Arc Informatics was formed in 2012 to design, develop and bring direct to market a high-quality system to monitor changes in normal daily activity and alert a carer when someone elderly, infirm, disabled or with memory problems is in potential difficulty at home. Formed by successful entrepreneurs Nigel Mills and Danny Scott and based in Essex, the company has developed a cutting-edge remote carer alert system designed to assist middle-aged adults and carers coping with ageing parents and relatives.
The system is highly innovative and principally targeted at a growing over 50s market sector that is likely to have relatively high disposable incomes coupled with very real concerns that they have less time than they would like to look after their ageing relatives, specifically those who live alone and some distance away or at the point of needing some form or combination of care arrangements. Requiring only a mobile phone for the carer, it will ease such worries by providing a reliable means of being automatically alerted by text if there is a potential problem without having to rely upon time-consuming and possibly intrusive “Are you OK?” phone calls or visits.
It all started with a great idea jointly conceived by Nigel and Danny followed by several years hard work in terms of research, development and a commitment to bring the TEC-Angel non-intrusive activity monitoring and alert system through to a prominent position in the Telecare-enabled Assistive Technology sector. TEC-Angel meets a much-sought-after need for those families privately caring for relatives without care agency involvement. It can be used either on a standalone basis or as part of an individual's care package within the home to provide round-the-clock peace of mind for family members and carers. The system can be self-installed without any tools or professional help. Apart from the initial purchase price there are manageable ongoing running costs estimated at between £5 and £10 a month to keep enough credit on the system's SIM card for sending warning and emergency alerts (at the chosen operator's standard or bundle rate) to a carer's mobile phone. Additionally, a monthly £3 premium rate text to the manufacturer allows them to check that TEC-Angel continues to operate correctly.
Today, we are proud to bring TEC-Angel direct to your doorstep bringing with it benefits which we sincerely hope will genuinely be of value to both carers and their loved ones alike!
In common with most people we too can relate, either personally or anecdotally, to the problems facing the growing numbers of older and vulnerable people within our communities and recognise the overriding desire of the older generation to remain in their own homes for as long as is safe and practical to do so.
At the same time there are growing concerns about the impact of care costs, levels of self-funding and potential depletion of financial assets. Increasing numbers of children are seeing their hoped-for inheritance eaten away by expensive care home fees, and government plans to cap the maximum anybody will contribute to their care costs have been deferred until 2020. Sometimes, it’s not only a case of looking after a loved one’s health and wellbeing, but also their financial best interests too!
To help overcome the initial resistance barrier to being monitored, this proactive monitoring and alert system is very far removed from being an assistance button on a lanyard or any form of closed circuit video monitoring. Instead, it will provide a remote carer alert and early warning system without any intrusion into an individual's lifestyle and without requiring them to wear any form of call button or GPS tracking device. More importantly, without an elderly relative having to admit that they actually might need some form of assistance!
Our principal product has been developed and thoughtfully branded as TEC-Angel, a modern-day 'guardian' in the form of a premier caring solution designed solely to assist and help extend independent living for the elderly, infirm or disabled within their own homes bringing with it peace of mind for family members and carers alike.
For many of our loved ones, particularly for those with memory problems such as Alzheimer’s, knowing for sure that they are safe and sound could make that vital difference between a loved one going into care or continuing to live in their own home in familiar surroundings for as long as possible.
Instead of frequently popping-in or ringing two or three times a day to check if an elderly relative is okay TEC-Angel will keep an eye on them hour-by-hour leaving any time that can be spent with a loved one to be shared together as quality time!
Although primarily targeted at families privately caring, TEC-Angel could just as easily be utilised by medical services and healthcare professionals where a single carer such as a health visitor must look after or monitor many people over a diverse area.
We also believe that TEC-Angel is likely to appeal to housing providers such as owners and wardens of sheltered accommodation who are looking to the increased application of technology to enhance their monitoring of residents and to be alerted earlier to potential problems. Whatever your role, you are welcome to contact us to discuss your organisation’s bespoke requirements.
We also welcome enquiries from major care organisations and charities that may be seeking to either employ or endorse a monitoring and alert system to complement their own objectives and activities.
Nigel Mills (BSc CEng FIET) is the Commercial Director and financier and Danny Scott has been the technical consultant on the hardware and software development. Nigel and Danny had previously worked together for about 19 years in total since 1986, having first worked together for a couple of years at another company. In 1988 Nigel founded Paradise Datacom Ltd, with Danny joining him a few months later for over a decade (www.paradisedata.com).
From being `two guys in a spare room` in 1988, Paradise Datacom won the Queen’s Award for Export in 1996; a few years later the Queen’s Award for International Trade, and in 2001 the Queen’s Award for Technology. By 2001 it had grown to 40 staff in the UK with a turnover of about £15m, and a US operation started from scratch in 1996, of 45 staff with a turnover of about $20m.
Eventually, Paradise Datacom was sold to a plc and Nigel and Danny's paths diverged for several years until joining up again in 2012 when they started Arc Informatics, where their friendly working relationship was once again epitomised by a common pursuit of innovation and technical excellence.
Several years down the line the design and development side is largely complete and TEC-Angel is on the market primarily to meet a much-sought-after need for those families privately caring for loved ones without care agency involvement.
Nigel continues to run the company and promote the TEC-Angel while Danny has stepped down to allow himself the freedom to enjoy the ongoing technical challenges associated with other product developments.
TEC-Angel is a carer-configurable, standalone monitoring and alert system to help a single vulnerable person, either elderly, infirm, disabled or with memory problems to stay in the comfort of their own home for longer without losing their independence or privacy, and brings with it peace of mind for families and carers alike. With growing concerns about the potential depletion of their assets (not to mention the loss of their children's inheritance), sometimes it’s not only a case of looking after a loved one’s health and wellbeing, but also their financial best interests too! TEC-Angel could make the difference between a loved one going into care, with the associated expensive care home bills, or continuing to live in their own home in familiar surroundings with their own belongings for as long as is safe and practical without changing their routines or lifestyle.
TEC-Angel's innovative one-piece door sensor uses a magnetometer to detect rotation of the sensor within the earth's magnetic field, and hence can detect the door being moved away from its frame. As such, it can be mounted anywhere on the inside of the door ideally at chest height where it is less likely to be knocked. Wireless movement and door sensors each incorporate a discreet and silent panic button, which when pressed, prompts the system's hub to send an immediate emergency text message to the carer. This additional safety feature is probably unique to TEC-Angel and provides an extra degree of reassurance for a loved one and carer alike. Although TEC-Angel is designed to be pet friendly, movement sensor sensitivity is easily adjustable and the red movement indicator light on each sensor can be disabled for an even less intrusive presence as an individual moves about their home.
TEC-Angel is solely a monitoring, alert and information system and is not directly linked to external agencies or the emergency services. It should not be relied upon as a life-saving device although a carer’s actions as a result of a warning message might well be. TEC-Angel is only effective for monitoring a single resident within a dwelling and text message delivery is mobile phone network dependent.
TEC-Angel comes, thankfully some might say, with a 40-page comprehensive printed User Guide for self-installation without any professional help. Each standard package includes a mains-powered communications hub, 5 wireless movement sensors and 1 wireless door sensor for location at chest height in the five most-used rooms such as Hall, Lounge, Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom and the main exit door of your relative’s home, typical of a one-bedroom flat. Additional movement and door sensors are available for larger homes or more complex installations and if required a pre-delivery bespoke configuration service is available. Each TEC-Angel system can support up to eleven movement sensors and up to four separate door sensors. The User Guide can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/AA-UG.
No internet connection is required nor are there any online portals to check, activity graphs to monitor, or call centre or social services involvement. All activity data remains securely within the hub in the home.
In conjunction with any mobile phone capable of receiving text messages, carers are able to see from an extensive range of friendly text alerts if anything is less than okay. TEC-Angel will text the designated mobile phone if anything out of the ordinary occurs such as: getting up too late or very early to bed; a night’s sleep overly disturbed by bathroom visits; leaving the house at night (wandering) or simply never going out; not leaving a room for extended periods for a bathroom break or a drink or vulnerability problems such as getting stuck in the bath, having unexpected late-night visitors or extremes of temperature in occupied rooms. In a normal day no messages are sent, so there’s no information overload.
In response to an alert a carer might want to know what a loved one is doing without actually disturbing them with a phone call or even popping in. Use of the 'Activity' command on their mobile phone generates a short summary of the five most recent room changes, how long they have been there and where they currently are. This very useful command can also be used to see if a relative is in a safe and convenient room to receive a chatty phone call and avoids calling them just after they have stepped into the bathroom!
Virtually every eventuality has been taken into account and whilst a carer can change the settings and avoid repeated alerts under the same conditions, as opposed to turning them off, TEC-Angel has been carefully preset with sensible rules and we promise not to send unnecessary alerts during unsocial times!
It’s only natural to panic at times, especially if there is an unexpected knock at the front door, and each movement and door sensor includes a unique non-intrusive silent panic button to send an alert immediately to the carer’s mobile phone. There is no local indication that an emergency alert has been sent and, most times, a quick return call or asking a trusted neighbour to pop in is all that’s needed to give the reassurance required by a loved one.
All sensors self-check by reporting to the hub once per day regardless of whether or not they have been activated. Sensors are designed to conserve battery power, but when the time comes TEC-Angel will send a low battery alert to the carer’s mobile phone including the room location. If there is a power cut an internal rechargeable battery in the hub allows operation to continue for several hours. An alert is also sent if the mains power is removed from the hub or just unplugged, but our reaction time is delayed by a couple of minutes to avoid unnecessary concerns over momentary power outages. To allow the manufacturer, Arc Informatics Ltd, to check that TEC-Angel continues to operate correctly when installed in an individual’s home it communicates technical data only to us by means of a £3 monthly premium rate text.
TEC-Angel is only available for purchase online direct from the manufacturer. For full information including all initial and ongoing costs and to order the TEC-Angel self-contained and wireless, proactive monitoring and alert system for a single vulnerable person please visit our product website tec-angel.co.uk.
You are more than welcome to complete the contact form below or enquire today on our friendly Care Line 01245 860252 to request a brochure or for technical help and support. Your call will not be recorded for training or marketing purposes!
Helping people to stay in their own home for longer