Scummy website starts to make the case for telecare/telehealth industry regulation (UK)

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As ‘scum’ is defined as ‘filmy layer of extraneous or impure matter that forms on or rises to the surface’ it is the only word I can find to describe a new website called set up by a Ralf Dooley of Caerphilly, Wales. Ironically, given the name, not only does it show a fundamental lack of understanding of what telecare and telehealth are, it contains all sorts of poorly written, American-sourced material that is entirely inappropriate to the UK. The ultimate give-away on what the site is about is on the ‘Telecare Home Business’ page where it is clear that Mr Dooley has signed up to a multi-level marketing (MLM) ‘business’ called ‘Webdocsnetwork’. (See here for dissection of MLM business model.)

The site would not fool a Telecare Aware reader for a second, but it is a warning about what may happen. Where there is money to be made you will find scum people prepared to exploit older people with problems and their families. The TSA, with its members-only accreditation process, is toothless to deal with rogues. It therefore raises the question of whether the organisations and companies in the 3ML project should be using their newly found collective favour with Government Ministers to start raising the question of regulation for the industry. If it is to happen it will take years to be put in place, so perhaps the discussion should start sooner rather than later.