UK Healthcare Experts Debate Solutions for Chronic Disease Management

Intel CorporationAt a summit hosted by Intel Corporation, a group of healthcare experts and decision-makers debated solutions that could improve care for people with chronic disease and ease the strain on patients, their families and the NHS. Participants challenged each other on ways of improving the quality and integration of patient care including the role technology can play in reducing the cost burden.

Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Digital Health Group, Louis Burns said: "The rise in chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart failure and pulmonary disease combined with an ever ageing population will put an increased social and economic strain on the healthcare system. This summit was to facilitate a 'meeting of minds' to debate the issues and promote engagement between patients, carers, healthcare professionals and policy makers."

The care of people with chronic conditions consumes a large proportion of health and social care resources. With the incidence of chronic disease in the over 65s estimated to double by 2030, the UK healthcare system is facing a significant challenge.

In the UK, it is estimated that seventeen and a half million people live with a chronic condition and around 80% of GP consultations relate to chronic disease. By 2015, almost five million people in the UK will die from a chronic disease, with a cost to the UK economy of £18.8 billion.

David Kelly, Director, West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership, one of the panelists said: "To care for the growing ageing and chronically ill populations, we must embrace new ways of offering care and extending it further into the community and individuals' homes. I share Intel's view for driving change – a collaborative effort across healthcare, business and policy leaders must be established."

Intel's Commitment to Personal Telehealth
At the summit, Intel said it would help evolve the current model of care by connecting patients, their families and healthcare providers to the right information at the right time. This would allow for more informed decision-making, while empowering patients to take a more active role in their own care from the comfort and convenience of their home. To this end, Intel announced it is developing products to better care for ageing and chronically ill individuals, the first of which is focused on managing chronic diseases.

Intel's years of health research to understand the needs of the worldwide ageing population has laid the foundation for its product development for the ageing and chronically ill. The products under development are based on the real needs of the ageing populations and their carers and healthcare providers that Intel has discovered through ethnographic research.

In addition to developing products, Intel is helping create a large marketplace of interoperable personal telehealth devices and services through the Continua Health Alliance. Through Intel's collaboration in Continua and other efforts, it is trying to ease adoption barriers including regulatory, reimbursement and policy.

In the United Kingdom, Intel is engaged with Tunstall Group, a leading provider of telecare solutions. James Buckley, Chief Executive of Tunstall Group, says "Tunstall is working with Intel to develop telehealth solutions for new care models that will make a difference not only to the economic costs of our stretched healthcare services, but also to people's quality of life. Our involvement as a founder member of the Continua Health Alliance supports the development of solutions with our partners on a global basis."

Summit Participants Come from all Aspects of Healthcare
Participants in the Chronic Care at the Crossroads summit, held at the Royal College of Physicians, included healthcare professionals and organisations focused on the needs of patients and carers. While they debated many of the solutions, there was a unifying call for a paradigm shift from today's reactive model of care to one that enables a proactive, continuous and integrated approach to improving patient health while reducing stress to the healthcare system, the patient and their family members.

At the Chronic Care at the Crossroads summit, Jeremy Vine, the BBC broadcaster, moderated three panel discussions, with question and answer sessions – bringing together 10 healthcare experts, including representatives from NHS Connecting for Health, The Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly (RICE), and the UK eHealth Association and others.

For more information about what Intel is doing in healthcare, visit www.intel.com/healthcare. A meeting report of the Chronic Care at the Crossroads summit will also be available on this website next month. To learn more about the Continua Health Alliance, visit www.continuaalliance.org/home.

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About Intel in Healthcare
Intel recognizes that its work in the healthcare industry is not about solving technology problems; it's about solving people problems. The challenge inspires Intel to pursue technology definition and product development, as well as to serve in an advisory role. A prime example is guiding hospitals through the process of deploying key technologies, such as wireless networking. Intel does so by lending hospitals the design expertise of its solutions specialists, as well as by engaging the solution delivery expertise of third-party service providers.

These efforts align with the company's overall Digital Health initiative, which draws on Intel's heritage of technology innovation to help usher in improvements in the fundamental areas of healthcare quality, access and cost.

Intel, the Intel logo, Centrino, "Intel. Leap ahead.,", "Intel. Leap ahead." logo, Intel Viiv and Intel Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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