How technology is driving rural healthcare

How technology is driving rural healthcare

Advances in telehealth and telecare are changing the landscape of rural healthcare, extending treatment options out of hospitals and into the homes of patients.

Writing for The Guardian, BT's Global Health Director Angela Single asserts that the current model of healthcare in the UK is unsustainable, with too much demand on acute settings. Additional demands from the ageing population, prevalence of diseases and financial pressures means that radical change is needed. “Faced with these pressures, the answer is not to do less, but to do things differently” Single says.

Telehealth strategies in rural areas are thought to be key, taking health and care services to the user and reversing the historical delivery model. There is thought to be more support for individuals with long term conditions, and supports the model of empowered, self-managed care.

Results of pilot studies have indicated a reduction in A&E visits by 15%, emergency admissions by 20%, elective admissions by 14%, and mortality by 45%.

“Elsewhere, telehealth and telecare services have been provided over broadband, mobile, wifi and a multitude of other connections. It is not about the technology that is used, it is about redesigning health and care processes to ensure that the technology is embedded in mainstream services” Single concludes.

“Telehealth and telecare can improve the way we deliver healthcare and the lives of those with long-term conditions, no matter where they live. We just need to look beyond the technology to a new world of care”.

Original Source The Guardian

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