Person with a pendant alarm in the early 1980s. The ‘hub’ is on the shelf.
Source: Staying at home: Helping elderly people HMSO 1984. Author: Professor Anthea Tinker (To whom many thanks for the copy).
As far as we know this study was the first evaluation of housing options for older people that included costings and detailed information on various alarm systems. It was based on surveys for the Department of the Environment (DOE, as it was at the time) of all council housing departments in England and Wales in 1977. The research was undertaken between 1977 and1983 and the surveys had a 92% response rate and were followed by phone interviews.
Jacques von Speyer, CEO of US Tele-Medicine reflects on his recent experience of talking to industry leaders at the ATA conference.
I was at the ATA conference a couple of weeks ago and found a certain commonality; no one is making money right now in telemedicine. Of all the device vendors, both the new ones from Korea, Taiwan, China, Israel, France and Switzerland, to the branded names like Intel, GE, AT&T, Bosch, Honeywell and the others, not one of them has produced an important single flow of income.
The entire industry seems to be waiting for some payor or another to step forward and be the first to implement a national system of sufficient proportions to kick start telemedicine in the USA. One difficulty to achieving that is the fact that US industries and governments are in abeyance until the election, and the prospect of redefining how someone approaches healthcare and its delivery, based on an uncertain economic indicators, is difficult. Entities are comfortable with the status-quo and after all, eventually, everyone seems to be receiving healthcare irrespective of cost or time involved. So where is the incentive to change? It appears that not even the inherent savings appropriated in most telemedicine programs is enough of a motivator to push telemedicine along in the USA.
Basically we are all waiting for the ‘eventuality’ to take place, and it will. The challenge for most, however, is to stick around long enough to benefit from it.
Report from Holyrood Conference’s 3rd Telehealthcare Summit in Glasgow this week gives a snapshot of the discussions and Scottish Government position. If readers who attended would like to submit other reports (or links to them) we will be happy to fill out the picture on this major Scottish event. Scotland seen as world leader in telehealth and telecare.
Spend 15 minutes with a cup of coffee and the video below to hear Dr Leslie Saxon sum up the present situation for remote monitoring of patients with heart implants and the case for, and current limitations on, mHealth generally. “It’s a civil rights issue.” Wow! It’s better than many a two-day conference. Don’t miss the anecdotes that start at 8mins 45secs.
RELATED NEWS ITEM May 16, 2012: Philips has announced the latest addition to the company’s remote diagnostic arrhythmia and remote patient monitoring portfolio, CardioCare Wireless Arrhythmia Services, to streamline the complex process of remotely monitoring cardiac patients and capture critical information sooner. Only in the US at present. HealthTech item.
Independent consultant cardiologist Dr Lance Forbat, whose work using telehealth monitoring Telecare Aware has reported a number of times, responds to the recent headline on the Mayo Clinic study that telehealth monitoring appeared to treble death rates and points out that in comparing monitoring people at home with and without telehealth monitoring they were not comparing like-for-like.
If I do a twice daily ward round on my patients and look at the physiological signs recorded by the nurse and take a history, possibly pick up on unnoticed issues that my years of experience detect, I would like to think I make an impact on the outcome of patients’ illnesses as well as their sense of well being… (more…)
Telehealth and Telecare Aware posts pointers to a broad range of news items. Authors of those items often use terms 'telecare' and telehealth' in inventive and idiosyncratic ways. Telecare Aware's editors can generally live with that variation. However, when we use these terms we usually mean:
• Telecare: from simple personal alarms (AKA pendant/panic/medical/social alarms, PERS, and so on) through to smart homes that focus on alerts for risk including, for example: falls; smoke; changes in daily activity patterns and 'wandering'. Telecare may also be used to confirm that someone is safe and to prompt them to take medication. The alert generates an appropriate response to the situation allowing someone to live more independently and confidently in their own home for longer.
• Telehealth: as in remote vital signs monitoring. Vital signs of patients with long term conditions are measured daily by devices at home and the data sent to a monitoring centre for response by a nurse or doctor if they fall outside predetermined norms. Telehealth has been shown to replace routine trips for check-ups; to speed interventions when health deteriorates, and to reduce stress by educating patients about their condition.
Telecare Aware's editors concentrate on what we perceive to be significant events and technological and other developments in telecare and telehealth. We make no apology for being independent and opinionated or for trying to be interesting rather than comprehensive.