Tunstall Healthcare Sound Boost image

Telecare provider Tunstall Healthcare has launched Sound Boost, a “revolutionary” new product that extends the audio range of Tunstall’s Lifeline home alarm units, which are installed in the property of vulnerable individuals to provide 24-hour support.

Sound Boost is a telecare device that wirelessly connects to the Lifeline, providing extra audio coverage throughout the home to enable clearer communication between the user and the monitoring centre.

This reduces the number of No Voice Contact Calls (NVCs), according to Tunstall Healthcare, which is when a user alerts the monitoring centre and the operator cannot communicate as the individual is out of range of the Lifeline hub. This then leads to a responder being required to attend the property.

The clearer communication gives additional reassurance to the user that they can achieve two-way contact with the monitoring centre from anywhere in their home. The device also means that responders and emergency services are not called out unnecessarily, enabling them to deliver care where it is needed most.

Sound Boost comprises a remote speaker with an integral microphone that can be installed in any room in the home. It then connects wirelessly to a dongle that is fitted to the Lifeline unit.

Gavin Bashar, UK Managing Director of Tunstall Healthcare, commented: “When used in combination with a Lifeline unit in areas such as the hall, lounge or bedroom, Sound Boost provides reassurance to service users that they will be heard. It also enables monitoring centres to work more efficiently, and direct their resources to genuine emergencies.”

Stockport Homes’ Carecall service provides 24-hour monitoring and response to more than 4,500 people. However, the service was experiencing a high number of NVC calls, the provider said, with 86 percent being false alarms where the user did not need assistance.

The centre’s PNC monitoring software identified a cohort of users associated with high levels of NVCs, and compared the number of NVCs for the six-week period before and after the introduction of Sound Boost.

For the period prior to the introduction of Sound Boost, 47 NVCs were made, but this fell to zero once Sound Boost was deployed. With responder callouts costing on average £40-50, and ambulance callouts much higher, this not only significantly reduces costs but also reduces disruption to the user.

Aimee Teare, Senior Project officer for Preventative Services & TEL at Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, added: “Sound Boost has been brilliant in enabling us to contact service users if we receive a No Voice Contact call. In all cases of the trial it has reduced the amount of times we have to ring or attend the property after a NVC. It makes our service more efficient and reduces anxiety for the people we support.”

Tunstall Healthcare was recently involved in a collaborative 12-week telehealth pilot in Ireland that successfully enabled patients with chronic illnesses to self-manage their conditions, which delivered significant cost savings for County Wexford and positive population health outcomes.

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