They’re baaaaaack!

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 in North Yorkshire & Gloucestershire. Sadly expectations were not met in North Yorkshire (also see here) or in Gloucestershire (for the time-lapse, see here, here then here). Shortly afterwards they moved on: when this editor checked on the websites of major consultancies a year or so back, with one exception there was very little, if anything, on any site about capabilities in the telecare and telehealth world.

It’s therefore intriguing to note that Ernst & Young (EY) are back telling everyone how to do it in this white paper targeted to their provider and (insurance) payer clientele. There are the usual lapses: telemedicine (remote consults) transmogrify into telehealth in the usual terminology confusion. Of course EY are advertising their wares, albeit on the other side of the pond. It is tempting to see this as a vote of confidence in telehealth (telemedicine); let’s see. Currently the word ‘telehealth’ only triggers one item on the EY UK website for 2014 (and it’s not obvious why): but for how long?

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