Assistive technology

Supporting social care with assistive technology

Tunstall Healthcare UK managing director Gavin Bashar discusses the impact that Covid-19 is having on social care services and the important role of assistive technology in supporting organisations and individuals at this unprecedented time

An ageing population and funding challenges have placed health and social care systems under increasing pressure in recent years. The Covid-19 emergency has exacerbated this to the point where caring for vulnerable people has become extremely challenging, and difficult decisions are having to be made. To ensure we safeguard our services for the future, and to create more resilience within the system should any future pandemics or crises arise, we need to investigate further how we can meet these surges in demand and protect the population.

Following government advice to self- isolate, and Health and Social Secretary Matt Hancock challenge to the technology sector to innovatively support the country through the current pandemic, it is valuable for health, housing and social care professionals to understand the benefits of assistive technology.

There has never been a more important time to develop and invest in technology, as it can greatly reduce the pressures on the NHS by enabling and supporting social care providers, social landlords, healthcare services, retirement living providers, housing services and care organisations in the delivery of care.

Role of assistive technology Assistive technology plays a crucial role in helping to protect some of the most

vulnerable people in our society living in a range of environments. Considering the Covid-19 outbreak, Tunstall Healthcare has examined ways it can go further to do even more to help its customers and the people they support.

As a result, Tunstall has developed and defined a range of new propositions to help social care providers, Local Authorities and Housing Associations to continue to deliver their vital services, alleviating pressure and supporting critical areas of the healthcare system

As more of our population is affected by Covid-19, technology will allow daily monitoring to be delivered more effectively, enabling independence and help keep care home residents out of hospitals


while we fight the pandemic. These propositions either support individuals in the care system directly or provide solutions for the NHS and other key organisations.

Tunstall’s Integrated Care Platform works with the myKiosk app to enable remote health monitoring 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.

The 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 • July 2020


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