An economic analysis by digital connectivity consultancy FarrPoint found that extending telecare and technology-enabled care services to more people aged 75+ could achieve benefits of £14.5 billion over the next decade. By country, the savings are £12.3 billion in England, £1.1 billion in Scotland, £717 million in Wales, and £370 million in Northern Ireland. The benefits are improving social inclusion, wellbeing and community resilience, alleviating bed blocking and hospital admissions which are highly quantifiable costs to the healthcare system.
Currently, 2 million people use telecare services in the UK. Based on current take-up rates of 1 in 5 (aged 75+), if this were 1 in 3, an additional 800,000 people could benefit from access to technology-enabled care across the country (eHealth Scot). Over the next decade, that group will likely grow to 1 million, totaling 3 million of the estimated 7.3 million aged 75+ in 2030 (Office of National Statistics estimate)
FarrPoint’s point of view is that the expansion of telehealth is necessary to alleviate the coming demographic crunch in the social care system to prevent a crisis. Their definition of telecare is a modest one: pendants connected to alarm centers and door, bed, and fall sensors.
Their findings are also linked with the first-ever telecare analysis across Wales for TEC Cymru, the program responsible for supporting the shift to technology-enabled care in Wales, where 67% of councils are moving from analog to digital technology for telecare services to their current 77,000 persons, mostly over 65. FarrPoint article
Caveat: we do hope they account for the downsides of VOIP and power outages cutting all telecom off to the vulnerable, all too common in the rural parts of the UK where they live [TTA 21 Dec 21].