An appreciative comment on the Telecare Services Association’s 2008 conference in Brighton on 3-5 November by ‘telehealth convert’, Consultant Cardiologist Dr Lance Forbat.
I am a consultant cardiologist and have recently have gained experience in the use of telehealth for my patients. I am impressed by the power of the technology and its impact on patient care, so I thought I should become better informed in the world of telehealth and telecare if I was going to succeed in making a contribution to the ongoing debate about its role.
Looking on the Internet I quickly found the introduction to the industry I was looking for and I attended my first TSA National Telecare and Telehealth Conference. The programme was a mix of in-depth one- and two-hour workshops covering all aspects of telecare and telehealth. In fact there were many more interesting sessions I wanted to attend than the timetable allowed. According to the TSA, 630 people attended the three days and there was certainly a buzz of enthusiasm in the atmosphere. The industry was in the majority and the exhibition included a wide variety of products for different niche markets in telecare and telehealth.
I have attended many medical conferences and I can say that this one was very well organised and great credit should go to Marion Preece (Operations Manager of the TSA) and her team. The CEO, Paul Gee, kept us guessing with his ‘C’ and ‘P’ words collections from various speakers and, in addition to the academic sessions, there were entertaining speakers as well as special guests Barry Cryer and Chris Moon, who rounded off the conference with a motivational lecture to those who ‘stayed the distance’.
I was one of only a handful of health professionals including a couple of other medical consultants. Next year I would like to see a stronger contingent from the medical profession to support research and to encourage the introduction of telehealth in the UK.