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Telehealth technologies

3rd August 2011

In an interview with On Medica, Rebecca Lord, business manager at UK Life Care, discusses the future role of telehealth solutions.

ukhealthcomputingQ

I can foresee an increased role for telehealth with the vision for merging health and social care.

Many patients who use telehealth systems feel that they are receiving a greater level of care from someone they can call on if needed.

Empowering patients and helping them to manage their own conditions while having the re-assurance of being monitored remotely on a regular basis can play a key role in reducing significant health service costs such as emergency admissions and re-admissions.

I also envisage that teleheath will be vital in improving the efficiency of social care services by reducing the demand on personal care by vulnerable service users.

Telehealth can help prevent emergency admissions and also lead to a reduction in GP home visits.

While there will also be a need for a patient to have face-to-face contact, telehealth can ensure that this contact is focused on the occasions when it is truly necessary.

Through telehealth, anxious patients become more comfortable receiving less face-to-face care from health professionals and more time self-managing their condition from home.

Telehealth programmes vary depending on the localised health economy. There is no winning template; it is very much about working in partnership to ensure that all involved are engaged with the process.

What is important to remember is that telehealth is not about the equipment but about improving the quality of patients’ lives and supporting the clinical teams with their case management and decision-making processes.

It is about the results that the equipment brings.

 

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