How does mobile telecare support Safer Independence?

How does mobile telecare support Safer Independence?

It is widely believed that telecare solutions can ease the burden on society by enabling more efficient delivery of care and allowing people to live safely and independently in their homes for longer. We have been thinking a lot about supporting ‘Safer Independence’ so we’d like to pose this question, share some of our thoughts and welcome your views.

Let’s look at what the dictionary says ‘safety’ and ‘independence’:

To be SAFE is to be: protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost.

To be INDEPENDENT is to be: free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority.

So, using that definition it is clear that traditional telecare doesn’t really support Safer Independence. Why not?

Well, today the most common telecare alarm includes a pendant button connected to a base unit (in-turn connected through the telephone line) that the user presses in the case of an emergency. This model has changed little for the past 40 years!

This leads to significant limitations including; only being able to use within the house, no direct two-way communication, and a risk of unnecessary call-outs. There is also a desire to extend telecare services outside of the home environment.

So what do we need?

Taking the definitions above we at Oysta have come up with three interconnected areas that replaces traditional telecare to deliver Safer Independence:

  1. SAFETY– First and foremost we must ensure (where possible) service users are safe wherever they may be, with the ability to raise an alarm (either manually or automatic).
  2. MOBILITY– To be independent means not confining service users to the four-walls of their homes and allowing them to be mobile. We must therefore know of there whereabouts and how to reach them should it be necessary.
  3. CONNECTED– We’ve added this final component as it forms an important part of monitoring a service user’s wellbeing; both the formal statutory care and the supporting informal care network – sharing the responsibility.

So, Safer Independence therefore is about enabling better lives in a way, and at a cost, that can benefit hundreds of thousands of people.  These next-generation mobile telecare services are technologically more advanced and can automatically trigger an alarm, for instance if the user leaves home at an unexpected time, has a fall or becomes incapacitated, or forgets to take his or her medicine.

It is increasingly common for patients and service users to be equipped with mobile devices across a wide variety of scenarios; elderly, frailty, learning disabilities, complex needs, risk of falls, safer-walking schemes, travel training and re-ablement. These services build confidence and mobility, enabling them to request assistance when they feel vulnerable or to be triggered automatically – wherever they are!

Oysta’s mobile telecare service offers Safer Independence to vulnerable persons. Our flagship product, the Pearl+ provides the first genuine alternative to ‘button and box’ by leveraging the power of mobile and digital technologies in a single, neat solution. Now, at last people can feel safe at home and safer in the community to go about their normal lives.