[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 7, February 2012].
The Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) programme was set up by the Department of Health to determine the potential benefits of telehealth and telecare. The aim was to provide a clear evidence-base to support the investment decisions which might need to be made and to show how the technology could support people with long-term conditions to live independently, “take control” and be more responsible for their own health and care.
The programme involved a randomised control trial of telehealth and telecare involving 6191 patients and 238 GP practices across three sites; Newham, Kent and Cornwall.
The Moon on a Stick?
The report’s headline findings from the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) programme are that telehealth – if used correctly – could deliver a 15% reduction in A&E visits, a 20% reduction in emergency admissions, a 14% reduction in elective admissions, a 14% reduction in bed days and an 8% reduction in tariff costs. The WSD programme demonstrates a potential 45% reduction in mortality rates.
Whole system demonstrator programme: headline findings – December 2011. London: Department of Health, December 2011. (Gateway Reference No.16972).