Oct 29, 2020

Northern Ireland care homes adopt tech to manage Covid

covid-19
care homes
remote monitoring
healthcare app
Leila Hawkins
2 min
Northern Ireland care homes adopt tech to manage Covid
The digital service will help staff identify Covid-related symptoms...

Care homes in Northern Ireland are adopting new digital technology to help support staff through a second wave of Covid-19 this autumn and winter. 

Digital Health and Care Northern Ireland (DHCNI), led by the Government's Department of Health, has partnered with Health and Social Care Trusts across Northern Ireland to develop digital technology that will support staff by providing an overview of the health status of their residents. 

The new service - currently being piloted - aims to help care workers identify residents at risk and who may need to be assessed by a registered nurse or doctor. 

To do this care workers complete a daily questionnaire with residents adding any symptoms associated with COVID-19. The answers are then fed into an app which sends the data to community-based health care teams, such as district nurses and home nursing teams. 

If any responses fall out of the range set for the resident, clinicians are alerted so they can intervene in their care with appropriate support.

The service is being provided by Inhealthcare, a digital healthcare company that creates remote patient monitoring solutions, among others. 

It has so far been tested in a small number of care homes with approximately 45 residents being monitored daily. Findings from the pilot will allow practitioners to look at how this digital healthcare intervention could play a part in supporting care homes in the longer term.

So far it's been showing benefis in providing additional training for care home staff to monitor residents for any signs of deterioration. Claire Büchner, Assistant Director from DHCNI, said: “This is a proactive and anticipatory approach to supporting care homes and should certainly be considered as part of a care pathway. It will provide assurance to residents and their relatives that care workers are being supported by health professionals."

“It is evident that care home staff knew their residents very well and were aware of subtle changes in their behaviour indicating the early onset of signs of illness" she added. 

As the pilot projects began, Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland, Professor Charlotte McArdle said: “I am very supportive of this important piece of work and how it is developing. It will be reassuring to residents and relatives that a timely response to healthcare needs will be available.

“Combining the ability to record observations through a digital platform with responsive clinical nursing assessment will add a new dimension to the provision of nursing care and treatment available to residents who develop healthcare needs in residential care homes.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT

HOOPP
Checkpoint
3 min
Erez Yarkoni, Global VP, explains how a three-way partnership between Check Point, HOOPP, and Microsoft is yielding optimum cloud security

Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.

“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.

Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:

  • Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
  • CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
  • Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data

 

However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”

In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies. 

The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help. 

“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”

 

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