Successful large-scale deployment of Telehealth: a “cookbook”

Following a two and a half year evaluation of data from different connected health programmes in five European regions, a report click to enlargewas released this week described as a “cookbook” for large-scale deployment of coordinated care and telehealth. The work was carried out by a consortium led by Philips Healthcare and included participants from The Netherlands, Greece, the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany.

After monitoring coordinated care and telehealth initiatives in five EU healthcare regions – Lombardy (IT), Basque Country (ES), Catalonia (ES), Northern Netherlands (NL), and Scotland (UK) – the EU-funded Advancing Care Coordination & Telehealth Deployment (ACT) Programme has produced this ‘cookbook’ of good practice to facilitate their deployment across Europe.

Recommendations are made on how to ensure good staff engagement, practices which encourage patient adherence, “risk stratification” (providing a rationale for allocation of resources to those patients at highest risk) and assessment of results.

Although the “cookbook” is clearly based on European experience and the recommendations are targeted at the European telehealth community, reading through there is no reason why its findings and  recommendations would not just as well be useful to telehealth projects elsewhere. For example,  the rapidly aging population and the related burden of chronic illness in Europe, with 10 million people in EU suffering from heart failure, 20 million with COPD and 60 million with diabetes, is one of the key drivers for looking to coordinate care and use telehealth. While these figures give motivation for this type of work in Europe, the underlying trend is similar in many developed countries.

The 58-page report is available to download from the EU website for the programme here.

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