Telecare services developed quickly in the UK between 2000 and 2010 by embracing the robust infrastructure provided by the social alarm network. Improvements in access to the Internet, together with faster telecommunications speeds have allowed services to include telemonitoring operations. These have allowed improved assessment of lifestyle, activity levels and vital signs, opening up numerous opportunities for managing long term conditions, including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). By today, telecare includes a range of standalone devices, which were previously referred to as electronic assistive technologies, and is set to operate outside the home by utilising the mobile networks. It might also embrace Personal Electronic Assistants (PEAs) to provide remote care services as a natural support for monitoring
This paper will consider the business case for telecare services to become a key-stone of community care, giving older and vulnerable people more independence to improve their well-being in a cost-effective manner. It will predict the impact of emerging technologies and provide a view of how the scope and quality of services may be expanded.