New wearable technology aimed at helping people continue to live independently in their own homes could save the health and social care sector in Northern Ireland £34 million per year. That was the message when Radius recently launched its new Connect 24 service in Holywood, Co Down.
Radius Connect 24 provides a range of wearable pendants and watches that connect to a call responder at the push of a button. The services currently provides direct call support to 21,000 people across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Previously known as Fold Telecare, the launch saw the unveiling of the new name as well as the new product range. Radius Connect 24 provides 24/7 support 365 days per year to customers, and can summon family, medical staff and emergency staff as required.
The service aims to help people of all ages live independently in their own homes. That includes older people, but also those with mental health problems and people who may have been victims of domestic violence and other crimes.
An independent study in Scotland showed technology-enabled care services, like Radius Connect 24, saved Scotland’s Health and Social Care sectors some £99m, based on 1 in 5 people over the age of 75 using the service. That could mean a saving of £34m here in Northern Ireland, based on similar levels of usage. Priced at between £18 and £27 per month, the cost savings are significant.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive John McLean said: “Technology-enabled care services like Radius Connect 24 allow people to live longer in their own homes, reduce the number of hospital admissions and also result in speedier discharges when people are admitted to hospital. They also give customers and their families peace-of-mind that help, if they need it, is at the push of a button. As well as this, the financial savings that services like Radius Connect 24 can deliver to the health and social care sector – which we estimate to be at least £34 million in Northern Ireland – are significant.
“These new pendants and watches can be worn anywhere allowing full independent living for all our users. By pushing a button, those who use the service are able to speak directly to a trained call-handler, who will then contact family or emergency services as appropriate. The service has proved vital in allowing people to stay living in their own homes, and in many cases have directly led to life-saving interventions by emergency services,” he added.
Radius Connect 24 was launched at its Response Centre in Holywood where visitors saw at first-hand how the service operates, and the latest technology that enhances lives and promotes independence. The service, which currently provides support to 21,000 clients, is expected to see a significant period of growth this year.