The government is bidding to roll out telecare or telehealth devices to three million people with long-term conditions after a large-scale evaluation found they could significantly cut death rates and costs for the NHS.
Telehealth – which involves electronic sensors that monitor people’s health in their own homes and transmit findings to health professionals – can reduce A&E visits by 15%, emergency hospital admissions by 20% for people with long-term conditions and mortality rates by 45%.
Those were the headline findings from the whole-system demonstrator programme, the world’s largest randomised control trial of telehealth and telecare, involving 6,191 patients with diabetes, heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Further findings will be released in due course from the programme, which took place in Cornwall, Kent and Newham, east London.
On the back of the findings, the government today announced plans to ensure three million people with long-term conditions or social care needs could benefit from telehealth or telecare, but stressed it was not a national target.
Instead, the DH said it would provide leadership and work with NHS and social care organisations and professionals, and telehealth and telecare providers to deliver the change.
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