Some quick, cheerful updates from Welbeing, CarePredict, Tunstall, Tynetec, Hasbro, Fitbit

It’s Friday, and in search of cheerful topics, here are some updates on doings from telecare, telehealth, and related companies we’ve recently noted on TTA:

Welbeing‘s opened a new head office at Technology Business Park in Moy Avenue in Eastbourne….CarePredict‘s AI for ADL system using the Tempo wearable has new implementations at LifeWell Senior Living’s community in Santa Fe, New Mexico (their third with CarePredict) and a three-year commitment with the Avanti Towne Lake community, Cypress, Texas. Dave Muoio has an interview with CEO Satish Movva on Mobihealthnews….Tunstall is partnering with Milpitas, California-based noHold’s Albert bot to create a virtual assistant for Tunstall’s mobile Smart Hub product, currently in Australia and in trials in Europe and the USA….Tynetec (advert above) has been closely associated and fundraised with the Dementia Dog Project and DogsforGood. An article in the Express highlights both in the beneficial role of pets with Alzheimers and dementia sufferers…. In robotic pet news, Hasbro is upgrading its ‘Joy for All’ companion pets through a Brown University research program, Affordable Robotic Intelligence for Elderly Support (ARIES) to add medication reminders, basic artificial intelligence, and more (Mobihealthnews)….Fitbit continues its march to a clinicalized product touting diabetes management partnerships with Medtronic and DexCom, plus clinical trials detecting sleep apnea through its SpO2 sensor. 3rd quarter sales were up 23 percent to $244 million and 40 percent from repeat purchasers, but they took an $8 million loss from a distributor (MedCityNews).

Innovate UK’s £35m Digital Health Technology Catalyst competition opens–apply now!

click to enlargeA new Innovate UK challenge has opened for digital health technology developers. They are seeking subject matter experts (SME) to lead a group in designing digital health innovations which achieve at least one of these objectives: improving patient outcomes, transforming healthcare delivery, and enabling more efficient delivery of healthcare. Total funding is £35m. It appears that each winner will be granted up to £8m as follows: feasibility–£50,000 to £75,000; industrial research and experimental development–£500,000 to £1 million.

This follows on our previously reported £12m Biomedical Catalyst program [TTA 5 Apr]. Innovate UK’s digital health program is being funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is also backing battery power and robotics challenge programs.

Detailed information and application information may be found here. Applications close Wednesday 11 October 2017 at noon. Hat tip to Tynetec via Twitter. (Illustration from Innovate UK and innovation leader Chris Sawyer’s blog.)

In-home video monitoring acceptable to 90 percent of dementia carers: Age NI study

What used to be the ‘third rail’ of caring may no longer be. The idea of cameras in the home to view activity of an older family member was so abhorrent to caregiving relatives that it was a key in selling purely sensor-based monitoring systems from the early 2000s on, such as QuietCare, GrandCare, Alarm.com Wellness, Healthsense, Lively, Tynetec/Legrand and many others. Today, in the age of selfies and video on social networks, video surveillance doesn’t seem so foreign. Age NI‘s study conducted through Ulster University had the surprising finding that over 90 percent of participants in several focus groups supported it, with two important caveats; that there was initial consent from the older person being monitored, and that only family members could view the video. With that, they found it ‘useful’, ‘ethical’ and ‘moral’. It would support the person’s safety in aging at home longer, and provide peace of mind for carers. Hat tip to Toni Bunting of TASK Ltd. PharmaTimes, Ulster University News

Independent For Longer website debuts (UK)

The Independent for Longer website has been profiled on the website magazine Ucan2, which highlights mobility aids, assistive technologies, and techniques for better management of a wide variety of disabilities, including learning and autism spectrum. The website showcases real-life TECS (technology enabled care solutions) in the form of seven ‘case studies’ spanning ages from 20 to 79: brain injury, stroke, epilepsy, collapse, ill health, heart failure, and learning difficulties. Each leads the viewer through how a home can be enabled through the selective use of equipment to support independent living. The eighth section is about ‘Billy the Dog’, the Dementia Dog funded through JustGiving in memory of Tynetec’s Billy and Lisa Graham. The ‘Interested in Telecare’ page, where the user can find a service provider, links to the ‘Consumers and Carers’ page of the TSA website, where the first tab is ‘Find a Service’. This website is funded by Tynetec, which is part of Legrand Assisted Living and Healthcare–but is unbranded. Tynetec and Legrand are long-time supporters of this website.

UK news updates: UKTelehealthcare changes the guard, Tynetec’s Dementia Dog

UKTelehealthcare, the membership association which supports health and care professionals and suppliers in delivering the widest choice and range of appropriate Technology Enabled Care Services, announced the retirement of John Chambers. Mr Chambers and Doug Miles founded the holding company of UKTelehealthcare, London Telecare Ltd., in 2005. He stepped down as a director at the end of November but will continue to be involved through his shareholding and consulting, especially in PR and marketing. Mr Miles will remain as a director and Chairman. Taking the roles of managing director and company secretary are Gerry Allmark, who joined UKTelehealthcare from Bosch Healthcare three years ago, and Julia Allmark, an IT specialist. Release (top of news page).

TTA also happily supported the Dementia Dog fundraiser in memory of Tynetec’s Billy and Lisa Graham that achieved their £15,000 goal on JustGiving to train a dog to support people with dementia [TTA 5 Dec]. Up on Twitter is a 30-second snippet of a program dog trainer explaining the bonding process. According to the JustGiving listing, Independent For Longer will be following the dog’s progress during training; also see #DogsforGoodUKBoth UK Telehealthcare and Tynetec (Legrand) are long-time supporters of this website.

Over £15,000 for Dementia Dog in memory of Tynetec’s Billy and Lisa Graham (UK) (updated)

Updated Tynetec has announced via Twitter that the £15,000 goal has been exceeded for Dementia Dog. Thanks to our Readers who donated on our 9 Nov article and retweets, Tynetec and all donors!

Local fundraisers in Perthshire have raised £11,000 (as of 5 Dec, £15,000) for dementia assistance dogs in memory of Billy and Lisa Graham, who while on holiday were tragically killed in the June 2015 Tunisia beach shooting. As Editor Charles wrote then, “Billy was well loved and respected in the industry, working in Scotland as Business Development Manager for Tynetec, and previously with Chubb. As such, even if readers did not know him personally, there is a high probability that they will have attended many conferences and exhibitions where he was also present.”

The beneficiary is Dementia Dog, which funds specially trained dogs to help and support people living with dementia in their activities of daily living, such as taking their medicine. Former colleagues and friends of the Grahams helped to raise the money as a permanent tribute to the couple by combining two things close to them–to help those with dementia and their love of dogs. The fundraising site is open to all and located on JustGiving, with all donations going to Alzheimer Scotland. A worthy cause indeed and a lovely way to remember the Grahams. More information and the story behind the fundraisers is in the Scottish Daily Record. Hat tip to Tynetec on Twitter; Tynetec has been a long time supporter of this publication.

Worthing MarketPlace Wednesday 8th June 2016 (UK)

click to enlargeFresh from last week’s National Telecare Awareness Day on 1 June, UK Telehealthcare is sponsoring a bonus MarketPlace today (8 June) in conjunction with the West Sussex County Council at the Charmandian in Worthing, West Sussex. 36 companies including Tynetec, CAIR, Doro, Tunstall and others we mention are listed for five hours of exhibition and activities starting at 10 am. UK Telehealthcare information and flyer at left above.

Dream team or dance of the dinosaurs? Another view of Legrand’s recent acquisition

The recent news of  Legrand’s acquisition of Jontek Ltd to join Tynetec in their Assisted Living & Healthcare Business Unit stirs many nice memories, as this editor has much to thank both Tynetec, and Jontek for.

Once Tynetec quality was a match for the other major player in the telecare market, their competition was truly appreciated in restraining the cost of delivering telecare. They were enormously helpful, particularly when this editor was working in Surrey. However at the end of the day, their systems, like the other major competitors in the market, were proprietary. Thus once a Tynetec dispersed alarm unit was installed, only Tynetec peripherals could be added.

Jontek on the other hand were able to receive alerts from all the major telecare players, so enabled mixed economies (as we had in Surrey) to be managed by the same call centre. Although “for legal reasons” there were problems with getting (more…)

Legrand adds Jontek to assisted living and healthcare businesses (UK)

Jontek Ltd, a Stockport-based developer and provider of monitoring software and response centers for telecare, telehealth, lone worker and mCare, is being acquired by Legrand, a specialist in digital building and electrical infrastructure. Jontek will be joining Tynetec in Legrand Electric Ltd’s Assisted Living & Healthcare Business unit. Like Tynetec, Jontek is one of our Grizzled Pioneers of telecare, having started their business over 20 years ago. Currently they provide services to over 60 organizations in the UK and are a Government Procurement Supplier.

Looking at the release, Legrand sees an opportunity to complement Tynetec’s current lines in at-home alarms and assisted living call systems with Jontek’s Answer-link monitoring software, which is a system integrating database queries/reporting, document management, emailing and incident logging. (This Editor also sees potential for these systems to enhance Tynetec’s telehealth RPM systems and Intelligent Care.) Managing Director Chris Dodd: “Historically, both Jontek and Tynetec have been committed advocates of an open protocol philosophy. This will continue to remain one of our primary considerations when developing integrated digital solutions and innovative IP care platforms of the future.” Legrand release.

Two important takeaways: We continue to see consolidation of health tech businesses with an eye to enhancing and widening capabilities. Companies with established businesses are moving to make their products more accessible and user-friendly with mobility and enhanced response–BYOD and call centers. In design, they are incorporating secure data integration and reporting capabilities to make the data useful to clinicians and to prove worth, reducing the number of time-consuming steps to obtain data–or fall inevitably behind other digital health competitors. The other is ‘open protocol’ which this Editor interprets in this context as the ability to integrate sensors, peripherals, software and other kit which are not proprietary–in other words, to play nicely in the sandbox. Another indicator that the ‘walled garden’ is coming to an end. Not that it is going to be easy for those firms which have invested in a certain way of doing business–a challenge that many heretofore successful companies are facing. Ed. disclosure: Tynetec is and has been a long time supporter of TTA.

Billy & Lisa Graham, killed in Tunisia last Friday

So often when you read of dreadful things happening, it is easy to make light because there is no personal connection.

It is therefore with particular sadness that we have to report the untimely deaths of both Billy Graham and his wife Lisa in the shooting in Tunisia last Friday.

Billy was well loved and respected in the industry, working in Scotland as Business Development Manager for Tynetec, and previously with Chubb. As such, even if readers did not know him personally, there is a high probability that they will have attended many conferences and exhibitions where he was also present.

Telehealth & Telecare Aware sends our deepest condolences to the Graham family and friends.

Legrand “joint venture” with Neat

A press release on Legrand’s website and (in Spanish) on Neat’s website, both just published, confirm the forming of a joint venture between the two.  This of course is the Legrand that took over Tynetec last year and Intervox in 2011, making it, they claim, now the  “second-largest player in the promising assisted living market.”

Neat’s products, distributed through Possum, have been finding favour across the UK because of their attractive prices. How, one wonders will the tie-up with Tynetec’s organisation now work, and will Possum now lose this attractive distribution arrangement, particularly in the major rollout in Cornwall where Neat are preferred suppliers?

All comments, anonymous or otherwise, will be gratefully received.

Finally, just to be clear, there is no connection between Neat, the Spanish supplier of assisted living equipment and Newham’s NeAT programme  (which originally stood for Newham Advanced Telecare and it so happens at one time I managed).

Legrand purchases Tynetec, enters telecare market

Breaking News

click to enlargeclick to enlargeThe official announcement of telecare and nurse call system manufacturer Tynetec‘s acquisition by commercial and residential electrical company Legrand is here and attached (PDF). This follows on Editor Charles’ article of 24 September and the following comment by Stewart Smith. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. All signs (press announcement, website changes and reconfirmation with our contact at Tynetec) indicate that Tynetec will continue to be located in Blyth, Northumberland as a separate business unit within Legrand UK (HQ’d Birmingham) with its current line including the Advent XT Warden Call system, the Reach personal alarm system, the new Reach plus GSM system as well as the recently acquired Aid Call nurse call system as a separate brand.  Legrand UK’s stated aim is to enter the healthcare area to complement its existing areas in wiring devices and related areas. The parent, Legrand SA, is a French company with operations in 70 countries, marketing in 180 countries and €1.1 bn in annual sales, with an overall strategy of self-financed acquisitions of small to midsize companies of which Tynetec decidedly fits (see Bloomberg article). In the US, Legrand is best known for wireless lighting and home controls. Certainly this does provide Tynetec, after 34 years of ‘grizzled pioneering’ in the UK, a solid and VC-free parent in the UK–and access to worldwide markets.

Editor’s note: Tynetec has been a long-time supporter through advertising on this website, and Founder Steve and all the Editors appreciate their support.

Tynetec sale?

Following our earlier post about Bosch ending sales of their Health Buddy and (temporarily?) exiting the telehealth market in the UK, comes another unattributable suggestion that Tynetec have been purchased by Legrand whose website proclaims them to be “The world’s leading manufacturer of wiring devices and cable management systems.”

There’s some clear and fascinating synergy there which looks potentially very exciting for the world of remote monitoring…however as yet there is nothing confirmed in the media, so watch this space.

Mick’s House: Telecare publicity with a difference (UK)

click to enlargeSince 2007 when Mick Burkhill (a former Regional Sales Manager who had heart attacks at the age of 52) had his first telecare equipment he has turned into something of an expert and he now gives feedback on new equipment to his local council and its supplier. Now he is aiming to share that expertise through a new website and to help raise public awareness. Mick is starting to blog from the site and would appreciate hearing from TTA readers who may want to suggest topics that he could write about from a telecare user’s point of view – use the contact form on the site: Mick’s House: One man’s insight into Telecare. Very much in the background Mick’s site is supported by Tynetec Ltd but they have made it clear that the content is all down to Mick and any community that he can develop.