Telemonitoring NI an ongoing success
The ‘Telemonitoring NI celebratory event’ hosted by the Centre for Connected Health and Social Care (CCHSC) at Stormont yesterday [Monday 08 April] brought together health care professionals and representatives from across Europe to discuss the innovative collaborations taking place locally in connected health. The CCHSC is part of the Public Health Agency (PHA).
The Telemonitoring NI service enables clinicians to remotely monitor patients’ vital signs such as blood pressure and weight on a daily basis. The service allows patients to be monitored in their own homes, where previously they would have had to travel to their GP or hospital.
To date the service has benefited around 1,500 patients with long-term conditions and is set to benefit many more people in the coming years.
Dr Rooney, Chief Executive of the PHA, said: “The telemonitoring model introduced in Northern Ireland enables patients to benefit from the fact that every day they are able to measure their wellbeing, safe in the knowledge that their readings will be triaged from a clinical perspective and that help will be proactively offered if required without having to make endless trips to bother their GP and reducing the chances of having to go to A&E.”
Simon Arnold, Managing Director UK & Ireland Tunstall Healthcare said: “Feedback from service users has been superb, with 92% satisfaction – patients really do love it – it is true to say that for many, it has been life changing and given them the freedom to manage their condition and their lives far more effectively themselves. As such Northern Ireland has taken a truly ground-breaking approach, putting the patient in far greater control of their health and effectively ‘Bringing Care Home’.”
Dr Rooney continued: “We have seen an encouraging increase in the number of people availing of the telemonitoring service in Northern Ireland the experience and expertise gathered will be used to shape further action to improve numbers using the service and how it is provided and developed in Northern Ireland.”
Telemonitoring is part of a new way of working, part of a new approach to help people live independent lives and have greater control of their conditions and to enable health care professional to work more proactively and target resources better.
Health Minister Edwin Poots said; “Telemonitoring NI continues to grow and expand. To date the service has benefited around 1,500 patients in Northern Ireland, with long-term conditions helping them to better manage their health.
"Chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and COPD affect around three quarters of people over the age of 75. This is the generation from whom transport and mobility pose the biggest problems. The Telemonitoring NI service will allow thousands to monitor their vital signs without having to leave their own homes. It means that patients are able to understand and manage their condition better. Many say it has improved their confidence and given them peace of mind
"Telemonitoring NI is an excellent example of how the Health Service can innovate using modern technology to deliver a better service for our patients."
Deidre Morgan, Specialist COPD Nurse with the Southern Trust said: “Remote Telemonitoring helps patients to better manage their own condition as well as provide information to enable myself and other Healthcare Professionals working in the community to make appropriate decisions about our patient’s care.
"Tele-monitoring helps detect if there is deterioration in the patient’s condition at an early stage, which enables us to initiate treatment and this can help prevent hospital admission.
“The service supports care at home rather than in a hospital setting and maximises independence and choice for patients as well as improving their quality of life as patients become more confident in managing their symptoms.”