Adrian Scaife, UK Product Marketing Manager, Tunstall Healthcare, writes about a new showcase for connected solutions.

In recent months there has been increasing amounts of media coverage around the Internet of Things and the Connected Home. Some of it I can recognise as hype and I really wonder how much appetite we consumers might have for items that seem expensive and offer little extra value. On the other hand there appears to be a wealth of solutions, not explicitly developed for older people, that may offer significant enhancements to the current suite of tools used to support people to remain living independently for as long as possible.

In the worlds of health, housing and social care the pressures of dwindling resources and increasing demand continue unabated. The issue of prevention as a means of improving quality of life and slowing or reducing demand on formal services remains largely unresolved.

So here is the big question…

Can connected care, in its broadest sense, help change the current landscape for the better?

Can it support family and friends in different ways? Can it support people to remain living independently for longer? Can it increase quality of life, and enhance digital and social inclusion? How might it support the provision of formal services from Health, Housing and Social Care? Can it contribute to the prevention agenda? (Please see my previous blog on Connected Care for more information.)

To help answer these questions and more, Tunstall has developed Mary’s VIP Home. Mary is a fictional character living in a real sheltered housing scheme. She recently lost her husband after a long illness and her family live away. She is turning 80 this year and looking forward to her first Great Grandchild being born. She and her family face the challenges that many are familiar with such as staying in touch with family and friends, how to take care of her health, ensuring she is warm enough, having a good social life and feeling safe and secure.

Mary’s VIP home, based on Communicall Vi IP, has been developed to showcase how existing connected solutions and services may help with the daily practical challenges that Mary faces and in doing so enable her to live a great life in her later years.

Her home provides a unique venue for discovering and exploring what is possible today and presents a vision of how Connected Care at scale could become a reality.