New telehealth investment in Wales

The Welsh Government is to invest £250,000 in expanding telehealth services in rural parts of the country, it has been announced [grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]today. This is part of a £10 million investment that was announced in January to improve efficiency in the Welsh NHS.

Information available indicates that this telehealth investment is primarily in imaging technology enabling specialists in distant centres to access X-ray and other images taken at rural health facilities closer to the patients.

The press release from the Welsh Government quotes the Health Minister Professor Mark Drakeford as saying “Telehealth already means orthopaedic specialists in Abergavenny can look at X-rays from Brecon to avoid unnecessary travel for patients. This investment will take stock of all practices which use telehealth across NHS Wales (more…)

Figure 1: an Instagram for medical professionals

Secure, free medical image sharing, access and collaboration is the idea behind Canadian startup Figure 1. It provides a platform for medical professionals, who are largely ‘verified’ with a blue tick (check)–a process the company is doing across 40 countries–to upload pictures into feeds, make comments and bookmark. While anyone can join, images are also put through a fairly strict vetting and access process to preserve patient privacy. They have to be deidentified, patient consent provided via signature (country-specific consent forms held by the doctor), and edited using their special software so that faces aren’t showing and identifying metadata deleted. Doctors have been using it for virtual consults and for teaching. The idea is not all that new–ClickCare has had a similar service for iPhone/iPad/iPod since 1995, but it is a paid subscription service. Available in the Apple Store and Google Play for North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and across Europe. What is the economic model, however? Guardian. Hat tip to Guy Dewsbury via Twitter.