Health Service Journal: Telehealth Supplement (UK)

TA readers will wonder whether the Health Service Journal (HSJ) can deliver anything fresh or worth reading in its 19-page supplement We have the technology ? an HSJ supplement on telehealth. Well, it’s a comprehensive roundup of what’s happening in the UK and an in-depth introduction if the recent Canadian piece is too lightweight. More interestingly, it contains two articles on an often overlooked topic; telehealth in prisons and in offender management.

3millionlives: Newsletter and video (UK)

November was a busy month for the 3millionlives (3ML) team, as reported in their November newsletter (PDF). They have also released a video, below. (7½ minutes) The video contains interviews with doctors, patients and a nurse. It was made to be shown at the Making Sense of Commissioning conference held on 27 November 2012 at the Royal College of General Practitioners, London, which may explain the focus on telehealth and the absence of any references to the contribution telecare technologies can play in supporting people at home.

3ML is also showing up alongside the Digital First initiative as one of six ‘high impact innovations’ on the NHS innovation website. Coverage of the Digital First launch seems to have confused many commentators. Not just the UK press, but in the US too, e.g. FierceHealthIT: U.K. telehealth model, smartphone prescribing unlikely to take hold in U.S. mHiMSS: Adoption of mHealth technologies: UK vs. USA.

Are you a Supra Hero?

“Doris has had her telecare equipment, including her Supra KeySafe, successfully installed around her home. But now she is in danger! Our Heroes need you to direct them safely from their secret headquarters to Doris’s house. Along the way they must collect as many of Supra’s service packages as possible. Every week Supra UK is giving a C500 KeySafe to one player.” Play the Supra Heroes game here. (Editor Steve’s score? Don’t ask!)

The point of this game may baffle non-UK readers…in short, it is an online game to introduce people to some of the resources that are around for making better use of key safes which, if fitted at a property, allow people responding to a telecare alarm call to enter someone’s house without having to batter the door down. It follows on from Supra UK’s game ‘Save Doris‘, released last year.

Telehealth over satellite broadband confronts the issue of latency

Pulse IT carries excellent coverage by Kate McDonald of a report presented at the Australian Global Telehealth conference* concerning the effect of satellite transmission latency for videoconferencing via broadband. As one of the commenters points out there are also coder/decoder latency issues too. The point of the report by Dr Sarah Dods and colleagues from CSIRO was, it seems, a plea to take these matters into account when designing systems and not to assume that because a system works over a landline it will be equally good by satellite. Telehealth over satellite broadband confronts the issue of latency.

* Storified Twitter posts from the conference.