O2 Health launches Help at Hand mobile telecare service


GPS device aimed at people with long-term conditions runs with O2 mobile coverage and connects to alarm receiving centre in an emergency

O2 Health has launched ‘Help at Hand’, which it claims is the UK’s first telecare service built around mobile technology.

It sees the user carry a mobile-enabled pendant or wristwatch that is connected to a UK-based alarm receiving centre, with specially trained staff supervising it around the clock. The device runs with O2 mobile network coverage.

Features of the device include a fall down detector and GPS so the user’s location can be identified.

Safe zones can also be defined, so if the individual moves out of this zone, the receiving centre is alerted and staff can take the appropriate action.

The Help at Hand website allows users, carers or social care organisations to manage the user’s profile, setting up bespoke guidelines based on their care requirements and detailing how to react to any issues should they arise.

O2 said that according to a review conducted by Medipex, which provides technology services to the NHS, £5.8 million has been saved in care services across 1,722 service users in England.

It added one per cent of telecare solutions in the UK are mobile-based, leaving many people with long-term conditions with little choice when it comes to accessing support beyond their homes.

O2 said the use of telecare helps delay or avoid unnecessary admission to care homes, reduce emergency call outs, days in hospital and reduce the risk to the user.

O2 Health managing director Keith Nurcombe said: “For many groups of patients now being considered for telecare services, being confined to their homes is no longer acceptable.  They want to be able to go about their daily lives with the reassurance that help is quickly available should they need it.

“Mobile technology is a natural fit – this is where we have identified a need and developed Help at Hand to meet it.”