O2 is trialling a new NFC (near field communication) solution within the NHS to help improve homecare services for patients needing daily assistance.
The ‘O2 Homecare’, solution is designed to help improve communication between patients who need assisted living with their appointed medical staff or care worker, using contactless technology on a mobile phone.
The solution, which has been developed in partnership with mobile proof of attendance data capture company Reslink, and zero carbon home developers ecoTECH, is aimed at primary care trusts and is currently being trialled by a number of NHS customers across the UK.
The solution will provide care workers visiting patients with the ability to download records and care requirements specifically for the individual by swiping their NFC enabled handset over NFC tags installed around the patient’s home.
In turn, patients will have the ability to check when a care worker is next due for an appointment, as well as any appointments booked to be attended away from the home such as the doctors or hospital.
Patients will also have the ability to request a number of other options, such as a call back or booking a new appointment, by swiping their handset, and selecting from a live menu, which immediately appears on the device.
Tags can also be placed on medication to inform patient’s details on prescription details including dosage and reminders of what has and hasn’t been taken that day.
Specially designed medication dispensers with a pre set release capability, ensuring customers take the correct amount is also available using NFC.
In addition, O2 states NFC tags may be used on household equipment in the home, including heating systems, boilers, ovens and chairlifts, allowing patients to check details on model and last date of service, as well as report faults and arrange an appointment.
O2 claim the elimination of verbal and written documentation on each patient will increase productivity and help save care organisations time and operational costs.
O2 head of NFC Claire Maslen said: “The development of O2 Homecare is testament to our continued commitment to exploring how NFC technology can benefit UK business and consumers.”
O2 business sales director Ben Dowd said: “The development of an NFC based homecare solution shows the real in-roads we are making in the health sector.
“We know our customers don’t want a one-size-fits-all mobile communications package and this demonstrates how well new technology can benefit both workers and patients in the health sector.”
Mark Ellwood, Channel Manager, Reslink commented: “Our partnership with O2 demonstrates how NFC technology is really driving innovation in homecare to provide a faster and more efficient service to care organisations, homecare workers and patients.
“Our highly customisable NFC product, combined with O2’s skills and experience in this market has meant we have can deliver a compelling solution for health authorities across the UK.”