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O2 to revolutionise homecare industry with NFC solution
O2 is taking further steps to bring Near Field Communications (NFC) technology to the UK market by showcasing an NFC solution for the health sector at INSITE09. On display in the ecoTECH Low Carbon Smart House, O2 Homecare will demonstrate how NFC technology can benefit UK residents of Sustainable Homes, particularly those in assisted living who require homecare. The solution is aimed at Primary Care Trusts and related care organisations and is currently being trialled by several National Health Service customers across the UK.
Developed in partnership with technology provider Reslink, O2 Homecare helps homecare workers and patients access and share information using contactless technology on a mobile phone. O2 and Reslink are working with ecoTECH, providers of Sustainable Homes, to incorporate NFC tags into their energy efficient housing.
O2 Homecare is ideal for care workers who spend most of their time working remotely from an office. Homecare can download patient records and care requirements by swiping their NFC-enabled handset over NFC tags installed in the patient’s home. The solution also captures real-time information on care provided to the patient and logs the care workers’ whereabouts when making house calls for enhanced security. Data is relayed to central host systems and logged for electronic time and attendance records. This eliminates the need for verbal or paper documentation and will help save care organisations time and operational expense
O2 Homecare patients need only touch their mobile phone to a pre-installed NFC tag in the home to bring up details of their care worker’s next visit or their next medical appointment. Call backs and appointments can also be requested quickly and easily by touching the patient’s phone to an NFC tag. The patient can then select their preferred options from a drop down menu which will automatically appear on the handset.
Alert tags can be strategically placed within easy access to the patient in case of emergency. When the patient touches their mobile phone to this tag the handset will automatically send an alert transaction and dial a predetermined number.
NFC tags can also be placed on medicine bottles allowing patients to identify prescription details by touching their phone to the bottle. The tag may be linked to a special medication dispenser with a pre-set release capability and authorisation procedures based on the patient’s prescription.
In addition, NFC tags may be placed on equipment in the home (e.g., on the boiler, heating system, thermostat, oven and chairlift). The patient would simply need to touch their phone to the tag to bring up details such as the model type, when the product was last serviced, and who by. The patient can also report a fault with the equipment or request a service appointment using their handset.
“The development of O2 Homecare is testament to our continued commitment to exploring how NFC technology can benefit UK business and consumers,” said Claire Maslen, Head of NFC, O2. “Showcasing O2 Homecare at INSITE09 provides us with a great opportunity to demonstrate how NFC can be easily integrated into energy efficient living, delivering vital healthcare directly into the heart of Sustainable Homes.”
Ben Dowd, O2 Business Sales Director, 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.”
Christine Hynes, CEO, ecoTECH said: “O2’s desire to incorporate O2 Homecare into our energy efficient homes at the house building stage is testament to its ongoing commitment to sustainability. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with O2 providing pioneering new technologies in zero carbon homes by 2016.”