Telehealth will need more support from GPs to take off
- 21 Jan
Telehealth appears to not be taking off as well as it was expected to, in spite of a large amount of funding to bring hi-tech to health care.
It has been introduced as a revolutionary way to monitor long term health care such as heart defects and mental illness, but it will need the backing of doctors in order for it to work.
Long-term illnesses are one of the biggest costs to the NHS, and the 30% of patients with long-term illnesses account for around 70% of the NHS spending.
Telehealth has been designed as a new way for these patients to monitor their own health at home, using new technology, and could save the NHS a lot of money. It is alike to telecare, which appears to be taking off in a big way across the country as a way to monitor social care, and has proven to be extremely cost cutting and effective.
However, doctors do not appear to be taking the scheme on board, and it will not work if it is not implemented by doctors. There are fears over increased workloads for GPs as well as patients being unable to use the technology correctly and the risks associated with this.
It has also been questioned whether the NHS reforms will make it harder to launch telehealth, with budget cuts already cutting services and it appears there still needs to be a lot more work put in to telehealth before it is self sufficient, so will this be one of the services that does not get the funding, even though the money that could be saved from it would outweigh the costs?
GPs in North Yorkshire, one of the top seven areas that are key to the project, have been reluctant to take up the modern technology which monitors patients' vital signs at home, with latest figures showing 645 devices are being used, down from 674 three months ago, out of 2,000 purchased by NHS chiefs in 2010.
A deal over its future in the area has yet to be agreed as family doctors, who will shortly take on responsibility for health service funding, are unwilling to cover the costs of up to £1.7m a year in a county where the NHS is gripped by a dire financial crisis.
Health chiefs in North Yorkshire have already faced accusations that millions of pounds of taxpayers' money has been wasted on the project, with around two thirds of devices lying unused, and calculations suggesting annual costs outweigh the estimated savings that would come from fewer hospital admissions.
In Scotland, telehealth has been implemented in to remote prisons and police cells to deliver care to prisoners, and this is expected to save money and time as prisoners were previously driven to receive specialist care, as well as a safe method to deliver good care, in particular with problems such as mental illness where a video conference will be akin to a face to face meeting.
It appears to have been an effective move, but the UK government has said it has no plans to introduce this to the UK. Does this show signs of telehealth slowing down?
The signs point to telehealth just not being taken on enough in the community, even if it is being pushed by Government as the way forward, in particular with ensuring England have become a world leader in the field by introducing the most equipment - even if it is not all being used!
At times of financial struggle, can we afford to take on the costs of implementing a new project where uncertain staff and patients alike will need constant pressure to use it and will all require indepth training?
But then with new technology improving our society and our methods, and giving us the opportunity to save money in the long run, can we afford not to?
- 10 Aug
New social enterprise to help adults with vulnerabilities
Aspire Community Benefit Society is taking over the council’s Learning Disability Service for a five year contract, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.This new model will see the Learning...
- 30 Jul
New app hopes to bring smarter housing for social landlords
The ZONR app combines the latest intelligent sensor technology, smart data transmission and decision engine analytics to centrally monitor and support heating systems across social landlord’s...
- 05 May
New model of care homes in Wakefield to go ahead
WDH's vision was being able to help people live longer, healthier lives and see support by co-ordinated services delivered as close to their homes as possible under the banner of ‘Connecting Care',...
- 29 Dec
App to support young people with autism with social interactions
This new app launched by Samsung aims to help treat the inability to make eye contact. The app, called Look at Me, has been developed with Seoul National University Bundang Hospital and Yonsei...
- 27 Oct
3D maps could help people with visual impairments navigate cities
The official mapping body for Japan GSI have already developed paper maps for those with visual impairments using embossed surfaces to mark out roads, and is now planning a programme which will do...
- 21 Oct
A paralysed man has been able to walk again following cell transplant
Darek Fidyka, who was paralysed from the chest down following a knife attack in 2010, is now able to walk using a frame, reports the BBC. The treatment is a world first and was carried out by...
- 08 Jul
Breakthrough blood test for Alzheimer's cure
An international collaboration led by scientists from King's College London and Proteome Sciences has published a study identifying a set of ten proteins in the blood. This test will then predict the...
- 04 Jul
Trials for Alzheimer's disease is declining
US scientists have said there is an urgent need to increase the number of potential therapies being investigated. They say that only one new medicine has been approved since 2004, reports the BBC.The...
- 02 May
Study into the possibility of delaying the onset of dementia
One third of a million adults in the UK are taking part in a trial, funded by the Medical Research Council to try to predict what factors increases the risk of a person developing dementia.Each of...
- 10 Mar
Scientists believe a blood test could detect the early signs of Alzheimer's
Researchers have found that changes in the blood may signify Alzheimer's disease in its earliest stages. The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, has identified ten molecules in blood...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I thought this briefing was very good and very useful. The presentation was clear, well argued and I always find Michael gives me food for thought even if I don't agree with everything he says. I really like the way he facilitates a discussion in the room and I learn as much from other participants as I do from the presenter which is always good. Right length, right tone." R.P. - Richmond Fellowship