Costs and opportunities of automated ‘we call you’ systems

Jamie Cole of UK-based Telecare Technology is quizzed in the video below on the economics, opportunities and risks of the automated ‘we call you’ phone system that his company provides. The approach is the logical extension of the type of services common in the US – often called ‘telecare’ – where volunteers on a rota phone people to check that they are alright. FineThanx runs a similar automated system in the US.

There are clearly opportunities in such systems to deliver, say, medication prompts at lower cost than sending a person to check, although an automated telecare medication dispenser may give more assurance that the person has actually complied.

Telecare Soapbox: Telehealth for the intellectually disabled

About the author: Andrea Swayne is a gerontologist who received her M.A. from Bethel University (Minnesota). She possesses 25 years of experience serving seniors at all levels of the care continuum. Starting with a B.A. in music therapy from Western Illinois University, Andrea worked with the intellectually disabled along with many other populations in need. She first became familiar with telehealth while piloting remote sensor-based behavioral monitoring in the early 2000’s for Volunteers of America. Currently, Andrea is a Director of Partner Services for WellAWARE Systems, which proactively identifies variations in key wellness indicators such as sleep quality, bathroom usage and activity level.

In our short history, telehealth has primarily concentrated efforts on individuals who are aged and who are attempting to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible in their least restrictive environments. Least restrictive environments for the aged include (but are not limited to) assisted living facilities, independent living apartments or the client’s primary residence with services provided by a home health agency.

I believe that another population could significantly benefit from telehealth: the intellectually disabled (ID). (more…)