As regular readers will know, at medlatest we’re string advocates of telehealth as an essential component in delivery of tomorrow’s healthcare. For example we’ve covered on many occasions reports of studies which have shown remote monitoring of conditions from diabetes to heart issues can not only be beneficial and even comforting for patients, but a brilliant and pragmatic solution to overcrowded wards, clinics and expensive late diagnoses.
So it’s encouraging that just now we’ve seen a very positive report from UK’s NHS Technology Adoption Centre coming out strongly in support following a study on COPD. Their item, which can be found here concludes that emergency admissions could be reduced by 21%, patient stay by 25% and even a reduction in post A&E admissions.
Let’s hope this enthusiasm from NTAC means the NHS will take a lead and properly drive telehealth technology into standard practice. After all, this is presumably a key purpose and function of the eponymous Technology Adoption Centre. Glucose monitoring and heart function are two obvious applications, but there must be many more.
Then there’s the subject of what we’ll call “Soft” telehealth. We’ve seen ideas as diverse as simply sending out appointment reminders through to post-discharge follow ups to ensure patient well-being and adherence to drug or even physio regimes, neither of which are really requiring of any new technology.
But what about a physician led initiative to do some blue sky thinking on the subject of what could be achieved, with the goal of reducing hospital stay, clinic visit number, clinic visit time and of course patient well-being, meaning earlier diagnosis of problems, better maintenance of “levels” and of course fewer visits to hospital car parks.
There must be a massive opportunity here.
Source: NTAC, medlatest staff rant