World’s Leading Telecare Solutions Provider for the Elderly [Interview Transcript]


Guest: Lisa Capamagian
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Lisa joined Tunstall in 2006, with 20 years of sales, marketing and management experience in a variety of industries including: health, food manufacturing, travel, gaming and media. Lisa has a degree in health science and a post graduate degree in communications. She is a passionate advocate for proactive health care management and health promotion. As Corporate Development Manager of Tunstall Healthcare, Lisa is responsible for the development of new business strategies in the Asia Pacific region.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, learn more about the services that Tunstall Healthcare has to offer. Tunstall Healthcare is a world leading provider of telecare and telehealth solutions. Operating in over 50 countries and supporting more than 3.6 million people, our connected care solutions play a key role in helping older people, and those with long-term health needs, to live safely and independently in their own homes. With over 55 years of global experience, they offer a truly end-to-end solution, encompassing design and development, consultancy and service support, deployment and training, and triage and monitoring services.

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar. Today my guest in studio is Lisa Capamagian from Tunstall Health. Liza welcome to Health Professional Radio and I think I got the name wrong, it’s Tunstall Healthcare isn’t it?

Lisa Capamagian: Yes, it is. And thanks for having me on.

W: My pleasure. Now Lisa tell us about Tunstall Healthcare. First of all, what geographic range in the world do you sit?

L: Well, we’re actually a global company. Our head office is based in the UK in the lovely old mansion in North Yorkshire of all places. And we have our head office for Asia Pacific here in Australia in Brisbane which is lovely and sunny today. And we cover Australia nationally from Brisbane.

W: Well fortunately, we’ll be heard in the UK and the US and Canada so we’ll see if we can give the head office a bit of a fright. I’ll be going, “Oh goodness, what’s happening in Australia?”

L: (laugh) Lots…

W: So Lisa tell us about your product range, what is it that the Tunstall Healthcare provides?

L: Okay. So we provide a range of tele healthcare equipment. So things like medical alarms, perhaps older people will wear a little button around their neck and they can press that and get assistance. We provide monitoring systems, 24 hours response services, telehealth equipment, monitoring systems and also triage services.

W: Now, when you say triage services.

L: Uh huh?

W: Triage in my mind is something that happens in emergency rooms.

L: Yeah.

W: How are you using the word?

L: So in terms of remote monitoring of people using vital sign monitoring equipment and answering health interviews, and we have nurses who review that incoming data. They will determine the level of risk for the individual, they’ll find them or video conference with them. And they’ll provide a triage according to standard 9, like you would in a hospital and determine what the risk is for the individual and if they need to go to the hospital or go and see their doctor within a period of time.

W: Well I had no idea that that level of acute care was being done remotely.

L: Well we’ve probably referred to it most sub-acute care rather than acute care. But yeah, we can do that and we’ve heard wonderful success at doing that.

W: So Lisa most of our audience are clinicians, doctors and nurses and allied health professionals working at hospitals. What is it that you would like them to know about your products and services?

L: Well I think one of the things that we’d like to clear up is this misnomer about what telehealth is because a lot of people think telehealth is just video conferencing from say a remote clinic to a specialist in the hospital or something like that.

W: Uh huh.

L: Whereas our telehealth system is really about providing support for people in their home. So we can actually monitor people in their own home who have conflicts and chronic condition. And that includes monitoring their vital signs, having them conduct health interviews as their answering to medic question, as well as being able to talk to them over the phone or provide a video conferencing. So we’d just like to provide a little bit more education to people that telehealth is a lot more than just video conferencing.

W: Because you extend to trips and falls monitoring and kind of what was conventionally done only by an in-house carer, don’t you?

L: Oh yeah we certainly do through our telecare system. We can monitor falls and that means we can get people on very quickly and to support them, so that they’re not lying you know in their own home for extend period of time with a broken hip and exacerbating their condition. So that’s one of the benefits of the types of systems we have.

W: And Lisa is there a special requirement for you know a high speed broadband or satellite links or anything for this or it’s just a telephone service? What does it needs to make it work?

L: Well on the telecare sort of thing so supporting the medical alarm, they’re available in GSM so 3G connections as well as using a plain old telephone line. And with telehealth if you’re going down the video conferencing line, they have NBN broadband well that will give you fantastic video conferencing obviously. But we’re able to provide quality video conferencing over 4G, 3G, and also a DSL connection, doesn’t work very well on satellite but we can certainly do all the vital sign and health interviews via data connection on satellite. But unfortunately it’s not quite good enough to do a video conference here Wayne.

W: It does sound though like a technology and connectivity is not a big impediment to what you’re doing. It sounds like pretty much everyone with, you know average connectivity in Australia could use the service.

L: Yeah, pretty much. I don’t think we’ve found anyone yet but we haven’t been able to monitor somehow with from equipment that we have.

W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar and I’ve been talking to Lisa Capamagian, who is the corporate development manager with Tunstall Healthcare. And we’ve been talking about the services that are available. I guess in my mind I would describe them to allow people to stay in their own homes even with significant medical issues for longer and to be monitored and cared for remotely. Now Lisa my favorite question, is there a misconception about your products and services that drives you nuts and keeps you awake at night?

L: That’s a hard one. Probably the biggest one for us is to reeducating people that telehealth and video conferencing. And I guess the other thing is in terms of telecare medical alarms that is only for older people, really that kind of product and service can apply to anyone of any age and ability at any circumstance. It’s very handy.

W: Yes, it would be very handy. And in fact someone I consider quite young given my advance in years, a colleague of mine who is just in his early 40’s has recently been diagnosed with epilepsy and I can see that home monitoring would make their life a lot easier.

L: Absolutely. In fact we support a lot of young adults with epilepsy thru to a nocturnal epilepsy sense which measures if they have a Tonic Clonic seizure while they’re in bed asleep at night and that means that they can have appropriate support provided for them. And of course a … detector when they’re out and about during the day time.

W: Intriguing. Lisa, Tunstall Healthcare has a long history, hasn’t it? It’s not a new come at this field.

W: Oh no. We’ve been around for about 57 years and that actually we’re started by a gentlemen called Norman Tunstall, who was an electronic engineer and he had a little electronic shops and he look after his mom and she fell over and hurt herself one day and when he popped into say hello to her, she’d been lying on the floor all day with an injured hip. So he thought “Wow you know I should be able to invent something to, so she can let me know if she has any problems.” So he invented this simple little buzzer system and I think he would be very excited to see all the advancements that have taken that simple product from where it was back 57 years ago to where it is today.

W: Well after 57 years and I see on your website being in 50 countries, I’m sure that you’ve got it down or finer by now.

W: Yeah, we’re pretty good at it by now. That’s for sure. (chuckles)

W: Lisa, it’s been a pleasure having you on Health Professional Radio with me today. If you just tuned in and you’ve missed this conversation with Lisa, you can find a transcript of it on our website and a sound archive as well. The best way to get hold of Tunstall Healthcare is through their website and I think that’s www.tunstall T U N S T A L L healthcare dot com dot au ( and is there a phone number that people can ring you on Lisa?

W: Oh there certainly is. So our main number here in Australia is 1 800 603 377. But on our website you will find all our global contacts on our global contact numbers.

W: So by all means if we’ve intrigued you with what you can do with remote sensing and remote healthcare, give Tunstall Healthcare a ring or check out their website. My name is Wayne Bucklar, this is Health Professional Radio.

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