Three million patients to perform their own DIY check-ups under remote-care plan
The scheme will be aimed at patients with chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes
Three million patients will be cared for remotely with medical equipment that will monitor them at home and send the results back to their doctors.
David Cameron said the “tele-health” drive will allow vital health checks to be carried out and sent electronically to GPs without the need for a patient to make an appointment or visit their surgery.
The scheme, which will be aimed at patients with chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes will be rolled out over the next five years.
Dennis and Stella Winder having a teleconference with community matron John Seddon. Theytook part in a NHS Central Lancashire remote care pilot
It follows a successful pilot of 6,000 patients, which led to a 45 per cent fall in death rates and 15 per cent fall in A&E visits.
Around 5,000 people already use the “DIY” equipment in their own homes.
According to the Department of Health there are around 15 million people in England with at least one condition that can not be cured but can be managed through medication.
They account for 80 per cent of GP consultations, 60 per cent of hospital bed days and two-thirds of emergency admissions related to patients with chronic and long term conditions.
The announcement came as the Prime Minister unveiled a range of measures designed to boost Britain”s pharmaceutical industry, encourage medical breakthroughs and get life-saving drugs to patients faster.
David Cameron announced the roll-out of remote medical devices yesterday while outlining measures designed to boost Britain”s pharmaceutical industry
Mr Cameron said: “This is going to make an extraordinary difference to people. Diabetics taking their bloodsugar levels at home, and having them checked by a nurse.
“Heart disease patients having their blood pressure and pulse rate checked, without leaving their home. Dignity, convenience and independence for millions of people.”
REMOTE CARE PILOT: SPOTTING SYMPTOMS EARLY
NHS Central Lancashire piloted a remote care management tool called the Intel Health Guide.
It was tested on 40 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease between 2010 and 2011.
This condition affects over 3.7 million people in the UK and typically causes acute shortness of breath and susceptibility to lung infections.
The device, currently available in the US and UK through GE Healthcare, allows patients to measure their vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse and weight, and respond to questions about their diseases on a daily basis, with all data reviewed by the community matron team.
The technology can also support video conferences enabling patients to talk with community matrons and helping a care team better assess the patient.
The hope is that early recognition and treatment of a change in symptoms will reducethe need for admissions to hospital. The technology also helps patientsto manage their own condition, look out for particular symptoms and take medication at the right time.
The NHS Chief Executive, Sir David Nicholson, said the review: “sets out areas where there are particular opportunities for improvement, for example putting technology in peoples’ homes to help them manage their own conditions.
“It represents a call to action for everyone in the NHS to make innovation a central priority.”
Mr Cameron made clear yesterday that he believes the pharmaceutical industry has the potential to drive growth and to help rebalance the UK economy away from financial services.
The life sciences sector already employs more than 160,000 people in 4,500 companies in the UK, and has an annual turnover of 50 billion.
Launching the Government”s Strategy for UK Life Sciences, Mr Cameron also confirmed plans for a 180 million catalyst fund to help speed new medical treatments through the so-called “valley of death” between development in the laboratory and use on patients.
He also pledged an “early access scheme” to allow patients in the advanced stages of diseases such as brain and lung cancer, for whom no other treatment is available, to obtain treatment with experimental drugs and technologies.
Mr Cameron added that there would be a consultation on changes to the use of NHS patient data, which could see more information shared with private healthcare companies and data automatically included in clinical research unless individuals opt out.