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O2 brings NFC solution to health sector

O2 is showcasing its new Near Field Communications (NFC) technology and demonstrating how it can benefit UK residents of sustainable homes, particularly those in assisted living who require home care

O2 is showcasing its new Near Field Communications (NFC) technology and demonstrating how it can bring benefit to UK residents of sustainable homes, particularly those in assisted living who require home care. The solution is aimed at Primary Care Trusts and related care organisations and is 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.

The O2 Homecare solution allows care workers to 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, saving time and operational expenses.

Patients too can benefit from the system. They need only touch their mobile phones 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. Callbacks 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 that appears on their handset.  

Alert tags can be strategically placed to be easily accessed by the patient in case of an emergency. When the patient touches the mobile phone to this tag, the handset automatically sends an alert transaction and dials 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 such as the boiler, heating system, thermostat, oven and chairlift. The patient would simply need to touch the phone to the tag to bring up details of the product, report a fault with the equipment or request a service appointment using their handset. 

Mark Ellwood, channel manager, Reslink, commented: "Our partnership with O2 demonstrates how NFC technology is driving innovation in home care to provide a faster and more efficient service to care organisations, homecare workers and patients."

 

1st June 2009

From: Healthcare

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