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Vitaphone TeleCare

Summary

Description

Operational Information

Evaluation

More Info

Summary

Vitaphone TeleCare is a support, care and emergency service via phone, founded in 1999. It is a German business enterprise which provides special cell phones for people living alone and who require more safety. It enables them to contact a medical service centre in case of emergencies or for everyday problems, by pressing an emergency button on their cell phone. Older people are able to easily get in touch with Vitaphone's certified telemedical service centre consisting of doctors and trained staff, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Moreover, Vitaphone transmits vital signs and blood chemistry parameters by means of a mobile ICT.

Data and relevant information about the client (such as allergies, current and previous diseases, and medicines), collected in a health portal can be communicated to emergency doctors or to the client’s family, by the telemedical service centre staff.

The service is paid out-of-pocket by users. The cost is based on the type of service package purchased, which is approximately 14,90€ per month plus an installation fee, that varies from 19,95€ to 24,95€.

The service involves organizations belonging to the Healthcare and Social Services Systems.

It impacts the quality of life of older people and their carers', helps the latter to reconcile work and care and minimizes the costs of home caring and hospitalizations.

Currently the service is not operating.

 

Description
refers to the target users, kind of service provided, ICTs typologies and devices used

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Vitaphone TeleCare
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Germany
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01-05-2002
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01-02-2011
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The initiative aims to empower older people to live independently and safely and to increase their mobility and quality of life. The initiative also aims at relieving informal cares by reconciling work and caring responsibilities.

Its main purpose is to develop special technologies for the transmission of vital signs and blood chemistry parameters through an innovative ICT, while offering innovative service concepts.

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Vitaphone is a leading company in the field of transmitting vital signs and blood chemistry parameters by means of a mobile ICT. Founded in 1999, Vitaphone TeleCare is a support, care and emergency service via phone (Mollenkopf et al. 2010: 46).

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Yes Care Recipients
Yes Informal carers
Yes Paid assistants
Yes Formal carers

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Not available

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Yes Independent Living
No Information and learning for carers
No Personal Support and Social Integration for carer
Yes Care coordination

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Vitaphone TeleCare is available through both mobile and landline phones with different phones offered by Vitaphone.

Summary of the different products and charges:

  1. Vitaphone TeleCare (basic package): available for all mobile and landline phones, including a 24-hour support and emergency service. Optionally, this package can be combined with 2 landline phones called amplicom PowerTel 680 (featuring large keys, an answering machine, programmable keys for emergency numbers, compatibility with hearing aids, a vibrating wristband with an emergency button; 170€) and amplicom PowerTel 50 Alarm Plus (featuring large keys, 3 programmable keys for emergency numbers, compatibility with hearing aids, a hand alarm; 170€). Cost: 14,95€ per month, plus a 24,95€ installation fee.
  2. Vitaphone TeleCare Aktiv provides the same services as the basic package but also includes a mobile phone with a key connecting directly to the telemedical service centre. Vitaphone 1100 (featuring a 3-key mobile phone with an emergency button, position-fixing via GSM; 29€), Vitaphone 1300 (a comfortable mobile phone withan emergency button, position-fixing via GPS/GSM; 275€), amplicom PowerTel M5010 (a mobile phone with an emergency button, Bluetooth, fall detector, position-fixing via GSM, compatible with hearing aids; 75€), amplicom PowerTel M6000 (the same as M5010 with a colour display; 95€), under a 24-month mobile phone contract. Cost: 14,95€ per month, plus a 19,95€ installation fee.
  3. TeleCare Assist offers the same services and devices as TeleCare Active but with a prepaid sim card instead of a mobile phone contract. Prices for mobile phones vary: Vodafone 1100 49€, Vodafone 1300 290€, amplicom PowerTel M5010 90€, amplicom PowerTel M6000 109€.
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The only required devices are mobile (prepaid sim-card or mobile phone contract) or landline phones.

Operational Information
refers to the type of funding, budget, sustainability and organisations involved

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Private only
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Other: please specify
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Not applicable

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Private out of pocket: users pay the service by themselves
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Users pay 14,90€ per month plus an installation fee, that varies from 19,95€ to 24,95€.

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Vitaphone is involved with national and international partners to conduct research and development of intelligent telemonitoring systems. The goal is to provide optimal care to the chronically ill and people in need of care in the future. Vitaphone Telecare has set new standards due to its international patents for the key technologies for mobile phone data transmission of vital signs and blood chemistry parameters. Simultaneously the company goal is to give patients increased mobility, safety and higher quality of life. The service’s strategy is based on the principles of accountability, integrity, drive, respect and to make use of the professionalism, the commitment and the friendliness of its staff in order to satisfy clients

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Since Vitaphone is a business enterprise, the long term sustainability of the initiative will depend on funding deriving from its future commercial success.

No available information on the sustainability plan of the initiative or any expected changes of the service provision.

 

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No Authorities
Yes Private Care Sector
Yes Health and Social Care Systems
No Third Sector
No Private Companies

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Not available

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Not involved
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Yes Informal Carers
Yes Health Professionals
Yes Social Care Professionals
Yes Privately-Hired Care Assistants (inc. Migrant Care Workers)
No Volunteers

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Not available

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Not involved

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501 - 1,000
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Not available

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Events concerning Telemedicine addressed to healthcare professionals, such as participation in Scientific meetings and Exhibitions, are publicized on their website

Evaluation
refers to the impact of the service on end-users, care organisations and authorities

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Not available

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Strengths:

  1. The excellence of Vitaphone TeleCare consists in the qualified support in case of medical emergencies. The present growing number of patients with chronic diseases results in an increasing demand for the German Health Service. Thus the number of users of the service could potentially grow if the company is able to steadily satisfy this need.
  2. The Telemedical Service Center is the central platform for all telemedical monitoring and care systems of Vitaphone GmbH. It is the only one of its kind to be certified according to both the quality management standard DIN EN ISO 9001 and the “VDE use recommendations for telemonitoring” (VDE is the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies).
  3. Patients and customers have at their disposal a qualified team consisting of doctors and medical support personnel, 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year.
  4. In 2009, a product of Vitaphone TeleCare (Vitaphone 1300) was nominated as "Testsieger" (best in test) during a television broadcast of WDR (a German TV channel).
  5. The sevice is able to be innovative: in 2000, Vitaphone created the first "Herz Handy", a combination of Electrocardiogram (ECG) device and mobile phone.

Weaknesses:

  1. An English website page is not available.
  2. It is not clear if the service’s cost can be partially covered by the Public Health Insurance. This lack of information is a weakness for the whole service.

Opportunities:

  1. The service is well integrated in the healthcare system and new opportunities for collaboration could occur in the future.
  2. The service is boosting its international presence , as it is exporting its model to other countries, such as Egypt, China, Denmark, France, Greece, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovenia, Austria, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the USA.

Challenges

  1. The main challenge for the Vitaphone Company is to be able to meet the increasing demand of assistance, while maintaining the same quality of service.
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Founded in 1999, Vitaphone started its internationalisation in Switzerland in 2002. Afterwards it spread to China (2006), the Netherlands (2006), the United Arab Emirates (2008), the USA (2008) and France (2009). The service is also offered in other countries (Egypt, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovenia, Austria, South Africa, the Czech Republic and Turkey).

The initiative has been able to be developed on larger scale levels, getting over the local boundaries and the community approach.

Information about evaluation, future perspectives and problems developing the initiative are not available and will hopefully be updated.

More Information
includes contacts, publications and accompanying documents

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Publications:

Muller A., Helms T. M., Neuzner J., Schweizer J., Korb H. (2009) Federal Health Journal - Health Research – Health, Number 9, September.

Schwab J. O., Müller A., Oeff M., Neuzner J., Sack S., Pfeiffer D., Zugck C. (2008) Nucleus of the Working Group telemonitoring of the German Society of Cardiology, Heart and Circulatory Research, Heart-33.

Mollenkopf H., Kloé U., Olbermann E., Klumpp G. (2010) The Potential of ICT in supporting Domiciliary Care in Germany. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Müller A., Scharner W., Borchardt T., Och W., Schweizer J., Korb H. (2009) Telemedicine Guide Germany.

 

Homberg B. (2009) Telemedicine Guide Germany.

 

Mollenkopf H., Kloé U., Olbermann E., Klumpp G. (2010) The Potential of ICT in supporting Domiciliary Care in Germany. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

 

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Vitaphone in Germany

Vitaphone GmbH
Markircher Straße 22
68229 Mannheim

Telephone: 0049 (0)621-17 89 18 100
Fax: 0049 (0)621-17 89 18 101

Vitaphone in Österreich

Office Park 1, Top B02
1300 Wien (Airport)
Österreich

Tel.: 0043 1 22787 151
Fax: 0043 1 22787 200