Chubb launches flexible telecare hub unit ‘CareUnity’ (UK)

“Thanks to clever integrated technology, there’s no need for further investment in additional equipment if or when the user needs to upgrade. This is a major cost benefit” says David Hammond, General Manager, Chubb Community Care in the press release (PDF). The unit features multiple emergency numbers and a ‘beep to talk’ pendant that allows the user to communicate with a monitoring centre even if unable to speak or hear. It is “easy to install and is compatible with all monitoring centre equipment. A touch keypad integrated into the rear of the unit allows for simple set up and function programming.” There are Braille button identifiers for vision-impaired users and CareUnity is available as a standard telecare unit and as a ‘Plus unit’ capable of monitoring up to 41 kinds of different radio alert. As care needs change, plug and play technology will make it quick and easy to add new types of alert devices.

Chubb CareUnity Hub

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  1. Mark

    Wow, another smart new shiny box with a choice of colours, aren’t we so lucky.

    I know, I know it has been developed after extensive research and countless focus groups, and it represents the cutting edge of technology and design, bringing all the customers dreams together in one beautifully designed package, which will grace any home.

    What’s not to like; the ability to connect over 40 devices (41), compatibility with all monitoring centres and a beeping pendant!! On top of that it is future proofed, sets new standards in flexibility and looks great in any home.

    Well pardon me for being a tad underwhelmed but haven’t we heard this before somewhere, and I’m not just talking about the launches of the latest offerings from Chubb’s main rivals. This really is not very far from where it all started many years ago. A few parts have been modernised and some bells and whistles added, and a makeover applied, but at the end of the day its a box and a button.

    Future proofing?? I don’t see any mention of broadband or mobile connectivity, what about compatibility with a range of bluetooth sensors and devices. What about telehealth, otherwise the client will end up with two boxes.

    “Thanks to clever integrated technology, there’s no need for further investment in additional equipment if or when the user needs to upgrade. This is a major cost benefit that is welcomed by both care organisations and individual users,” Hhmm really? Chubb must have very low expectations of how technology is going to develop and be delivered over the next few years.

    Boring! We’ve seen it all before!!!

    I want a “hub” that can link with and control a wide range of sensors (telecare and telehealth) and devices, including environmental, around the home, can communicate to the outside world by a method or methods of my choice, and has a mobile sidekick that I can take with me in case of emergencies when I’m out and about. That’s just for starters.

    This user needs to upgrade Messrs Chubb, Tunstall and Tynetec, can your “clever integrated technologies” allow that with “no need for further investment”?

    Answers on a postcard……

  2. jo

    I am pleased to see that both Tunstall and Chubb have now more or less copied the Tynetec Reach design and have therefore contributed to a cool image of UK telecare. I too hope that it doesn’t end there, and that we will soon see options for these hub units that also offer mobile connectivity, WiFi and router options as well as wireless links (2 way) with environmental, security, vital signs or any other digital devices or sensors.
    Perhaps I could be overwhelmed if the companies gave a commitment to add these features sooner rather than later – or if there was a strategy for adding or replacing modules to allow for low-cost upgrades.

  3. Thomas Johnson

    Unit looks good.

    What’s with rant Mark? Not everybody wants a over complicated do everything including make the tea hub that cost hundreds of pounds.

  4. Cathy

    The real problem Thomas – and I believe where Mark is coming from – is that it is simply rebadging decades old first generation telecare into something that looks shiny and fit for purpose.

    Unfortunately there are providers – including many Local Authorities – whose involvement with telecare stops at the ‘box and button’ without often even checking that the person can/will use the button. Pendant alarms have a place but they are not the whole story and while the leading providers are updating their boxes to look more modern we are not addressing the real need which is for a wide range of alerts which can be generated from a range of equipment including mobile telephony based systems – keeping a person independently at home should no longer be about tying them to a box and button; it should be about fall detection. medication prompting support and GPS location, use of mobile technologies and all combined in a way that enables a person to LIVE INDEPENDENTLY in their chosen community for longer.

    We often talk about the aesthetic of telecare but even that isn’t addressed fully here – whilst it appears to attempt to make the box more part of our everyday surroundings and up to date but truly how many homes would suit crisp white or black? even telephones come in a range of colours these days … why wouldn’t Mrs Jones want her box and button in sunshine yellow to brighten her day or Mr Smith want his in a dignified beige to blend in with his decor? Visit any house with a box and button alarm and it screams out at the visitor – often from the hallway so it speaks to unsolicited callers too – that this is the home of a vulnerable person. We need to move away from this and not keep polishing it up a bit here and a tad there?

  5. Mark

    Thomas, I’m not denying the unit looks good, and as Jo said earlier it’s great that Tynetec’s Reach has dragged their main competitors into the 20th century. What I find disheartening is that 30 odd years on we are basically using the same technology, even though the world has moved on to the 21st century during that period.

    I don’t know about you but in another 30 years, if I’m still around, I don’t want to be faced with yesterday’s, or more like, last millenium’s technology. I don’t see what the problem is in asking the so called “major players” to get their act together and start harnessing the technological advances for all our benefits. It must make business sense to them too, otherwise brighter and leaner new companies will come along and do it for them.

    So yes the idea of a “hub” or whatever you may wish to call it appeals, because it could offer a considerably greater degree of flexibility and independence than what is currently available. All around I see people investing separately in telecare and telehealth systems and in other things like GPS tracking. Surely these “teletechnologies” should be available through one system?

    Less of a rant, more of a plea for common sense.

  6. Mark

    Cathy was quicker on the keyboard than me (perhaps I’m not as technologically advanced!!), and didn’t have the benefit of reading her excellent reply. Couldn’t agree more.