Tunstall have recently launched a new wearable, mobile device that provides support both at home and away – with features such as a help button, location monitoring through GPS, boundary alerts and a two-way speech module to ensure that wherever the user may be, they can communicate with their formal or informal carers to get the help that they need.
At Tunstall Emergency Response in Ireland, we were asked to be the field trial partner on behalf of the Tunstall group. We chose 22 service users to use the CareClip device in ‘real life’ situations and environments to give the product a real robust test. The participants ranged in age from a 23-year-old full-time student, middle-aged long-workers, to a 79-year-old person. Between the participants there was a variety of health conditions including dementia, heart disease and a recovering cancer patient.
The CareClip device comes with a dedicated management platform, that enables the carer to set up information and parameters for the service user. It can also provide alerts, and show the location of the user via GPS tracking. During the trial, we were able to ensure that we could integrate this platform with our own monitoring database PNC, allowing our call handlers to manage the calls effectively.
Our field staff were also trained in how to install the devices and (most importantly!) to train the service user, their families and their carers on how to use the device and platform – to ensure that people were left confident in how to use the CareClip should they need it.
Once we had deployed the devices, we started to receive a large number of activations – once we looked into this, we realised it was because the location accuracy of the CareClip was far better than any other GPS-enabled telecare device that we had seen. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from families and carers, in particular as it increased their reassurance levels and peace of mind, knowing that their loved ones were safe, even when out of the home. In fact, in excess of 80% of the trail users overs wanted to buy the CareClip device once the trail ended!
The trial was a fantastic way of fine-tuning the CareClip, our processes and integration platform, and our staff to ensure that roll-out should be a success. We found the process largely positive and beneficial to both Tunstall Emergency Response as a service provider, but also to the participants who have benefitted from the introduction of a new service, which complements our existing Lifeline units, but enables more freedom and support in the places that users want to be.