Angela Tarvet, Tunstall’s Senior Account Manager in Scotland, explores the impact of the country’s pioneering approach to technology in health, housing and social care.

Scotland has long been recognised as a world leader in the use of telecare and telehealth. It was the first country to introduce a National Telecare Strategy in 2008, and its Technology Enabled Care Programme saw a £30 million investment in the increased use of technology enabled care. The Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare (SCTT) is dedicated to supporting service redesign, and using technology to deliver better outcomes for citizens.

The pace of change has begun to accelerate recently, for many reasons:

  • An ageing population coupled with reduced central funding means health and social care are struggling to meet rising demand.
  • Technology continues to advance exponentially, and the art of the possible becomes bigger every day.
  • Consumers are increasingly aware of and adopting IOT and technology, such as wearables, smart speakers and smart heating.
  • BT has announced its intention to move from an analogue to digital telephone network across the UK by 2025.

The digital transition is the biggest factor in the increasing adoption of technology in care. Scotland

Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Strategy recognised that ‘Digital technology is the area of greatest change in society, and of potential transformation for health and social care.’ This document gave some much needed clarity on Scotland’s evolution into a digital nation, explicitly stating the intention and methodology for ‘putting digital at the heart of everything we do’.

This has given the customers I see day-to-day in my role as a Senior Account Manager the confidence to move forward with their plans for the move away from analogue, and Tunstall is supporting this by offering guidance on how to navigate the digital switchover. We’re working with customers to advise them on their options for upgrading/replacing equipment, but more importantly, how this can enable new models of care delivery which focus on integration, prevention and supported self-management.

We offer a range of new digital solutions, such as the new Lifeline Smart Hub, our first IP home unit designed for the new digital environment, to help providers make sure their services are fit for the future. And our peripherals are compatible with both analogue and digital systems, helping to smooth the transition to IP. An increasing number of people in group living environments are using tablets, smart phones and computers, so our digital Communicall Vi IP systems offer WiFi to enable social/digital inclusion.

I can hardly imagine the ways technology will change the ways we deliver health and care over the next ten years, and I am excited work in an industry where we can help to shape this.

I’m also proud to live and work in a country that’s taking the lead in realising the huge potential of technology to improve the lives of some of the people who can benefit most, and I hope we continue to show the rest of the world exactly what can be achieved.

You can find out more and sign up for digital updates at uk.tunstall.com/digital-journey