eSE’s Technology Enhanced Homecare Forum took place at Manchester Central last Thursday (16th October) and enjoyed an excellent turn-out from UK telehealth practitioners, experts and solution providers. The forum was received with enthusiasm and positivity surrounding the opportunities within the telehealthcare industry. Across the three sessions a number of key areas were identified where partnerships could be created to overcome telehealth barriers.
Contributions from our ‘Agenda Advisory Board’, featuring Dr Malcolm Fisk, Paul Marriott (NHS Telehealth Clinical Advocate 2014) and Trevor Single (CEO of the TSA), as well as from our expert partners UK Telehealthcare and Coventry University helped us build a strong agenda, bringing together key themes and exploring barriers to implementation, technology to improve long term care in the community and the advantages of mobile technology.
The forum opened with an ‘Interactive Exploratory Session’ which saw delegates form small groups and identify the key barriers to mainstream adoption of solutions and suggest practical solutions to overcome these. This session encouraged plenty of lively interaction between delegates, ensuring the panel session that followed included issues from across the public and private sector.
The key barriers included:
- NHS Culture being too risk adverse without a desire to embrace change
- Clinician perceptions that telehealth technologies add to their workload
- A technology led approach is being used rather than clinically led
- Current services are aimed at frail or elderly patients
- Technology already available is not being used nor is it interoperable across systems
- Limited budgets despite demand
- Political motivation is lacking with no involvement from current government since WDS findings
- A perception that telehealth pilots have been expensive to run with new equipment
- ROI is not necessarily felt immediately or by the funder
Solutions proposed by delegates argued that positive examples of telehealth projects should be put into the public domain, whether this is by word of mouth from clinicians or through a ‘National Repository’ hosted on behalf of all stakeholders. Delegates also suggested early education in schools, a more positive influence from the media, learning from the financial sector to implement changes and giving end-users personalised budgets to buy the technology for their care needs would be beneficial.
Interactive case studies were delivered by Veronica Southern of Blackpool Victoria Hospitals and Dr Kim Hinshaw of Sunderland Royal Hospital. Both showcased innovative partnerships which have improved the way care is delivered across distances for speech therapy or reducing the time expectant mothers spend in day units.
A full summary report, produced by Coventry University, which breaks down the issues and solutions highlighted across the three panel sessions is currently being put together and will be available to all participants shortly.
A final thank you to all the public and private sector innovators that participated so enthusiastically, to our expert partners and finally our Agenda Advisory Board. We hope to work with you all again within our 2015 ‘Smart Healthcare’ series.
Were you at UKTCF? We would love to hear your feedback about the event or any comments. Use the contact form below to get into contact with the team. Many thanks.