Tender Alert: Circle Anglia–Centra seeking e-commerce provider

Our Reader Susanne Woodman has once again tipped our UK Readers to another opportunity related to telecare, this one with Circle Anglia and Centra which provide telecare and housing services in the UK. Centra is looking for an e-commerce system. The value of the tender excluding VAT is £120,000. According to the tender, Circle Housing would like to conduct soft market testing w/c 5 December at its Tower View Offices with the contract to be published in January 2017. More information is here on the TED-Tenders Electronic Daily website. Email Michelle Saunders for a further information document at michelle.saunders2@circle.org.uk

Carephone calling for beta tester partners

From reader Stephen Westley, the sales director of The Carephone, well-known in the UK as one of the long-time telecare companies supporting carers via technology that enables older adults and the disabled to live more independently, is a call for beta tester partners (UK and Ireland only) of the new home sensor kit (see photo below, click to enlarge) Smart Sense.

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/carephonekit.jpg” thumb_width=”300″ /]

Stephen may be reached at 0800 849 9254, email swestley@thecarephone.com  More on Twitter @thecarephone

 

The cybersecurity black hole–and bad flashback–that is the Internet of Things

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/blackhole_596.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]One week after the Dyn DDoS attack, the post-mortems get more alarming. Our Readers knew they were coming in 2014-2015 (our ‘Is IoT really necessary–and dangerous?)

IoT devices, and a lot of older networked medical devices, have been proven to be easy to hack, as even this non-ITer, non-codegeek realized then. But those in tech have been to this movie before–with Bluetooth circa 2002! Now shouldn’t designers have learned? From ZDNet:

“It’s almost like we’ve learned nothing from Bluetooth” says Justin Dolly, CISO at cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes.

“Seeing what these IoT vendors are doing, it just blows me away because they haven’t learned from history,” says Steve Manzuik, director of security research at Duo Security’s Duo Labs. “They’ve completely ignored everything that’s ever had bad vulnerabilities”.

Many of these devices, according to these experts, have default log in credentials, if they have them at all. IoT devices are also allegedly findable on a snoop site called Shodan. Reason why: the financial and market need to get products out fast and cheaply.

Over at data security company Varonis’ blog, with the great title in part, “Revenge of the Internet of Things”, another succinct and telling quote:

Once upon a time in early 2016, we were talking with pen tester Ken Munro about the security of IoT gadgetry — everything from wireless doorbells to coffee makers and other household appliances. I remember his answer when I asked about basic security in these devices. His reply: “You’re making a big step there, which is assuming that the manufacturer gave any thought to an attack from a hacker at all.”

Privacy by Design is not part of the vocabulary of the makers of these IoT gadgets

Varonis also gives a how-to on changing settings in your router so you don’t become a victim, and how to secure your gadgets.

Bottom line: when Hackermania is Running Wild, do you, or anyone, really need to be an early adopter of an internet- connected coffee maker or fridge? And if you need internet-connected home security, telemedicine virtual consults, telehealth/remote patient monitoring or telecare….best heed Varonis and secure it!

Earlier in TTA: Friday’s cyberattack is a shot-over-bow for healthcare 

Breaking news – an NHS innovation failure

As a sad indication of the NHS’s – and the UK health & care system in general’s – inability to innovate, v-connect, previously known as Red Embedded, has made the following announcement:

“It is with great regret that we are discontinuing the v-connect service as of the 31st October 2016. I am sure that the reasons will be understandable to you but here is a short summary. The video technology has been in development for more than eleven years. The efforts to commercialise the technology, in care, have been in progress for more than seven. In that time we have developed many features that support people to live independently at home supported by a personalised set of connections and facilities matched to their needs. We were guided by the continual calls for integrated care, personalisation and care closer to  home. We have been somewhat successful in obtaining project and grant funding to facilitate this. (more…)

TSA’s 2016 International Technology Enabled Care Conference (UK)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/TSA-logo-400×400.jpg” thumb_width=”100″ /]18-19 October, the ICC Birmingham

A reminder than in a few short weeks the annual International Technology Enabled Care Conference will take place at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, hosting UK organizations across health, housing, home care, social care, industry and more.

The event will focus on TEC with the theme ‘Connected Care, Connected Homes and Connected Communities’, and feature a packed programme with, as they put it, “challenging debates, thought-provoking presentations, interactive workshops and brand new interactive zones to inspire, inform and drive forward sector collaboration.” The draft programme is here. Find out more at the conference’s home page and register at the full website here.  There are also a few exhibition booth stands and sponsorships left, looking at the interactive floor map, so your company may want to check here as well.

If you are a Reader and attending, please feel free to send Editor Donna your thoughts for publication on where the industry is going and what is it doing. (Please indicate if it is for attribution under your name or a nom de plume)

A hybrid telehealth/telemedicine model for health systems

Your Editors have been projecting that the Big Future of telecare-telehealth-telemedicine lies in integrating services, not the Big Data backend (though there’s a Big Role there). These three have to be more tightly aligned with health systems, whether ACOs/IDNs (US) or the NHS. Most of our consideration has been where they go at the end of acute care–transitional care (post-discharge/post-acute–those bed-blockers)–but here’s a different approach that puts them at the start of the care continuum. Minneapolis-based Zipnosis [TTA 13 May] has an asynchronous platform that is ‘white labeled’ for a health system and carries their branding. Their model uses pre-screening/assessment first–an ‘adaptive questionnaire’ taken online or on mobile, compiles the information, then depending on the result, returns to the patient to schedule a virtual (video/audio) consult, lab visit or referral to a physician. The smart parts are that this is completely within the the health system and integrates with their EHR, making it reimbursable. It also can be used to expand the patient base even if the care is short term or episodic.

Zipnosis currently has 17 health system clients. The latest is Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis where the system test is first with their 22,000-plus employee workforce. The focus is on early detection of diabetes and heart disease. Also recently announced were two Nebraska health systems, Bryan Health and Memorial Health Care. Somebody likes the model as their Series A back in January was $17 million led by Safeguard Scientifics with participation from Ascension Ventures, the investment arm of Ascension, a large Catholic health system. mHealth Intelligence, Becker’s Health ITHealthcareITNews,

Tunstall Americas’ Vi+ offers free temperature monitoring

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Big-T-thumb-480×294-55535.gif” thumb_width=”150″ /]Last week Tunstall Americas emerged from a long period of quiet with their introduction of Tunstall’s Vi+ telecare home unit [TTA 3 Aug]. We noted that Vi+ included an integral ambient temperature sensor which could alert their response center on extremes in home temperature and that the release highlighted it. This week, we learned the reason why, as on Tuesday they announced marketing that capability as free Temperature Extremes monitoring for subscribers of their medical alert monitoring service. When the ambient temperature sensor is activated, their call center will be alerted when the room temperature rises above 89°F or falls below 50°F. The subscriber and registered contacts are then notified so that the person can be checked and the situation corrected. Tunstall release (PRWeb)

Tunstall Americas introducing Vi+ telecare home monitoring

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Big-T-thumb-480×294-55535.gif” thumb_width=”150″ /]We don’t hear much from Tunstall Healthcare in the US other than their traditional/mobile PERS business (formerly AMAC‘s). That may be changing with their introduction (finally) of the Vi+ telecare home unit. It has medical alert, fall detection (via ‘intelligent pendant’) and integrates with home monitoring an array of what they call ‘Virtual Sensors’–motion and other sensors to monitor activity in the home, including wireless sensors for fire, flood and gas leaks. They do make a point of having an integral ambient temperature sensor which will alert their response center if an unsafe high or low temperature is detected.

Other than the press release, no information on Vi+ is on the Americas website yet, including pricing. (Vi without the sensor array has been sold for some time.) Vi+ is marketed in most Tunstall countries in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The fact sheet from Ireland is representative of Vi+ in most markets.

It’s interesting that Tunstall Americas has chosen to enhance their PERS/call center services with sensors, versus entering the hotter telehealth area. Sensor-based activity/danger monitoring is hardly new. (more…)

The difficulty in differentiating telemedicine and telehealth

Our Editors have always tried to cleanly define the differences between telemedicine, telehealth and telecare, even as they blur in industry use. (See our Definitions sidebar for the latter two.) But telemedicine, at least on this side of the Atlantic, has lost linguistic ground to telehealth, which has become the umbrella term that eHealth wanted to be only two or three years ago. Similarly, digital health, connected health and mHealth have lost ground to health tech, since most devices now connect and incorporate mobility. And there are sub-genres, such as wearables, fitness trackers and aging tech.

Poor telehealth grows ever fuzzier emanations and penumbra! Now bearing the burden of virtual visits between doctor and patient, doctor-to-doctor professional consults, video conferencing (synchronous and asynchronous), remote patient monitoring of vital signs and qualitative information (ditto), and distance health monitoring to treat patients, it also begins to embrace its data: outcome-based analytics, population health and care modeling. Eric Wicklund accumulates a pile of studies from initial-heavy organizations: WHO, HIMSS, HHS, Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP), ATA, TRC Network. All of which shows, perhaps contrary to Mr Wicklund’s intentions, how confusing simple concepts have become. mHealth Intelligence

Tunstall’s Innovation Centre virtual tour

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Big-T-thumb-480×294-55535.gif” thumb_width=”150″ /]Tunstall Healthcare Group’s release for 1 June’s Telecare Awareness Day was a virtual tour of their Innovation Centre physically located at their Whitley, Yorkshire head office. It’s divided into five TECS-related ‘zones’: integrated care, connected home, development room, app bar and workshop. There are explanatory comments below, which help because the virtual tour has a measure of clunkiness. The marketing purpose of the Innovation Centre? It “provides a unique, dedicated space to define the challenge and help accelerate the development and design process to evolve the next generation of digital connected healthcare, create new innovations and service models that genuinely meet the needs of commissioners and consumers.” (Whew!) It’s also kind of a cool space to get feedback from customers, users and partners, which this Editor suspects is the real reason why it was developed. But overall, both the Centre and the virtual tour are good ‘showcase’ ideas that demonstrate both product and thought leadership.

Telecare Awareness Day (UK) – June 1st 2016

This Wednesday, June 1st, is National Telecare Awareness Day in the UK for 2016. This is promoted by the industry body [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/UKTelehealthcare-Awareness.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]UK Telehealthcare.

To mark the day, CAIR, the UK based telecare products supply company, is holding an event at their headquarters in West Yorkshire. According to information available from the Telecare Services Association, twelve of the region’s leading voices in Telecare will gather to “tackle some of the challenges facing the industry”.

Last year several activities took place to mark the day, then called National Telehealthcare Awareness Day, with events being held by CAIR, University of East Anglia’s Norwich Electronic Assistive Technology Centre (NEAT), Welbeing (an independent-living service provider) and many others.

A summary of last year’s events is available via the UK Telehealthcare website here.

Abstracts for Med-e-Tel now online

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Med-e-tel-logo.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Med-e-Tel Luxembourg, one of the longest continuously running health tech conferences in Europe (from 2004, certainly enough to qualify it as a Grizzled Pioneer), will be on this week from Wednesday to Friday, but if like this Editor you’ll be unfortunately far, far away, Prof. Maurice Mars, Richard E. Scott and Malina Jordanova of the organizing International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth (ISfTeH), have published the speaker abstracts online and free (requiring only registration.) See them here.

The abstract researchers span the globe–Nigeria, Greece, Sweden, Czech Republic, Brazil, New Jersey (!)…plus several from UK (including Malcolm Fisk), Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa and Bulgaria. Orange Labs will present the data of their diabetic bike riders from the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour (MHT)–this was a high point of last November’s mHealth Summit/HIMSS Connected Health [TTA 13 Nov 15]. There’s also research on topics you don’t hear about in most conferences: smart cities, mHealth’s environmental impact, telenursing, adapting eHealth to serve those of differing abilities, even substituting smart technologies for physical restraints. So many unusual views are represented here. Also in this issue, Vol 4 (2016), is a wealth of research from Brazil.

More in the Med-e-Tel update press release.

3rings enters the Dragons’ Den, comes out with strategic investor

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/steve-purdham-3rings-david-capper-westfield-health-with-3rings-plug.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]About two years ago, we started following 3rings, a Stoke-on-Trent (UK) company that develope an appliance plug that automatically ‘checks in’ an older person based on their morning behavior of turning on a tea kettle, TV or other appliance. We’ve received word from their CEO Steve Purdham that they’ve announced today (Thursday) a substantial strategic investment from not-for-profit insurer Westfield Health. Mr Purdham (picture left) had appeared on the BBC program Dragons’ Den with mum Iris (prominently featured in their ads) to raise £300,000 for a 10 percent share in the company. (For our US readers, Dragons’ Den is similar to Shark Tank or Project Startup.) According to the website release, Westfield Health was attracted to the company through the show, has invested more than twice the funding requested by Mr Purdham from the Dragons, and will be offering the 3rings plug to their current and future customers.

David Capper, their Commercial Director (picture right), acknowledged the attraction of technology in their first major external investment in this type of health tech.  (more…)

Chubb Care System adds communities (UK)

Chubb Community Care launched the Chubb Care System at the end of last year [TTA 13 Dec 15], and following up, they have already become the approved technology adviser and provider for the Northern Housing Consortium and the Knowsley Housing Trust’s Bluebell Park Apartments. KHT provides housing for 27,000 residents in Knowsley. The Chubb Care System is a hybrid communication/monitoring system for residents in sheltered and extra care housing to communicate with staff and integrates with TECS, telehealth and fire/safety devices and systems. As Editor Charles put it, some have portrayed Chubb as the weakest of the ‘big three’ telecare providers, and it is heartening to see them move forward quickly.

 

UK Telehealthcare’s London MarketPlace

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/UKtelehealthcare.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]6 April, 10am – 3pm at London Fire Brigade HQ, 169 Union Street, London SE1 0LL  

UK Telehealthcare is organizing its first MarketPlace for 2016 at the LFB to commemorate its 150 years of service to the community. About 30 exhibitors will be presenting the latest in assistive technologies for the home including telecare, sensor-based and safety/alert. Best of all, it is free to professionals in social care, healthcare and security. See PDF attached or contact Gerry Allmark.

 

Cornwall Council to terminate BT outsourcing deal

The High Court has ruled that Cornwall Council is within its rights to terminate the multi-million pound [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Cornwall-Council.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]services outsourcing contract with BT because BT “did not provide … the service it had promised to the standard it had promised”.

Cornwall Council welcomed the High Court decision yesterday saying “The judge’s decision confirms the Council’s argument that BT Cornwall had been in material breach of the contract due to their failure to carry out services to the required contractual standards and, therefore, that we were justified in reaching the decision that we were entitled to terminate the contract.

“As a result of this decision, the Council intends to give notice of the contract before Christmas but there will be no immediate change in the arrangements as notice will not take effect until January.”

BT was awarded the 10-year contract in 2013 amid much controversy as was widely reported including here on TTA. (more…)