How health and social care is getting smarter

How would you describe the Appello business today?

Appello has provided life safety and technology-enabled care services to housing providers, local authorities, charities, care providers, NHS and individuals for over 27 years. Over 165,000 people, mostly older or vulnerable, receive help from our 24/7 telecare monitoring teams.

On a daily basis we experience uncoordination between housing, health and social care services, which is leading to disjointed care and support which is not designed to meet their needs.

Through our long association with our customers, we have a deep insight into the needs of older people, which makes us passionate about proactively working to create better linkage and transparency between housing, health and social care. The deep knowledge that Appello has means our solutions and advice to customers is more data and insight led than ever before.

Why are people, processes and data so disconnected?

This is a complex issue. Some of the reasons are historical, with social housing and care being managed by local authorities, and not integrated with care provison managed through the NHS.

The structures of the past coupled with the huge amount of data flowing through these organisations have created many of the challenges that we face today. We are working with a number of forward thinking integrated care organisations and housing associations that are focused on removing the traditional barriers.

What role does technology have to play in health and social care?

Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 20.8 billion connected things will be in use worldwide before 2020. So finding unique end user technologies isn't the challenge; what's troubling is that devices are often deployed independent of each other and by different organisations. What if you could tie these deployments together? You could set personalised alerts and triggers for individuals linked to a care plan? Provide social and health care teams with integrated real-time information from multiple devices? Personalise the technology experience for the individual through open interfaces into a single record?

Given the recent focus on delayed transfer of care, does Appello have an answer?

Keeping people out of hospital has benefits both at a wellbeing and independence level for the individual and economically for the health and care service. Independent reviews have stated that delays in discharging patients out of hospital after treatment could be costing NHS England around £900m a year.

But there are ways of enabling a patient to return home and ensuring they remain safe, independent and in control. Technology should be integral to a discharge process, creating the opportunity to offer insight and support 24/7, enabling responsive, personalised services for patients. What Appello can do is to improve the care pathway for people leaving hospital, by improving communication between patient, care provider, family and friends.What if you could provide social and health care teams with real time information on an individual? This data could monitor whether medication was taken at the right time or at all? If frequent visits to the bathroom at night could indicate a possible urinary tract infection? The data could detect low food intake by monitoring how often an individual went to the fridge or kitchen etc. Equipped with this insight, care teams could improve the focus of their visits and optimise the physical time spent with patients.

What's next for Appello?

We are currently working with end customers as part of an Innovate UK funded project to look at how social media and hyper-localisation targeting can help support older people and improve social inclusion. Appello intends to be at the forefront of connecting and integrating the technology of today and tomorrow, to deliver the insight that can make a difference to people's lives and impact on the way in which care is delivered.