The British Standard BS8521 has been developed by TSA as an antidote to a growing problem within the Telecare and Telehealth industry – the inability to take advantage of new developments in technology because manufacturers are using systems that will not ‘talk’ to each other. Developed by suppliers with the support of the Telecare Services Association (TSA), BS8521 specifies the requirements for the establishment of a common signalling protocol to ensure that social alarm systems from different manufacturers exchange essential information and controls in a compatible manner.
Essential information and controls includes the identification of an individual local unit and controller, and the controls necessary to operate any speech link between a local unit and an alarm receiving centre (ARC). Vitally, the standard has the backing of all the major equipment suppliers, who have committed to implement the standard in both remote control and alarm receiving centre equipment following publication of the standard.
BS8521 offers, for the first time, the promise of improved interoperability of remote controllers supplied by different manufacturers, better identification and localisation of alarms and events and a solution which is resilient in the telecommunications network environment.