When this editor was running the Whole System Demonstrator in LB Newham, he watched as a firm of management consultants that were assisting the DH steadily became ‘experts’ in telecare and telehealth delivery as they watched us struggling to deliver a new technology to demanding academic trial requirements. It was almost a caricature of the “lend me your watch; show me how to use it; now I’ll charge you for telling you the time” joke.
A different firm allied with the leading provider of telehealth equipment at the time to offer a kit + redesign care package that shifted many boxes (more…)
A news item from the BBC (link below) takes the shine off the story of the Gloucestershire ‘big roll out’ of telehealth as it is generally presented (3ML PDF).
Dr Tim Macmorland, a GP in Churchdown, said the systems were ineffective. “I think it’s been handled poorly. It was rolled out to GPs without discussing anything about the system before it was implemented…We already knew it was working in the heart failure service, [see item here, paragraph 5. Ed.] but then we were asked to find patients who had these other chronic diseases for whom the system might work as well, and I don’t think it has to be honest, it’s been an absolute waste of money.”
For many years suppliers – and we – have been calling for an end to small scale pilots and for going straight for mainstream adoption. However, we may be seeing that in reality this is not possible, at least not with the approaches tried so far. Perhaps the ‘not invented here’ effect is stronger than we all supposed and telehealth adoption will only be achieved one doctor at a time.
BBC item: Gloucestershire health monitors investment a ‘waste of money’.