Tunstall Americas adopts belle

We haven’t heard much from Tunstall Healthcare in the past two months, but Tunstall Americas has announced that the belle PERS unit has been added to the US line of products which now . The belle is on the AT&T GSM cellular network for two-way voice communication with their 24/7 call center and GPS location technology. The pendant has a rechargeable battery that can last up to 30 days on a single charge, and can be either worn or carried in pocket or purse. Also new in the line is the Tunstall flood detector which signals the call center through the Vi+ and CEL.  Release, Tunstall Americas website.

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…)

Tunstall Americas allies with Apria Healthcare (US)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Big-T-thumb-480×294-55535.gif” thumb_width=”125″ /]Tunstall Americas continues its home care provider-centric strategy through an expanded product marketing relationship with Apria Healthcare. Apria, in addition to home care services, markets directly to customers a range of medical devices and durable medical equipment; they will be selling Tunstall’s brands under their medical alert category. This is the first we’ve seen in the US the Tunstall Vi and iVi pendant, along with the CEL cellular PERS unit. Tunstall will also be providing Apria with custom branded products, along with call center, ordering and fulfillment services.  Apria is the US’ fourth largest home care provider (2014 Home Care Market Outlook) with 1.6 percent of a highly fractionated market. Our sources tell us that the initial relationship precedes the Tunstall acquisition of AMAC.  PR Web

Hanover Housing Association enters Tunstall’s ‘world’ (UK)

Tunstall‘s win of the Hanover Housing Association for their alarm call and door entry framework is highly significant beyond the initial installation of the Communicall Vi warden call system and Lifeline Vi dispersed alarm system (PERS). Hanover’s size makes this a major win for Tunstall. Their rationale is understandable: to rapidly replace current telecare equipment in eventually up to 17,000 properties, to build out for the future across a large portfolio and to work with Tunstall to offer a range of present and future integrated technologies including those represented by Tunstall’s ‘Lifetime of Care’ program. No mention here of Tunstall’s ‘my world’ premiered at last month’s Housing LIN Conference [TTA 21 Feb], but undoubtedly this will eventually be included. But here again is the Tunstall system; there’s no mention of partnership with other technology providers to provide innovation and ‘best in class’ service for Hanover residents. As this Editor asked at the end of the February article, ‘But is a closed system the best quality, most economic and effective arrangement for individual, a community’s or a council’s needs?’ Tunstall release

Editor’s Note: For non-UK readers to grasp the size of Hanover Housing, it has 600 estates with 19,000 properties and 22,000 residents, making it comparable in number of locations to Brookdale Senior Living in the US but far more dispersed. Brookdale concentrates its 52,000 residents in larger, mainly assisted living buildings (AL). Hanover focuses on retirement housing across England and Wales, a focus on what in the US we call IL (independent living), including the interesting notion of ‘downsizer homes’. They also have 2,500 ‘Extra Care’ properties with 24-hour care. It is also a not-for-profit, which perhaps makes it more comparable to Ecumen.