BMJ Articles Question Optimism About Telehealth / Telecare (BMJ)

Summary

The government hopes to be able to use telehealth as a way of cutting NHS costs and improving care quality, but the BMJ has run a series of articles questioning the evidence from the world’s largest randomised control trial on this subject. The Whole System Demonstrator programme, running over three and a half years, recruited over 6000 patients and 230 general practices at a cost of £30m; making this the biggest assessment of telehealth and telecare ever.

The aim of the Government is to cut hospital admissions using technology that allows patients to manage their conditions at home.

 “Seven out of 10 inpatient beds are occupied by people with long-term conditions; around 70p in every NHS pound is spent looking after them”. Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services.

Others remain unconvinced and wish to resist “jumping the gun”. They remind us that the programme and evaluation of its results has been divided into five themes, each to be analysed by a different institution, and caution that only the first set results have been published as yet, whereas the government has already committed to large-scale roll-out of the technology. This article explores the uncertainties.

Full Text Link (Note: This article may require an Athens password, journal subscription or payment for access).

Reference

Gornall, J. (2012). Does telemedicine deserve the green light? BMJ. July 10th 2012; 345: e4622.

NHS Boards and Telehealth

Some NHS boards could mistakenly view telehealth technology too narrowly as a means of saving money in the short-term instead of developing the services, according to an expert on governance. Boards should aim to plan intelligently and strategically about telehealth, rather than focusing obsessively on cost savings and reducing acute hospital admissions.

Full Text Link (Note: This article may require an Athens password, journal subscription or payment for access).

Reference

Limb, M. (2012). NHS boards see telehealth only as a means of saving money, warns expert. BMJ. July 5th 2012; 345: e4633.

Telehealth for Long-Term Conditions

The authors of this article caution that the latest evidence doesn’t warrant full-scale roll-out but more careful exploration.

Full Text Link (Note: This article may require an Athens password, journal subscription or payment for access).

Reference

Car, J. Huckvale, K. [and] Hermens, H. (2012). Telehealth for long-term conditions. BMJ. June 21st 2012; 344: e4201.

Advertisements

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, Assistive Technology, Community Care, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), In the News, Management of Condition, National, NHS, Nuffield Trust, Patient Care Pathway, Proposed for Next Newsletter, Quick Insights, Telecare, Telehealth, UK, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.