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Leading the way to more secure Technology Enabled Care

Taking Care are supporting the TEC Services Association (TSA) and the Quality Standards Framework.

June 26, 2020

Leading the way to more secure Technology Enabled Care

The largest private pay personal alarm provider in the UK, Taking Care, is supporting the TEC Services Association (TSA) to pave the way in defining a new Quality Standards Framework. The framework will measure excellence in service availability, reliability and security in Technology Enabled Care (TEC) and will make it easier for those commissioning TEC services to make more informed decisions when choosing a service provider.

According to the TSA’s research into Data and Cyber Security in the Technology Enabled Care Sector,  it is estimated that almost two million people in the UK are currently supported through the provision of Technology Enabled Care (TEC) and The Royal Academy of Engineering’s report, “Cyber Safety and Resilience” says connected health devices have the potential to transform in-home care.

With a TEC device, such as an emergency alarm for the elderly, often being the first point of contact for many vulnerable people who are in distress, these devices are often life-saving services. As such, it is imperative that the companies providing these life-saving services put provisions in place to prevent cyber or data security incidents occurring. If a service is to save lives, it must be available 24/7, all year round, with no down time or scheduled maintenance, being that the risk of service failure or malfunction could result in serious injury or even death.

Rapid growth in consumer, wearable, and mobile technology used in TEC is increasing the likelihood of cyber and security incidents, however there is often a lack of awareness around how to manage and prevent these risks.

Given that we know a high proportion of TEC connections are currently made over analogue telephone lines, here at Taking Care we have been collaborating with the TSA to understand data and cyber security risks in the context of the analogue-digital telephone switchover, which is expected to be completed by 2027. Going forward we will be working closely with the TSA to develop new UKAS-driven Measures of Excellence as well as a new Quality Rating System. This will support TEC businesses in providing the security and resilience needed to effectively support their customers and keep them safe as TEC moves into the digital age. In addition, this new framework will enable commissioners choose the service providers that offer them the level of service availability and reliability that is needed from this life saving service that thousands of people rely on to keep them safe and well.

Steve Gates, Managing Director at Taking Care said:

“We’re delighted to be working with the TSA, as through our three Emergency Resolution Centres, we have come to recognise the importance of IT security and resilience when supporting the vulnerable.

Being part of AXA Health means we have access to health and technology insights that may be out of reach to other TEC providers and we look forward to sharing this expertise with the TSA and its members with the goal of improving TEC security nationwide.”

Here at Taking Care we’re passionate about technology-enabled care and we’re experts in helping individuals live independently in their homes for longer. We already provide around-the-clock technology-enabled care monitoring services to 75,000 people across the UK.

Having three UK based Emergency Resolution Centres that operate 24/7 hours and are TSA-accredited gives us triple redundancy in the event of anything going wrong. All our Emergency Response Operators are also set up to be able to take calls and work from home, providing even more resiliency in times of crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. This means we can provide Operational Resilience to ensure “zero failure” rate in the delivery of our telephone-based emergency customer care. In addition, all our staff are DBS-checked and receive training on GDPR, health and safety, and cyber security awareness to ensure they are offering the highest level of care and security to our clients.

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