The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), with contributions from FarrPoint and the TSA published the Telecare Stakeholders Action Plan on the 5th December 2022. This plan sets clear guidance, and highlights areas for improvement, to ensure all telecare stakeholders, including technology suppliers like 2iC-Care, are ready for the 2025 analogue to digital transition.
The 2iC-Care team will be sharing thoughts and advice in the coming weeks to play our part in helping the care sector transition to digital in 2025 and prepare for the challenges care services face in the future.
2iC-Care is the new chapter for the care sector. 2iC-Care's information-rich remote monitoring dashboard, powered by advanced multi-device interoperability responds in an emergency and makes personalised, proactive, and preventative care possible.
This article focuses on the challenges, identified by FarrPoint on page 30 of the Action Plan. FarrPoint have called upon suppliers to present solutions so today we will be addressing these challenges head on.
Challenge 1: Maturity of the market and digital processes
The analogue to digital transition has raised concerns among care providers about the maturity and longevity of new TEC suppliers. At 2iC-Care, we acknowledge that we are a relative newcomer to the care sector, but we have a deep confidence in the maturity of our technology and digital processes.
Our confidence is bred by our heritage. The open protocol which has been purchased and published by the UK MoD as a Defstan. The Interoperability technology that powers 2iC-Care has been designed for time critical, digitally challenging battlefield environments, used by the UK defence, US special forces and a range of global blue-chip defence companies over the last ten years to huge acclaim.
For more than two years, 2iC-Care have worked with a group of care sector leaders to adapt this world-leading technology to meet the growing needs of the care sector and the 2iC-Care team are excited about the scope of opportunity our technology provides care organisations who are looking to the resolve not only today's challenges but meet future needs.
Challenge 2: Solutions and equipment not operating as advertised
The analogue to digital transition is largest technology change the care sector has experienced in 30+ years. With many companies and new technologies entering the market it is critical buyers have the confidence that technology suppliers deliver on what they promise. Ongoing shortages of digital peripherals, limitations of sim-only digital solutions, power outages, telephony networks, future proofing & interoperability are all risks and concerns for commissioners investing in replacement of analogue solutions. Care providers failing to receive alarm notifications cause potentially life damaging or threatening situations. Care providers and technology suppliers need to work together to deliver on promises and ensure service-users receive the best from their technology solutions.
2iC-Care can partner with you to evidence both its technical capabilities plus a range of financial benefits and improved outcomes. It is important that care providers and technology suppliers put processes in place to regularly monitor outcomes.
This should include:
- Collaboration between the care provider and the technology supplier
- Clear objectives & SLA’s
- Parameters which prove success.
Challenge 3: Interoperability issues
Interoperability is essential for TEC providers because it is key to better monitoring and timely interventions to incidents and warnings. Firstly, it provides access to a much wider range of device types and devices that enable personalised and cost-effective monitoring. This can be severely curtailed by providers with proprietary protocols and limited wireless connectivity transceivers in hubs/care phones.
Interoperability takes on three forms
Data interoperability collates and cross references data from multiple sources to provide better information about a person’s health, wellbeing and environment resulting in more accurate holistic view and better, reduced risk decisions / interventions.
Device interoperability enables sensors to instruct other devices to prevent incidents (e.g., turning on lights etc), confirm incident identification and assist and even automate incident interventions.
2iC-Care enables bi-directional device to device interoperability across device types.
Process interoperability enables the creation and automation of standard operating procedures both within the care organisation but also with processes performed by other stakeholders (e.g., NHS)
Providing interoperability across many device types and connectivity types is particularly challenging. 2iC-Care can integrate using...
- Wifi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, Lorawan, RF869
- Ethernet & Cellular (SIM), 4G, 5G
With this device-to-device interoperability, care providers can deliver personalised and preventative care.
Challenge 4: Supplier lock-in
We agree, getting locked in with one peripheral supplier can leave a care provider fraught with challenges and unable to deliver or improve their service. The DHSC Action Plan has called for technology suppliers to work together for the good of the sector.
2iC-Care advocates collaboration and open protocols and believes that the care sector should have the freedom to choose the right peripherals for their service-users.
Digital component shortages mean Care Providers cannot guarantee supply of peripherals if they are locked into one supplier. For any Service–user Care Providers need access to deploy device-types from many peripheral manufacturers to ensure continuity of service and upgrade the service as required using the most appropriate technology.
That’s why 2iC-Care doesn’t make peripherals and instead allows care providers to connect any peripheral type, from almost any manufacturers. This device freedom and collaboration enables personalised care packages which improve the standard and sustainability of care. TEC solution providers who sell peripherals have an interest in selling their devices rather than the best in market.
Challenge 5: Cost
The analogue to digital transition is going to be costly and rightly many will be looking for evidence of a return on investment.
There are many ways the 2iC-Care solution can reduce costs for care providers:
- Device freedom gives access to competitively priced peripherals. A care service can purchase peripherals that are just as effective, but less expensive.
- Better remote monitoring can provide care services with reliable information to inform their resource allocation. Care services will be able to spot where carers are being over utilised, leading to long term cost savings or reallocation.
- 2iC-Care provides remote monitoring inside and outside of the home so clients can live fulfilled and independent lives for longer, saving on costly care home expenses.
- Better monitoring & appropriate interventions reduce the risk of low care-need users progressing to medium need, medium care-need progressing to high need and high need from excessive ambulance, hospital and carer visits.
Challenge 6: Equipment availability and lead time
The DHSC Action Plan referred to the world shortage of semiconductors. This is a big challenge for the care sector and will cause some analogue devices to need to be adapted for the transition to meet demand. However, this is only a short-term fix.
In the long run, the only way to mitigate against equipment availability challenges and long lead times is to build a care service that is flexible enough to adapt to any shortage.
The way to deliver this is to invest in an open architecture technology solution for the analogue to digital transition which can connect to peripherals from as many manufacturers as possible and ensure they can be connected in a timely basis. With this adaptability, care providers can navigate long lead times and decreases equipment availability without compromising levels of care.
To learn more about 2iC-Care's technology and how 2iC-Care can solve the challenges of the analogue to digital transition reach out to the team.