TeleHealth – Transforming Health Care in the NHS

telehealth-retouchedTelehealth has interested me for a long time and I have experimented with many sensors, hooking them up to people and doing  interesting things with the data, but taking it to the next level….Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, (of which I’m a Non-Executive Director) – aims to help people to stay  more independent in their own homes and prevent them going in hospital.

It is using Telehealth to support over 50 patients with long-term health conditions to give them greater control in monitoring and managing their health at home. Through the installation of a set top box which connects to a TV and the Motiva Personal Healthcare Channel, nurses can send immediate messages, feedback and reminders to patients, as well as information and videos about staying healthy.

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Patients can also use the blood pressure monitor and body weight scale to send readings through to the nurse via a secure network connection.

Going forward, Telehealth will be a vital part of patient care plans in the future, and Liverpool Community Health is aiming to roll it out across all of Liverpool with the aim supporting at least 1000 patients with technology within the next 2 years. LCH also offers a wide range of supporting products, ranging from talking watches that really do tell you the time, to bath plugs that can stop flooding or tell you if the water is too hot and has even created a Smarthouse to allow people to see the range of products available for different rooms in a ‘home’ environment installed at The Museum of Liverpool, with trained advisor’s on hand to demonstrate the technology and advise people on what products may be suitable for their needs.

Working with  the team at LCH has been fantastic these last two years, and although my tenure has come to an end in LCH (My aTelehealth_lgappointment finishes the end of Aug 2015), I will still have a huge interest in Telehealth and the things it can do to help people, and of course the cross over into Internet of Things and connected devices as currently we really are only at the tip of the Iceberg!

The NHS has some very difficult decisions and changes to make in the near future and the public (both as its customers and provider of NHS Capital) need to decide what we want from our NHS, especially in the age of sustainability what we expect of it, including identifying what the legitimate and reasonable needs and interests and expectations of its stakeholders really are, while allowing it to be innovative, try new things, including moving more people out of hospitals sooner to recover from home – while of course being monitored by experienced doctors and nurses, giving you round the clock care from the comfort of your armchair.