Clinton: You know we’ve been getting a few e-mails. We’ve been talking about medical alarms in the past few weeks and the implications of the NBN and whether they’ll still work with the NBN. A few of our listeners have asked for a little bit further clarification so we thought we’d get some. Managing Director of the INS Group specializing in medical alarms Claude Rafin joins us. They are sponsors of ours. G’day Claude.
Clinton: Lot of concern out there about the NBN at the moment and how this is going to affect telecommunications services in everybody’s home but particularly with medical alarms. Is it going to be a problem.
Claude: It can be. Medical any mission critical equipment requires a secure connection. Previously that was delivered over the copper network. The copper network in large parts around the country is being disconnected and that means that the older style medical alarms may not work correctly across the new NBN network so it really requires providers of those medical alarm services to in a lot of instances replace the equipment that’s in the home.
Annie: I imagine there’d be a lot of people too who aren’t even aware of the implications of the NBN coming in.
Claude: There is. In terms of our clients where we actively communicate with them and we’ve put them on a register so that there’s some checks before they’re disconnected from the copper.
Annie: And are there costs involved with the transition?
Claude: For our clients and not just our clients but many clients there will not be a cost. So really it’s a case of getting in touch with us or their own medical alarm provider.
Annie: And will they notice any differences?
Claude: The biggest difference is that the alarm system won’t necessarily need to work across the land line. It can work across a mobile network. That’s the biggest difference. In our case we have very advanced technology that does much more.
Annie: But the individual won’t really have any idea that anything’s changed will they?
Claude: No, it’ll still be easy to use. They’ll still have buttons that they can press and that they wear. So no in terms of that no.
Annie: It is wonderful for that peace of mind. Remember Mum had it in the retirement village and it’s just so nice you know just as that sort of backup.
Jill: Yes. And given that who does provide that backup once the alarm goes off or how does that process work?
Claude: In our case we only use health care professionals. So minimum qualification in our health centre is a qualified nurse. We have a range of differently qualified people in our call centre. It’s very important for us to assess the calls that are coming in properly and dispatch the right assistance and also provide first response assistance. But even more so we’d like to be preventative based and stop those incidents from happening in the first place.
Jill: Yeah and I believe with your alarm systems you do have some optional features as well. Is that right?
Claude: Correct. With our service we provide things like chatlines for people that are perhaps lonely. There are many people that are that are isolated in the community.
Jill: Such a big problem particularly with the elderly people.
Claude: And we do a lot of grief counselling as well. People who have lost loved ones. And it’s important that they’re able to call someone and interact with someone.
Annie: Can I just ask if you just go back to the vital you know the emergency call. If you do get an emergency situation does INS then call the primary carer like the family and say this is what’s happened.
Claude: Depends on the assessment. If it’s an emergency we would ordinarily roll services for instance an ambulance. Sometimes that may not necessitate that so we’ll communicate with the clients GP, after hours doctor services, family, whatever the case might be. It does vary. But the nurses make that assessment.
Clinton: Claude if our listeners needs more information how can they get in contact with you.
Claude: They can call us on free call number 1800 636 040. Or we’re on the web www.theinsgroup.com.au