How the pandemic has made the art of the possible reality



March 11, 2021 10:04 am

Zillah Moore, Marketing Director at Tunstall Healthcare

Since its foundation in 1957, Tunstall Healthcare has supported vulnerable people through the delivery of revolutionary technology. From the original flashing light above the front door to alert to an emergency, Tunstall continues to harness the latest innovations to deploy technology which is intuitive, predictive and unobtrusive.

Tunstall’s new intelligent care service Cognitive Care is the next step in the evolution of predictive care technology, and offers insight into how much further digitally-enabled care provision can progress. The model uses advanced AI to detect whether someone’s health could be about to deteriorate, spot potentially undiagnosed conditions, and help to resolve an immediate social care need.

Taking data from multiple sources, including motion sensors, smartphones, wearables and recordings, it provides a clear picture of the risks someone faces and ‘nudges’ them or their caregivers to respond, or alert a professional. Health and care providers which invest in Cognitive Care will progress to the next stage of proactive, intelligent, and predictive care provision.

Cognitive Care is designed to improve the quality of life for more vulnerable people, while reducing the number of GP visits, ambulance callouts, hospital admissions, and demand for local authority-funded residential care.

The impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the opportunities to revolutionise how health and care is delivered using technology, and we must galvanise this progress and consider how much further we can go.

We’ve seen an increase in remote GP consultation, greater investment in telehealth, improved hospital discharge rates of people living with chronic conditions, and the remarkable impact that TECS can have on population health and wellbeing.

The pandemic required rapid collaborative action to ensure quality care could be delivered to those with ongoing care needs, alongside the burgeoning number of COVID patients. New teams were built, technology adopted, new working cultures developed, and new approaches to solving difficult challenges implemented. All very quickly.

Technological initiatives which would previously have taken months to become operational have been established and mobilised in weeks. Solutions implemented during COVID-19 have benefitted a range of cohorts, including people living with mental health conditions, care home residents, and people living with long term health conditions.

The benefits of TECS

Many people want to live independently and safely for as long as possible, with the reassurance that high quality care and support will be provided. Technology is widely seen as a way to address this challenge currently facing the health and social care sector, and enable the provision of  high quality care to an ageing and post-pandemic population.

Technology  allows for a more complex system which gives patients greater independence by providing remote care at home. This enables individuals to engage with their own health and wellbeing effectively.

Clinicians benefit from securing improved access to patients in their homes through remote patient monitoring. This supports preventative care as stakeholders are better placed to monitor vulnerable individuals and treat them long before emergency or more expensive care is required. This not only reduces the pressure on our health and social care systems as demand for specialist care diminishes, but it also reduces costs for care providers and the public.

TECS can also  provide 24 hour support, reassurance and a rapid response to emergencies, as well as supporting carers, whether paid or unpaid. It also enables us to monitor wellbeing with proactive calling, and improve quality of life by keeping people connected.

Building on the technological progress made during COVID-19 will give more people the freedom to live where they choose, and ensure much-needed medical and social care resources are channelled to the areas that need them most.

The future of care

The Government’s recently published white paper; ‘working together to improve health and social care for all’, sets out legislative proposals to build on the collaborations generated during the pandemic, and shape a system that’s better able to serve people in a fast-changing world.

These plans to deliver a new model of care which is centralised and standardised, and places Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in every area of England, to improve population health outcomes requires a base level of digital functionality if it is to succeed. We must also exploit the accelerating development of new technology to enable new models of care, personalisation, and support.

Tunstall Healthcare is investing in the improved delivery of health and care with its Cognitive Care model to enable the Government, and health and care providers, to facilitate these reforms using data insight and intelligent technology. The system has been designed to build on the successes that telecare and remote health monitoring have already delivered, enabling a strengths-based approach to care and empowering people to take control of their health.

Technology and the digitisation of health and care must continue to evolve so it can effectively support individuals, professionals, organisations and the population as a whole. This can only occur through a collaborative approach, and more strategic decisions with a long term focus to shape health and care services for the future.

We have reached a turning point which has given us the opportunity to reflect on the changes that have taken place during COVID-19, and ensure we make the most of the speed at which technology has been implemented.

Tunstall Healthcare will be presenting at ITEC:

Day one: Investing in the future – Zillah Moore, 14:30 – 15:30, Parallel Session 2, Innovation Stage

Day four: Shaping the future: the role of TECS in Population Health Management – Stefan Coote, Head of Solutions, 14:30 – 15:30, Parallel Session 2, Innovation Stage