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. The development of a subscription-based service that provides telemedicine, telecare and telehealth and measures its own usage is unique. However, every product or service needs a customer. We have explored many avenues to get the service into regular use and to identify the paying customer. What we have discovered is that, irrespective of the evidence of the benefits to people and the care system, the approach requires systemic change in care delivery and commissioning. This is beyond our ability to achieve. We have every belief that what we have developed represents the future but we can no longer invest time and resources in the wait for the care environment to be ready.
In order for such a service as v-connect ever to be viable and sustainable, commissioning will have to follow the outcomes across an integrated health and care landscape.”
It is worth remembering that collaboration with Airedale on the service, eight years ago, resulted in their hub which went on to achieve such phenomenal savings in delivering remote care to care homes, prisons and, locally, to older frail people. It is a crying shame that seemingly it cannot be delivered economically.