The Health Innovation Exchange

HLTHINFO 728: Telehealth and telemonitoring

I am doing my assignment on telemonitoring of patients with chronic disease.

I thought it would be an important start to make sense of the jargon. I understand telehealth to be health care being delivered or monitored remotely and requires the patient and provider. By this definition, telehealth could simply be a patient consulting with their GP over the phone, an idea that seems convenient for rural and remote settings where getting to a doctor may prove difficult. 

From that, telemonitoring could be considered as part of telehealth- but focused on the remote monitoring of the patient. Again, this could be simply a phone call to monitor status, or could use new medical technology to read, record and remotely monitor the patient. This will be my focus, particularly in monitoring patients with chronic disease.

I've had a scan of the various products available to do this and here are some examples

There are many potential ways this could help improve health care.

Firstly, it can help reach rural patients. As observed around the world and in NZ, rural areas do not have the same level of access to medical care because there is a shortage of a medical workforce in there areas (Goodyear-Smith & Janes, 2005). Telehealth could be the answer to combat the inequalities between rural and urban.

Importantly, the literature suggests that the use of telemonitoring for heart conditions have been found to be associated with improved health outcomes such as hospitalisation and readmission, which indicates reduces morbidity. There are also potential benefits for cost effectiveness (Louis et al, 2003). 

Goodyear-Smith, F & Janes, R. (2005). New Zealand Rural primary health workforce in 2005: More than just a doctor shortage. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 16, 40-46

Louis, A., Turner, T., Gretton, M., Baksh, A., & Clefland, J. (2003). A systematic review of telemonitoring for the management of heart failure. The European Journal of Heart Failure, 5(5), 583-590

Views: 95

Comment by Tinna Ko on April 26, 2012 at 23:39

The telehealth monitors seem interesting to me. May I know how do  patients access to one of those monitors and be connected to their doctors? Do they have to purchase one?

Comment by Senthil on April 28, 2012 at 2:06

Tele-health is now days becoming vital technology to resolve Rural Health  and in case of emergency. One concept associated which seems oblivious and brilliant for me is Big Hospitals working to have a mobile unit with inbuilt satellite communication in case of emergency situations like Natural disaster which uses Tele-Health concept.

Video linked below for such emergency situation vehicle from Tele-Communication leader CISCO

Cisco TeleHealth Emergency Vehicle Project

Comment by Giselle Pascual on April 30, 2012 at 0:38

I decided to focus my assignment to telemonitoring of patients with cardiovascular disease. I chose this because it shows how innovation can improve the delivery of health care while also addressing higher level issues relevant to the NZ context. High levels of cardiovascular disease are crippling the health system and innovations are needed to help reduce the burden. Cardiovascular disease was also particularly interesting because of the different platforms it could be delivered on, and to help illustrate the idea of innovation to a key issue, I did not limit myself to a particular product.

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