In an interesting Viewpoint article in today’s GPonline entitled “Future proofing disease management”, Dr Raj Thakkar introduces the acronym CLOUD, which stands for Co-morbidity management, Lifestyle management, Outpatient monitoring (in primary care), Up-titration of drugs and Drug adherence.
Most readers will be very familiar with the justification for this approach, that “motivating people to be healthy and prevent developing cardiovascular disease in the first place, motivating diagnosed patients to take responsibility for their disease and motivating healthcare professionals to optimise treatment can lead to a better quality of life for patients, a reduction in healthcare expenditure and save GPs’ future workload by reducing disease progression”, so why this post?
Well the reason so many are familiar is of course that CLOUD describes telehealth’s capabilities perfectly – it:
- helps the management of comorbidities, providing a single platform for patients to interact with their clinical team;
- delivers personalised responses to vital signs changes and self-care educational material to help patients move towards a healthier lifestyle;
- enables very low cost continuous monitoring of patients in their own homes, helping avoid unplanned secondary care episodes;
- facilitates precise titration of drugs because clinicians are immediately able to observe the impact on vital signs of a dosage change without the need for the patient (or clinician) to travel;
- assists in medication adherence by reminding when drugs should be taken, by helping educate patients to overcome many of the reasons why they don’t want to take medication, and ultimately can check if the medication has been taken.
Telehealth is definitely CLOUD-friendly.
Dr Thakkar is Clinical Commissioning Director – Planned Care at Chiltern CCG; if I was still selling telehealth solutions, I know where my next call would be!