Here are two free reports you should consider downloading.
First, The Center for ConnectedHealth’s 2007 Progress Report. Good if you want a wide-ranging look at current remote health monitoring and care delivery trends in the US. [And in Second Life…I wonder if not being able to fly or grow a tail count as health problems in that virtual world?] Interesting stuff, and you can download it from this page on the Center’s website.
Second, there’s the S2S (Strategies to Solutions) discussion paper, called Technology to Support the Ageing Global Population 2007 to 2027. It is 25 pages of balanced, well written information that ranges over assistive technology [a term used in its broad sense – compare with this post] including health- and care-related AT, and highlights various issues for society and emerging technology. You have to join the S2S mailing list to get it, but don’t let that put you off. Get it here.
With a bit of editing and a slightly revamped commentary this video could become a useful introduction to telecare and telehealth for the public. However, people who know me will anticipate that I have a huge problem with Norfolk’s conflation of ‘assistive technology’ with telecare and telehealth, hence I’ve also categorised the video under ‘terminology’.
Let’s get this straight: ‘assistive technology’ is a very broad term for any equipment that helps compensate for some form of functional impairment. Or, as the Foundation for Assistive Technology (FAST) defines it, “Assistive Technology (AT) is any product or service designed to enable independence for disabled and older people.” A few shots at the beginning of the video imply that they understand this, but it soon slips into referring to the telecare and telehealth as AT. Although can be regarded as a subset of AT, there is no implication that AT has a remote component in any way, which is the key defining characteristic of telecare, telehealth, telemedicine, etc. When I was contracted to work at the Department of Health I frequently reminded civil servants and Ministers not to refer to telecare as ‘assistive technology’ and I thought that eventually the message did get through. At least by the time the Preventative Technology Grant conditions were published. And now it raises its head again…
OK, rant over! My thanks to Saneth Wijayaratna of Telemedcare Ltd for alerting me to the 7 minute video.
This post continues the focus on the terminology problems.
Watch this 6½ minute video of US Senator for South Dakota John Thune advocating (successfully) an increase in funding for telehealth in October 2007. It is interesting to observe his superordinate use of the term ‘telehealth’, with ‘telemedicine’ sometimes seeming to be used interchangeably, and sometimes subordinately to it when contrasted with ‘telehomecare”.
I’m grateful to Marnee Brick, a speech therapist, for spotting this video. As an ex-speech and language therapist I am delighted to see that she is promoting online therapy. See her site: TinyEYE.
However, I do have a problem with her construction of online speech therapy under ‘telehealth’ in her blog. As I’ve mentioned previously, the terminology issue here is not with ‘tele’. It’s what comes after: is speech therapy is a health or an education-related discipline – or something else? This was a debate going on in the UK from at least the ’60s. She also uses the term ‘telespeech’ and ‘telepractice’.
Ascom is perfectly entitled to name its nurse call system anything it wants. But does it fit within the range of your construct of ‘telecare’? It doesn’t sit comfortably in mine. Read their Ascom Telecare IP – Nurse Call System information and leave a comment if you want to react.
United Response, a UK charity supporting people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, terms its use of telecare equipment ‘telesupport’. Is this a reasonable, or even a useful, coining, maybe?
1 minute 18 seconds video about “the worlds smallest, high-speed wireless biosensor kit” from the Japanese Medical Electronic Science Institute Co. Ltd.
As regular Telecare Aware readers will know, Wireless Healthcare is a favourite source of articles, so it is a pity that in this commercial report they have produced they chose to perpetuate the use of the pejorative term ‘elderly’ instead of the less value-laden ‘older people’. Wireless Healthcare’s story on the report [Page URL “http://www.wirelesshealthcare.co.uk/wh/news/wk05-08-0003.htm” reported to be compromised by malware 16 March 2015].