How technology is revolutionising the social care space
Zillah Moore, marketing director at technology-enabled care provider, Tunstall Healthcare discusses how technology is revolutionising the social care space.
An ageing population, funding challenges and a national health crisis has placed the NHS and social care systems under significant stress in recent years. The COVID-19 emergency has exacerbated this to the point where caring for vulnerable people has become increasingly challenging and difficult decisions are having to be made.
The important role assistive technology can play in supporting organisations and individuals at this unprecedented time has never been more relevant. The development and investment in technology has the ability to greatly reduce pressures on the NHS and enable social care providers and care organisations to continue providing a high level of care to their users.
How is technology assisting the care sector?
Technology has a key role to play in increasing the capacity of our health and social care services, and enabling flexibility in the way care is delivered. This will make care provided by staff more proactive and predictive, and address future health and care challenges, such as another pandemic. Technology can enable new models of care by underpinning integration, enabling prevention and proactive care, therefore reducing the demands on our health and care services.
Tunstall has several innovative propositions to assist social care providers in delivering vital services; including an Integrated Care Platform which works with the myKiosk app to enable remote health monitoring of a number of people in a shared location using a single device.
Care home staff can take the vital signs of residents, such as temperature and blood oxygen levels, and then help them to answer questions about their health using the app. This information can then be shared with clinicians via a secure online portal, which produces a colour coded dashboard identifying the residents most in need of intervention. This solution is proven to support management of chronic illness and can provide support for care home residents recently discharged from hospital, as well as helping to prevent readmission by supporting staff in identifying deterioration at an early stage.
For the high proportion of residents in care homes who have dementia, the system can provide objective information on their health status, where they may be unable to accurately describe their symptoms themselves. The system now includes a health questionnaire specific to COVID-19, enabling residents with symptoms to be identified as early as possible.
Tunstall Carecom is another example of technology that is transforming lives and currently supporting more than 60,000 residents in care homes across Europe. The solution has been developed to meet the demands of modern care delivery and support residential and nursing care homes.
Carecom moves beyond traditional, fixed call-points to a wireless and digital system and enables care to be more efficient and responsive, with straightforward, non-obtrusive installation. Care Homes can then continue to offer residents a high degree of security and freedom with receivers placed around the building to enable effective responses to events. For example, sensors are available that will automatically detect if a resident has fallen and raise an alert with a carer.
Carecom works across a number of devices, including mobile phones, so that carers are able to manage the system from anywhere at any time, securing rapid responses and enabling person-centred care delivery. This enables high quality care to continue, even during social isolation and lockdown, and gives social care staff the peace of mind that their residents are safe and secure.
Using technology to lift the spirits of care home residents
Tunstall Healthcare is sponsoring a new national campaign, ‘Together With Music’ which has been launched in partnership with Care England and Intergenerational Music Making.
The project has been designed to lift the spirits of care home residents across the UK this winter, and will strengthen and build upon links between education, health, and community organisations through the power of music.
Facilitated by Tunstall Healthcare, the campaign encourages a range of interactions between care homes, local schools, youth groups, and choirs including singing songs, clapping and dancing to songs, and choosing different music to share with the various organisations involved.
The campaign uses a virtual platform to nurture community partnerships and empower care staff, teachers and community members to play an active role in their neighbourhoods. Through connection and collaboration, it will build strong, creative and resilient communities, and offer both the young and old an opportunity to explore, develop and come together in music.
Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd
Tunstall has been at the forefront of technology innovation for the health, housing and social care markets for over 60 years. Its pioneering software, hardware and services enable new delivery models which can transform services across the care continuum, and empower people to live independently and with an improved quality of life.
Tunstall works with social care providers, healthcare services, housing and retirement living providers and charities in 15 countries, improving the lives of more than five million people, including those living with dementia, learning disabilities, physical disabilities and long-term health conditions.
Tunstall’s innovation-led, person-centred Connected Care and Health solutions connect people and integrate services, enabling early intervention to avoid or mitigate adverse events, and improve outcomes. As technology advances, we have the capability to not just react to events, but to predict and even prevent them, using data-driven insights. The Tunstall Cognitive Care approach can help to create intelligent, personalised care programmes and effectively allocate resources, making sure those in need have the right levels of support and reassurance.