Saturday, July 19, 2008

TeleHealth and the County Show

I forgot to tell you - when I visited the County Show last weekend, I got chatting to the Social Services officers manning the TeleHealth stand. The TeleHealth programme, you may recall from earlier postings, allows Kent residents with limiting long-term conditions such as COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure etc, to receive equipment from Kent Adult Social Services which enables them to take readings such as blood sugar, blood pressure, blood oxygen, weight and so on. These readings are then sent by telephone to their GP and thus avoids the need for surgery visits or hospital appointments.

Our staff told me that two people had specifically visited the County Show this year for the purpose of finding the Kent TeleHealth stand. It seems that at last year's show, both people volunteered to have their readings taken on the stand.

Armed with these readings, one person apparently visited their doctor, who alerted by our TeleHealth data, identified a limiting long term condition which can now be treated in time. The other person shared the data with his GP, who as a result then reduced the medication which this patient has been taking.

Neither of these stories represents a sound clinical case study of course, but just imagine the difference in health outcomes if all Kent residents had access to TeleHealth equipment?

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