img_9674Matthew Henfrey, Group Product Marketing Executive – Telecare at Tunstall Healthcare talks about our latest fall detector.

Having worked at Tunstall for almost five years, I’ve heard many fantastic stories about how telecare has changed, and in some cases, saved lives. Now in my new position as Product Marketing Exec it’s critical to collate and respond to feedback from people buying and using telecare.  Technical and aesthetic feedback such as the desire to be discreet as possible.  This is particularly the case for equipment that is designed to be worn, which can be viewed by some as stigmatising.

Tunstall has a long heritage of innovation, creating many industry firsts when it comes to product development. Our first priority is safety, ensuring that the devices we sell meet the relevant standards and are designed to be robust and reliable. In some cases this can limit aesthetics, but we continually seek to improve the way our products look and appeal to the people using them.

I recently received a letter from Mrs R, who explained that on occasion she has accidentally activated her pendant whilst gardening, and due to being unaware of the alarm she was unable to cancel the false alarm. This, of course, results in the monitoring centre being unable to make voice contact, and in this case contacting the police to check on her wellbeing.

I was delighted to be able to reply to Mrs R to tell her about the Vibby, a new wrist-worn fall detector which vibrates to confirm the help button has been activated. Fall detection activations can also be easily cancelled during a period after a fall* is detected by simply covering the face with your hand for two seconds. The Vibby will stop vibrating to confirm the alert has been cancelled. Using an innovative algorithm and a new pressure sensor, the Vibby is designed to automatically detect a serious fall and raise an alert, either at the monitoring centre or on a carer’s pager. The wearer can also manually raise an alert by pressing the help button on the face of the Vibby.

The Vibby has a contemporary design, much more akin to other wearables such as those which promote health and fitness. The standard strap colour is black, but the Vibby will soon be available in a range of colours (purple, blue, red and dark blue).

We’ll be showing the Vibby to delegates visiting the Tunstall stand (number 40) at the International Technology Enabled Care conference, along with our other Connected Care solutions and we’re looking forward to hearing their feedback. Their views help to shape our future product and service development, and mean that Mrs R and many more like her will be able to find reassurance and confidence by using technology that is as attractive as it is effective.

You can find out more about the Vibby and watch a short film at uk.tunstall.com/vibby

*The fall detection technology in the Vibby does not allow analysis and interpretation of all fall situations. Soft falls, slumping falls, descent controlled falls against a wall or a chair, etc…are not detected by the Vibby. In spite of its algorithm capabilities considering the technologies used and the target to minimise false alarms, all falls even dangerous-heavy falls cannot be detected, this is the reason why the presence of the manual trigger on the Vibby remains vital for the user.