Oysta Technology, which provides software to keep vulnerable people safe, sponsored our recent event on technology in the care sector. In this guest blog, Emma Marlow, Oysta’s CEO, explains why it welcomes the government’s commitment to person-centred social care.
Did you know that by offering to install a button and box device into the homes of Vulnerable Independent People’s (VIPs), you are inadvertently telling VIPs that they are only safe at home?
The white paper People at the Heart of Care: adult social care reform, published in December 2021, details the government’s commitment to reforming adult social care. Historically we have been inadvertently locking our VIPs in their homes by prescribing them care technologies that only work in the home. The reform is an ambitious 10-year vision to transform support and care in England, with three main objectives:
The key theme is person-centred care. At Oysta we are ecstatic that the government has taken this step. It is encouraging the use of technology to enable VIPs to have the choice to live independently and healthily in their own homes for longer, and we fully support this vision.
At Oysta, our ethos is centred around removing isolating boundaries while keeping VIPs safe at home and safe when they are away from their home. Traditionally in our industry, button and box devices have been prescribed that only work if the VIP is in their home. By continuing to prescribe these devices, VIPs are inadvertently being told that they are only safe at home. Technology is available to ensure VIPs are safe both at home and when they are pursuing an active lifestyle – but awareness of how it can benefit lives is not widely circulated. We welcome the opportunity to support and educate those in the health and social sphere about the options available.
Movement is medicine
We are a firm believer that movement is medicine – and mobile telecare devices are a major part of building the confidence to positively encourage this. At the same time, they give VIPs a safety net if something happens while they are active. At Oysta we are pushing it further. The People at the Heart of Care white paper says the government will “invest at least £150 million of additional funding over the next 3 years to drive digitisation across the sector and unlock the potential of caretech innovation that enables preventative care and independent living.”
Preventative care is a key element of the government’s adult social care reform and, here at Oysta, we have been developing our technology to enable preventative care. We have created an offering to bring proactive and reactive care together, while keeping VIPs feeling safe and the care circle informed.
We have mobile telecare devices for VIPs to stay safe while maintaining an active lifestyle and we have passive sensors so they can remain safe at home. Both devices and sensors link into our care platform IntelliCare so families and carers receive insights and warning for proactive care, and alarms are sent to Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) to provide emergency support if needed. Oysta works with all the ARCs, so VIPs are not restricted by where they live.
IntelliCare helps provide preventative care
Devices linked to IntelliCare can be set up with an unlimited number of safe zones for VIPs, so that carers are notified if VIPs go outside of those safe zones, enabling them to check they are safe.
Our most recent feature, WeatherWatch, takes this further and is a great example of enabling preventative care. When temperatures fall below 8C, older adults have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, flu, pneumonia and, in very low temperatures, hypothermia. WeatherWatch is a feature in IntelliCare that has programmable safe temperature settings, enabling a warning to be triggered to carers that their VIP is outside in an unsafe temperature. It will also notify you if they are outside after the sun sets.
By setting safety parameters, carers can place a well-timed wellbeing call through the VIP’s Oysta device and, if needed, use the GPS locator in IntelliCare to guide them home safely. Carers can ensure that their VIP gets the right balance of fresh air without risking an injury or illness.
Another example is our passive sensor range, SafeHome. One of the passive sensors detects changes in temperature within the home, and IntelliCare will notify carers when a VIP’s home temperature doesn’t fall within the acceptable levels.
For instance, it has been suggested that keeping home temperatures between 15°C and 18°C might not be warm enough to avoid health risks, and that temperatures should be above 21°C in living areas and above 18°C in bedrooms. With our passive sensors connected to IntelliCare, you can be notified when the temperature falls outside that range and speak with your VIP about maintaining a warmer internal environment before it becomes a health issue.
In line with the vision of the People at the Heart of Care white paper, Oysta is uniquely positioned to provide technology to keep VIPs safe at home and safe away from home – and if they need help, it is available at a push of a button. With Oysta, carers can be assured they can provide holistic, person-centred, preventative care for their VIPs with ease, making their jobs a little easier with our devices, sensors and care platform.
If you’d like to find out more about Oysta, email [email protected]