The telecare monitoring centre, Astraline has warned 1.7m older and vulnerable adults could be at risk during the digital switchover.
Responding to a recent report, the firm has called on the private and social housing, health and care industries to get prepared for the digital switchover, or risk the lives of 1.7 million older and potentially vulnerable adults.
Housing, health and care industries are mainly responsible for the delivery of technology enabled care (TEC) services, like personal alarms and fall detectors, into the homes of older and vulnerable people, with the majority still operating analogue-based products supported on the old public switched telephony network (PSTN).
By 2025, the old PSTN will be completely phased out and replaced with an all-digital network. The roll out of the new network by BT will take place over the next four to five years with some parts of the country switching earlier.
It is not fully understood what impact the switch will have and whether or not these products will continue to work under the new digital system.
Astraline is an early adopter of end-to-end digital services to fully support the switchover.
‘Together these industries serve nearly two million vulnerable individuals with telecare and telehealth services using alarm monitoring centres like ours,’ said Astraline’s director of innovation, Joe McLoughlin.
‘The vast majority are yet to make provision for the switchover in either their budgets or plans and this is not something that can be done overnight. This process will take years so we are encouraging people to get started now.’
‘The implications of not delivering the switch successfully in a timely fashion is unthinkable. We are often the only support and help for some older people and even a lapse of a few days without their monitoring service could be devastating,’ he added.
Astraline are holding a series of ‘Move to Digital’ seminars will cover digital homes of the present and the future and providing innovation as a service to other organisations, among other subjects.
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