Digital health company Tunstall Healthcare is calling for greater investment in technology to protect vulnerable people during winter.

It comes as the company has developed a remote patient monitoring system to support vulnerable people by enabling early interventions to avoid the need for more complex care.

It forms part of the company’s range of Covid-19 offerings that aim to support individuals directly, or provide solutions to the NHS, local authorities and housing associations.

But for remote monitoring and other technology solutions to be successful in protecting vulnerable patients during winter further investment is needed in the sector, the company said.

Zillah Moore, director at Tunstall Healthcare, said: “This winter is likely to place unique pressures on our health and social care services, with the Covid-19 virus co-circulating with seasonal flu and other illnesses.

“These pressures can create risks to the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable people in our society and those who care for them. It’s therefore crucial that investment in technological solutions increases to support the continued provision of effective care delivery and mitigate the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as we move into the winter months.”

Tunstall’s remote patient monitoring platform includes an ICP triage manager portal the enable remote working, a traffic light-prioritisation system that triages patients to identify those most in need of intervention, and a library of healthcare educational content for patients.

It also offers a questionnaire to asses risk to patients and video conferencing to allow communication without the need for face-to-face appointments.

Moore added: “As identified by The Academy of Medical Sciences, this winter could see health and social care services facing four acute pressures; rising cases of Covid-19, disruption of the NHS, a backlog of routine care, and flu season coinciding with the current pandemic.

“With forecasts of unprecedented pressure on the NHS this winter, the role of robust remote patient monitoring solutions has never been better recognised, nor the need for them more acute.”

Policy institute Public Policy Projects in partnership with Tunstall Healthcare recently published a report calling for the government to support infrastructure needed to assist care providers in switching to technology-enabled care.

The rapid adoption of digital care solutions during the Covid-19 pandemic “should not be abandoned”, it stated, urging that “momentum is maintained, helping to reduce strain on health and care services”.