Following his recent attendance at the Scottish Tele-Healthcare summit, held within Aldourie Castle in Inverness and hosted by Highlands & the Islands Enterprise, Tom Morton, CEO of Argyll, realised that whilst there was a clear appetite within clinicians and care providers for the exploration and possible adoption of new mobile technology to improve and extend the quality and levels of care being delivered to service users, there was no real appetite for the risks associated in trialling such equipment.
Consequently Tom decided to conduct a trial himself by travelling the length of the new Hadrians Wall National Trail that runs from Wallsend in North Tyneside and Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria, a distance of approximately 84 miles and that follows the original path of the Roman wall built between AD100 and AD160 through city streets, suburban residential areas, small rural villages and the open countryside.
Tom (46) was accompanied on the trip by Michael Johnson (60), a long-standing family friend. The duo set off at 2pm on Friday 6th August with an aim to complete the trail within 4 days. A Smartcare GPS device, containing a mobile phone, global positioning system (GPS), fall detection sensor and an SOS button to summons assistance placed inside each of their rucksacks. Both devices were linked to a 24/7 monitoring facility to handle any alarms raised. In order to test the mobile phone coverage, one device was connected to O2 and the other to Orange/Everywhere.
Both devices were configured to use GPS to trace positions over a maximum of 16 hours each day between 0600 and 2200 hours and to plot their exact positions at intervals of 10 minutes. Individual device ‘wake up’ times were also staggered to commence their reporting 5 minutes apart. Position reports were displayed, via the internet, on a familiar Google® map where friends, family and colleagues were able to visit the Argyll company website and view the intrepid duo’s progress.