Scottish Government's £10m marketing gift to Tunstall

I hear the clink of champagne glasses at Tunstall’s HQ today as their ‘telehealthcare’ branding wheeze pays off big-time as the Scottish Government announces that “Ten million pounds is to be invested over four years to improve care by growing the Scottish telehealthcare sector.” The funding is linked to the development of a Scottish Assisted Living Demonstrator programme that “will involve at least 10,000 users in Scotland, will be the first step towards the aspiration of providing assisted living services for millions of people across the UK.” Press release.

Yes, such investment is good news for the people of Scotland, but this decision not only cements the Scottish services into the use of that clumsy term but potentially opens them up to contested procurement tenders each time that Tunstall is awarded a contract in preference to any other supplier, on the basis that the result was predetermined.

7 thoughts on “Scottish Government's £10m marketing gift to Tunstall

  1. That’s just the point! Tunstall, all credit to them, have achieved the marketer’s dream of persuading a large chunk of the potential market to adopt the term (that they started to promote just a few years ago) as if it were the normal terminology. Now it has the stamp of Government approval.

    Tunstall now has the rest of the industry in a ‘heads I win, tails you loose’ situation whereby the only way other suppliers can neutralise their hold on the term is to adopt it en masse, but they will hate giving Tunstall the satisfaction of seeing them do so.

    For discussion around the term from a year ago, see:

  2. Yet again attacking Tunstall….and has already been observed the article doesn’t even mention Tunstall!

    You seem to dwell on the term Telehealthcare. I don’t believe many pay any attention to the term or see it’s usage as a problem, I certainly don’t see as associated to Tunstall.. Google it…it’s used extensively by many providers not just Tunstall


    1. @Anon, AKA ‘You Know It Makes Sense'(YKIMS)

      Yes, I do rant about the term ‘telehealthcare’ (search the site for earlier explanations of why) but readers miss the point if they think I am attacking Tunstall. I have nothing but admiration for their marketing coup. My complaint is with the civil servants and others in a position to influence these things for not being sensitive to (or well advised on) the issues surrounding the term.

      However, I noted with pleasure that two projects we have just reported on, yesterday and today – the Northern Ireland Remote Monitoring Service and the North Yorkshire Telehealth Project – both of which will make extensive use of Tunstall-supplied equipment have used ‘telehealth’ as their preferred term.

  3. Hi Steve, on balance I think that the sector using the term is not a bad thing, though obviously I enjoy a good rant by others, having a tendency to them myself. Not sure its clumsy either, its sort of obvious to bring the two terms together as telecare and telehealth services join up (well in some aspects). Its not copyright or anything is it – if not widespread use will reduce any connection with a particular manufacturer/ supplier. (Is this sounding too reasonable for me???) Cheers. Keren

  4. I think Steve’s point is that Scotland are referring to telehealthcare as being Tunstall – quite like the ‘hoover’ effect (hoover being a brand of vacuum cleaners, not the vacuum itself)

    It happens with Telecare also – I get plenty of calls from people asking me to supply them a pendant, because their understanding of telecare is community alarms and…. well, thats about as far as it goes.

    So it leaves other providers the mammoth task of re-educating all front line workers to be aware that ‘telehealthcare’ or ‘telecare’ doesn’t just mean anything out of tunstall’s catalogue.

  5. @ Jamie: You’ve extended my point, because I’m not sure that the whole of Scotland is ‘Tunstall Country’. However, it’s an interesting observation that ‘telecare’ still only equals ‘pendant alarm’ for a lot of people.

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