Cirrus/London Telecare event: 'The Future of Telecare' (UK)

On Wednesday 14th July members of the London Telecare group debated the future of telecare services in London at a session sponsored by Cirrus. Three speakers presented their views on what will shape telecare in 2010 and beyond. They were:

  • Claire Mitchell, Department of Health discussed The Fast Track Implementation Programme for Assistive Technologies
  • Raffaella Somma, Lambeth Council who shared her Business Case Preparation for Telecare which outlined the steps involved in securing funding
  • Carl Atkey, Head of CarelineUK and Technical lead for Cirrus, outlined the implications for telecare imposed by Next Generation Networks

There was also a discussion session run by Doug Miles, Chair of London Telecare, with questions and contributions from members. In particular, the implications of BT having announced that it is abandoning its current plans for BT21CN [TA May 2010] were hotly debated…

Carl Atkey Head of CarelineUK and Technical lead for Cirrus, commented:

“This move by BT is a significant development for the industry. However, with a number of other next generation networks (NGNs) including Virgin Media, SKY and Talk Talk, which all share similar characteristics to the BT21CN network, being NGN/BT21CN compliant is still key. Telecare service providers who still have non-BT21CN complaint equipment could be at risk of intermittent alarm communication failures.”

Of particular concern was that with the majority of monitoring centres being supported by the BT network, alarm calls from service users using other providers adds complexity and may not transfer across networks, risking alarm equipment failure.

Carl Atkey continued “It is recommended that telecare service providers advise users that if their telephony supplier is anyone other than BT, it is imperative they check whether social alarms are supported. If this is not the case they should advise the user that there is a risk that the social alarm may not get through to the monitoring centre.”

A 4-page PDF synopsis of the event can be downloaded here.