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Government's telecare scheme costs 10 times NHS cost-effectiveness threshold


We tried to introduce a universal system about 15 years ago that had been demonstrated to GPs, Consultants, Local, Regional and National Managers, Nurses at all levels, Ministers and so called 'telemedicine researchers'. Everyone said: 'when can we have it?' It was to be delivered in a joint initiative with BT Health and provided a deliverable eHealth and Social Care Record with secure access levels relevant to role and position of enquiry. As a web based solution using the expertise and experience of BT (who ran NHS Net) the ability to implement a system (which had already been trialed in the USA and Florida in particular) was unquestioned. Having worked with Microsoft, NASA Ames Laboratory, Telecare hardware developers and many other specialist companies including our parent funders who had developed both hospital and community based pumps which could be managed remotely by the patients consultant. We had also developed a bespoke multi-parameter screening module that included ECG, SpO2, respiration, weight, core body temp etc which could be downloaded remotely or pushed by the patient if appropriate. Even though the professionals wanted our solution, the IT managers at the Department of Health said no. They insisted their strategy of funding a vast array of unconnected pilots was the only way forward. Even when I said our pricing model was based on an annual fee of £5/patient from each of the GP, Hospital/Region and Social Services budgets: the answer was still no interest - said in public by the Director of NHS IT at a conference on telemedicine. We could have had 15 years of integrated health and social services e-Care and telemedicine services without the ongoing costly and inefficient pilot studies - many reinventing the wheel. Someone really has to look at what has happened and why. So much money has been spent on systems and tools which already exist and have been in use for many years somewhere in the world. This link show you what the solution looked like 15 years ago! Would you have this running or prefer the pilot chaos strategy? John Stephenson

Posted date

25 Jul 2014

Posted time