Health Professionals Urged to Embrace Telehealth Technology

Telehealth SolutionsAs World COPD Day dawns, a UK telehealth expert has underlined the importance of embracing technology to improve the nation's health. Jeremy Cummin, the executive chairman of Telehealth Solutions, said there is mounting evidence to support the benefits of telehealth technology but adoption is still not as widespread as it could be.

The Watford-based entrepreneur, who established the firm with business partner John Dyson in 2006, has long championed the benefits of remote patient care.

He said: "We know it works, we know it saves patient lives and we know it saves costs; the only question left is - why aren't we using it more? We have dedicated our time and research to developing cutting edge telehealth technology that will encourage early detection and intervention of, amongst other things, COPD exacerbations.

"Devices, such as our HomePod, offer COPD patients the chance to manage their condition more effectively at home and offer health professionals the chance to keep a closer eye on patients than ever before."

Telehealth Solutions' portable HomePod allows patients to measure vital signs, answer symptom questionnaires and send the results, via mobile phone technology, to a nurse from their own homes. For COPD sufferers, that means a drop in lung function or signs of an infection can be spotted sooner, and in turn, the clinician can intervene before an issue becomes dangerous.

The HomePod was at the centre of an award-winning pilot scheme run by Telehealth Solutions on Isle of Bute off Scotland’s West Coast. COPD patients were given HomePods for a set trial period and the evaluation shows that the devices reduced the number of hospital admissions by more than 90 per cent and halved the number of home visits by local health professionals.

Jeremy added: "The Bute patients liked the machine because it gave them more control over their condition and gave reassurance of closer contact with their doctor than ever before. With COPD, detecting any deterioration in condition as early as possible is crucial to avoiding a serious exacerbation.

Without telehealth, problems like these are only detected once they demand a 999 call or hospital visit. By bringing patients and carers closer together, COPD sufferers can leave hospital sooner; have fewer hospital visits and fewer respiratory emergencies.

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About Telehealth Solutions
Telehealth Solutions was founded in 2006 to bring the convergence of technology and changing clinical practice to the benefit of patients and clinicians. The company has grown rapidly and now has 20 employees who are dedicated to providing the most secure, scalable and robust methods for collecting information from patients, without the need for clinical intervention, and getting that information into the hands of the clinicians and carers who are looking after those patients.

Products in the THSL portfolio, which is explained in-depth on the firm's website www.thsl.co.uk, include:

  • HomePod
  • CardioPod
  • SurgeryPod
  • Check-in Pod
  • CarePod

The Department of Health states that telehealth is the remote delivery of healthcare using electronic means of communication usually patient to clinician. For example, a patient measuring their vital signs at home and this data being transmitted via a telehealth monitor to a clinician. The principal benefits of telehealth are enabling great professional focus on patients, reducing anxiety, anticipating and, therefore, avoiding crisis admissions to hospital and improving medication compliance. The patient also becomes more informed about their daily health and is an active partner in their own healthcare. This use of technology is particularly good for remote and rural areas.

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