The WSD programme involved 6,191 patients with one of three long-term conditions (diabetes, heart failure or COPD) and 238 GP practices across three sites in Cornwall, Kent and Newham. The randomised results, drawn from a minimum 12 months' data on 3,030 participants, show that telehealth delivered:
Today, the Prime Minister announced the roll-out of advanced telehealth and telecare solutions to the homes of three million people over the next five years, with the aim of improving lives and putting the UK at the forefront of global healthcare.
Mr Cameron said: "Look at our approach to telehealth - getting new technology into patients' homes so they can be monitored remotely. We've trialled it, it's been a huge success, and now we're on a drive to roll this out nationwide. The aim - to improve three million lives over the next five years. This is going to make an extraordinary difference to people."
Gil Baldwin, CEO, Tunstall Healthcare said: "This is a fantastic example of industry and government working alongside each other to improve the lives of individuals living with long term conditions, enhancing clinical outcomes, supporting patients and doctors and saving money for the tax payer."
Simon Arnold, Managing Director, Tunstall Healthcare added: "WSD validates the outcomes we have experienced with telehealthcare to date and verifies our business case which is based on international evidence and our work with over 80 telehealth deployments across the UK. The WSD results provide an undisputable evidence base, that clearly demonstrates reductions enhanced patient outcomes, and reductions to service utilisation in primary and secondary care."
Tunstall's telehealthcare solutions are being used extensively in the WSD programme, with thousands of systems deployed with WSD service users in Cornwall, Kent and Newham.
The company's telehealth solutions enable patients to monitor their vital signs such as weight, blood pressure and oxygen levels in their own homes easily, safely and securely. The results are accessed on a daily basis by a team of clinicians who triage the patient's health outcomes. This aids with proactive case management, ensures timely and appropriate support to patients as well as promoting self-awareness and better management of their own long-term condition.
"Patients tell us that telehealth helps them to manage their condition better; gives them greater independence and peace of mind, makes them feel empowered to help themselves with their condition; has contributed to earlier diagnosis and treatment of conditions; and some believe it is stopping them from going into hospital. We do not see telehealth as replacing GP or other clinical services; this is about helping people to maintain their independence and to seek medical help at an earlier stage."
Dave Tyas, Service Improvement Manager - Telehealth and Long Term Conditions, Peninsula Community Health. Joe Barr, 60, is a Cornwall-based patient using Tunstall's telehealthcare solutions as part of the WSD trial. He has several long-term conditions including COPD, diabetes and kidney disease. He said: "Telehealth monitors my body - if there is anything wrong I know I am going to get a phone call to discuss the issue with me and provide advice. My body is my responsibility. Since using telehealth I have been to see my GP a lot less than I used to do. I understand more about my readings and relate it to my condition. It's like having a little nurse on your shoulder - it's brilliant!"
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Tunstall Healthcare Group is the market leading provider of telehealthcare solutions, with over 2.5 million users globally. Tunstall's solutions support older people and those with long-term needs, helping them to live independently by effectively managing their health and well-being. Its solutions have been proven effective in the world's largest telehealthcare trial. Tunstall provides technology, expertise and advice to millions of people enabling them to lead independent more fulfilling lives.