Telehealth is about using assistive technology to support people diagnosed with a long term medical condition(s) such as:
- high blood pressure
- breathing problems (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD) and
- heart problems
Telehealth is not an emergency service.
Telehealth helps people to:
- manage their condition
- maintain and improve their health and well-being
- live independently
- improve their quality of life
- avoid periods of illness
- avoid unnecessary hospital visits and admissions
The patient’s role in understanding and managing their condition and care is key to achieving this.
The service is the first in the country to have an accreditation by the EU Telehealth code of practice.
This service is tailored to the patients’ needs and is:
- based on personal health needs
East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) offers three levels of Telehealth service:
- Full vital sign monitoring
- Florence (Simple Telehealth)
1.Full vital sign monitoring
This is aimed to meet the needs of patients who:
- have co-morbidities
- need help with acquiring the skills of self-care
It is a provided via a self-care and educational and thereby enhancing personalised care plans using remote monitoring service.
Florence uses SMS text and mobile phones to monitor vital signs.
Patients are reviewed on a monthly basis over the phone.
The readings go to a centre where they are automatically logged and checked by a health professional. If there is any cause for concern the patient will be contacted and given advice accordingly. The service is available 7 days a week with a limited service over the weekend and bank holidays.
The service helps engage, educate and empower patients in the management of their own care. Patients taking their own readings can learn what the readings mean and gain a better understanding of their condition.
They can also spot any changes to their health, and work out any triggers causing those changes.
Patients may need to be visited by health care professionals. However, some of these visits may not be needed for those using the service, as key information is in the telehealth system and can be accessed directly.
Health professionals providing this service can tailor it to the needs of their patients. So patients get their needs met no matter how simple or complex and have individualised care plans.
As this is a new approach to healthcare, it is important that we closely monitor how effective it is and how people feel about it.
It is important that everyone involved in the care of the patient such as:
- other health professionals
- the individual themselves
is kept informed and can contribute to the overall understanding and management of care.
As part of our patient engagement programme, we have established a patient participation engagement panel to provide patients with a direct way to provide feedback to further improve and develop the service.
Newham’s Telehealth services were part of the national Whole System Demonstrator Programme, which was the world’s largest research trial of telehealth.
More detail can be found on the Newham Whole System Demonstrator website.
These services are provided by Community Health Newham, which is part of the East London Foundation Trust.
Visit ELFT Telehealth website
For more information you can visit the Telehealth website or call the Telehealth Team on 0208 536 2335.