I was very pleased to read recently about the promising results of a programme in the UK which shows the enormous potential if we integrate ICT into health care more deeply. The figures from the study are incredible: showing telehealth, used correctly, can deliver a 20% reduction in emergency admissions, 14% reduction in bed days, an 8% reduction in tariff costs and an incredible 45% reduction in mortality rates. That’s impressive stuff. Imagine what this could mean if we could do it at European level.
Best of all, the study suggests that these telehealth results can be transferred to other locations – and this transferability to a national and a European scale is just what we’re looking for in the European Innovation Partnership on active and healthy ageing.
With the UK pilot being such a success and with the first deployment phase – to 50,000 people – now over, the UK’s next step is to deploy nationwide to three million at-risk patients. This large-scale commitment should deliver large-scale results.
Ultimately, this shows more than ever that innovative solutions, with technology and ICTs fully integrated into care services, can make the lives of terminally ill patients better. And help patients with care needs lead a normal life.
eHealth is undoubtedly delivering savings and radically reducing mortality rates. But such a large-scale deployment can only be achieved if all stakeholders work together: governments working with industry, and with social care and professional partners.
Innovation delivering better lives for people – this is just the type of radical change we need!