Telehealth, which is the management or delivery of health-related services through telecommunications technologies, has the potential to transform healthcare in the United Kingdom and around the world. It offers healthcare providers the means of tackling the twin challenges of an ageing population and limited resources, while for patients and their families, telehealth could help avoid admissions to and lengthy stays in hospital, as it can facilitate care in the home or the local community.
Professor Stanton Newman, Dean of the School of Health Sciences and a leading expert in telehealth, has undertaken research into the integration of health technologies in the healthcare pathway for different chronic conditions and individuals with different levels of severity. He notes that "while telehealth holds huge promise, it's important for us to recognise that we have a long way to go before we can easily and successfully implement such a programme throughout the country.
We need research to demonstrate the best techniques to integrate telehealth into a sustainable and effective model that could not only save many lives, but also help the NHS save millions of pounds annually.
Key to the sustainability of a telehealth pathway for chronic conditions is ensuring that patients are able to utilise the additional information that telehealth can provide and change their behaviour to manage their condition.
To help bridge the gap between traditional and technology-based healthcare, Professor Newman has been involved in launching the Advancing Care Coordination and Telehealth Deployment (ACT) programme, a pan-European study that will uncover some of the barriers to implementation of telehealth services and establish best practice in the sector.