What is telehealth and what does it mean for the future? We stumbled upon a video of Dr. Malcolm Fisk which gives a very good explanation of the term ‘telehealth’. It also shows a very open and broad vision of telehealth with many opportunities. Watch the interview at Healthcare news or read the interview below.
“Telehealth is one aspect of the research done at the Age Research Centre, Coventry University. And here with me is the Co-director Dr. Malcolm Fisk. For people who don’t know, can you give me a definition of ‘telehealth’?”
The means by which people can access or the way that services are delivered through telephone, the internet or through communications technologies generally. Obviously we have seen a rapid development in the way that technologies are available to people and the role out of broadband has helped in this. So this means that we can start to think about services been delivered or accessed in this kind of ways and that the new technologies we use are very much part of this.
“So what would the typical things be that people would do at home using technology?”
Well if you are a younger person for instance with diabetes they might well enable you to send information to a healthcare practitioner. Or indeed gather information just for yourself and store it on a cloud or somewhere to help you manage your own health condition.
More important perhaps the larger number of older people with chronic conditions. Very often heart conditions or respiratory conditions, who use different devices to measure different vital signs on a daily basis usually, to send that information again to the healthcare practitioner. So then they can then advise them as to what they should do with the medication and things like this.
“What do you see as the implications of new technologies for telehealth services?”
Well there are very, very important implications here because of the way mobile technologies are developing. What it means is that whilst perhaps being guilty of thinking about telehealth too narrowly around vital signs monitoring. We can actually think of in terms of the relevance to all people of all ages in the way that they access and use news services. So it is not just a technology or a range of services that help people stay independent at home it is potentially helping people when they are travelling when they’re in work, when they’re going to college or school. Relevance to people of all ages.
“Now you are working on European code of practice on telehealth. Now do we need one and what is your opinion about it?”
Well we need one because telehealth is evolving so rapidly. We can see that the nature of telehealth services is changing rapidly as well. Possibly there may be a hundred-and-one different aspects of telehealth from medication compliance to helping care for someone with dementia all these things are in the mix. A code of practice will establish a benchmark quality standard to which we hope anyway to which telehealth services will reach across Europe and will provide the safe guards which are necessary in such an area of care and support.
“And what does telehealth mean for traditional health services?”
Well we can see changes will have come about because many more people will choose to use telehealth services themselves. And will, very often, be gathering information and data about their health conditions. Which they will take to their consultants or GP’s and they will clearly have to respond to these services and new technologies. Rather than the collisions being necessarily dictating the frameworks of health provision or support services that you may need.
Source: Naidex & Healthcare news