Why the Need for Careline Alarm Providers?The elderly population in the UK is increasing at a rate never seen before. It is estimated that by 2037 the population over the age of 80 will double to over 6 million. The number of people over 75 will represent a staggering 13% of the UK population. This will undoubtedly lead to an increase demand for services such as those supplied by careline alarm providers. There has been much written about how this rise in the elderly population will increase the burden on an already stretched NHS. But it is also true to say that the private sector is also set to benefit considerably from this increase. Companies in the UK are already tapping into the silver market, especially when it comes to healthcare. Companies such as Apple and Samsung are preparing tech savvy forty year olds to monitor their Key health indicators on wearable technology such as the Apple Watch. This is no doubt in preparation for when this generation requires a more in depth monitoring of their healthcare requirements in later years and will therefore embrace technology to so do. Currently the generation already in their 70’s and 80’s are not so ready to adopt such sci-fi gadgets! As a result, on a more basic level, there has been a significant increase in the number of companies entering the healthcare sector, specifically with a view to addressing the healthcare requirements of the elderly population. One of the industries to see a significant increase in the number of companies becoming careline providers careline or telecare sector. Invariably someone will purchase an alarm for an elderly relative to help them stay in their own home rather than enter the lottery of a care home. There are currently around 1.7 million people using a careline alarm in their private home. You may even be in the process of ordering a careline alarm for yourself. This article aims to provide information as to how the industry works and which companies provide such services on a national level. But first let’s explain how careline alarm providers in the industry works and who oversees the many organisations working within it. In the following section you will find an explanation into the Trade Body for the Telecare Industry, key equipment manufacturers plus an overview of each segment of the careline industry with an example organisation representing each sector.
Industry BodyTelecare Services Association Careline providers, (or as they are known in the Industry “Telecare Providers”) are overseen by an industry body called the TSA (Telecare Services Association). The TSA promotes the use of telecare to commissioners of social care, government and end service users. The members of the Telecare Services Association range from careline alarm providers, Local Authorities along with key manufacturers and suppliers. Accredited members agree to achieve the requirements as set out in the TSA Code of Practice for Telecare and Telehealth provision known as British Standard BS8521. This code of practice outlines how a careline alarm service should be operated and covers aspects such as:
- Organisational and Clinical Governance
- Staff and Training
- Information Governance
- Technology Management
- Key Performance Indicators
- Careline Alarm Manufacturers
The current technology used in careline alarms could be described rudimentary when compared to mainstream technologies available today; however the technology used in careline alarms today is proven to be both reliable and fit for purpose. However manufacturers are gradually producing equipment to enhance the aesthetics and usability of the devices to keep pace with the recent developments of the telecare industry. Telehealth continues to loom on the horizon as the natural replacement for telecare, yet the mass adoption of telehealth is currently fairly limited in the UK.The UK has three major players for telecare equipment although there are many other suppliers to the industry for supplemental equipment or software. We are just going to highlight the three primary companies. Tunstall Tunstall are the largest manufacturer of telecare equipment globally with a presence in Europe, Australasia, U.S and Asia. Current careline alarm models include the Lifeline Vi and the Lifeline GSM that is designed to assist people who don’t have a landline installed in their home. Tunstall also produce a range of accessories such as flood detectors and fall sensors to compliment their range. Tynetec Tynetec have been producing telecare equipment for some 30 years and have recently been purchased by the French company Legrand. They are fast becoming a major player in the UK telecare industry experiencing huge success with their Reach and Reach+ careline alarm units due to its contemporary styling and reliability. Doro Care A major player in the European telecare marketplace, Doro are now making large strides in the UK. A recent announcement relating to their partnership with BT Cornwall has seen their profile raised considerably in the UK. As with some of their competitors, Doro are currently enjoying great success with Local Authorities purchasing their CareIP careline alarm that works on the GSM network rather than a landline.