in just five years. After being acquired by Moonray Investors, (more…)

TSA Crystal Awards shortlist announced

The Telecare Services Association announced its Crystal Awards nominees which recognize excellence across technology enabled services and creative technology development.

Most creative application of technology including telecare, telehealth, telecoaching
STAY (Sandwell Telecare Assisting You) and Red Embedded Systems Ltd
Contour Homes
The Medvivo Group

Enhancing lives through technology enabled services
The Medvivo Group
Peninsula Community Health
Stafford and Rural Homes

Professional of the Year
Bristol Careline
Stafford and Rural Homes
Contour Homes

This Editor notes that Medvivo, Contour Homes and Stafford and Rural Homes are nominated in two out of three categories, which if we were betting on the Academy Awards® would perhaps cancel each other out. Winners to be announced at the International Telecare and Telehealth Conference’s Gala Dinner on 12 November 2013. Release.

Surrey telehealth – some good news!

click to enlarge The announcement by Medvivo and Surrey County Council of telehealth becoming fully embedded across all six CCGs in Surrey is good news for those who believe in the benefits of telehealth.

Pulse was one of the first to carry the news today, though was  unable to resist the temptation to remind readers of the high cost/QALY found by the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) programme (which was caused, as Telecareaware readers will know from a previous post, by the high cost of running the WSD RCTs and using equipment that is now some six years old).  The more positive EHI post is here.

Over the past year there has been much concern about whether telehealth arrangements established by the previous PCTs might be taken forward by the CCGs; Surrey shows it can be done successfully.

(Disclosure: Charles Lowe established and ran the telehealth programme in Surrey for NHS Surrey and Surrey County Council between 2011 and 2013, including managing the tender process.  He did not however adjudicate the tender – some 40 representatives of organisations in the county participated in the adjudication.)

Hampshire hedges its bets on telecare providers (UK)

TTA flagged up last July that Hampshire County Council was tendering for a ‘strategic partner’ to deliver a telecare service on its behalf and that the result would be known in May, so this by way of an update. What we learn from a Tunstall press release is that Hampshire has staked it all on the ‘Argenti Telehealthcare Partnership’ – a consortium of providers led by PA Consulting (Wikipedia) and which comprises Tunstall, O2, CareCalls, Medvivo and Magna Careline. [Just when we thought the UK telecare scene was becoming boring – it will be interesting to hear how these rivals learn to pull together to deliver the comprehensive, efficient service for which the people of Hampshire have been waiting for many years.]

Wiltshire Medical Services rebrands as Medvivo (UK)

As anticipated in our item in January, the coming together of Wiltshire Medical Services (WMS) and Telehealth Solutions (THSL) has indeed created a new brand under which both sides of the company’s activities can grow. They have sidestepped both the local name and ‘solutions’ name traps and have cleverly found an unused ‘Med-‘ combination and have arrived at ‘Medvivo’. Of course, for the moment Google thinks you may have wanted US health monitoring company Medivo, but that will soon sort itself out. Medvivo press release.