Reassure no more: Telecare24 has ditched ReAssure24 (UK)

‘We call you’ services are those where people have to respond to a daily phone call. This may be from an automated system or even from a person, as still happens in some small communities. The idea is that the call provides reassurance.

However, some industry observers are concerned that such systems have inherent problems. These lie not in the technology, but in the frequency of response failures. The discontinuation of the ReAssure24 service in the UK appears to bear out this concern.

Unfortunately, Cardiff-based Telecare24 (tagline ‘The UK’s Leading Careline Service’) has not responded (more…)

Telehealth and telecare: 45 minutes on BBC Radio 4 ‘You and Yours’ (UK)

‘You and Yours’ is a long-running BBC UK consumer affairs programme that is regular listening for many people at home at midday on weekdays. Its estimated audience is three and a half million, many of whom will be of an ‘older’ age. Yesterday, 25 August 2014, they devoted a whole programme to telecare and teleheath and a good job they made of it too, thanks to their guests Dave Horsfield who runs the Mi Liverpool DALLAS project, Claire Medd, Clinical Director for Care Innovations and Professor Trisha Greenhalgh. If you want to get a sense of what is happening in the UK, listen to it.

Towards the end there is some discussion of the WSD RCT and we are reminded that the 3millionlives (3ML) initiative has been quietly shelved as projects like Mi Liverpool move on.

The whole programme can be heard again for up to one year from today on BBC iPlayer, here. Listening is restricted to the UK – others will need to spoof their location using a UK-based proxy server – try this VPN Freedome app from F-Secure (free six-day trial) to listen on your mobile device.

One in Four Lives: the Australian 3ML

Australia was delivering personal healthcare at a distance (by radio and plane) long before ‘telehealth’ and, indeed ‘telecare’ were coined. One therefore wonders in what way a consortium of Australian companies were inspired by England’s 3millionlives (3ML) in developing their own version: One in Four Lives. Perhaps they thought they could do better.

10 months after the One in Four Lives launch in May 2013, they have produced a white paper (PDF download) which is, in effect, a manifesto calling for government support. It has some well-respected authors who accurately opine that the real challenge is not technological but is in “…creating sustainable, profitable business models that can meet the needs of governments, services operators, clinical practice and patients.”

The telehealth-world politics of this consortium might make an interesting study. We can only scratch the surface and wonder… According to the UK’s Telecare Services Association, its chief executive Trevor Single attended the original kick-off meeting in Australia. Who is not ‘in’ is quite interesting. Tunstall, the instigator of 3ML in England and which has a strong presence in Australia, is notable by its absence. Also missing are significant providers such as Silver Cross and OzCare, and the leading Australian universities and institutions in telehealth research. The dominant partner appears to be BT which, as our UK readers will  be aware, led by its Clinical Director, Global Market Development at BT Global Services, Angela Single, has ambitions to dominate the telehealth world.

Related media items:
The Australian, May 2013: BT leads big push to roll out national telehealth services
 ARN, March 2014: Telehealth could save “unsustainable” federal health budget, according to a white paper

BT’s plans for Cornwall and the UK: old news warmed up

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Qualifying for TTA’s occasional What the Blue Blazes! spot: one has to wonder why last Friday, 31st January, Nick Renaud-Komiya in the paywalled Health Services Journal resurrected the ‘BT going to make Cornwall its UK telehealth base’ story. Although, actually, the item is all about Cornwall. Some of it is culled from an October 2013 BT press release which we did not bother our readers with. Why did we not? We thought it was old news even then, as putting ‘Cornwall’ into TTA’s search box on the right will reveal. However, anything posted in the HSJ will generate some interest and that’s just what it did with an approving mention in the sidebar of Roy Lilley’s influential newsletter today. It’s just a pity that HSJ’s readers will not see the whole context or be able to make any sensible assessment of the numbers quoted. They would fare better with this 2 October eHealthInsider article.

For TTA readers who want to read the HSJ item but who do not want to get their digital wallets out,it can be read unpaywalled on the Local Government Chronicle site: BT plans to make Cornwall its ‘telehealth hub’