The perpetually struggling British National Health Service (NHS) is testing a telemonitoring system from Philips in hopes that it will help moderate the cost of providing care to the elderly. The Philips Motiva is a device that hooks up to a television and displays interactive prompts for patients to perform certain tasks, like measuring blood sugar. Via a broadband connection, readings are then sent out to the clinic for overview by a healthcare professional. NHS is hoping that the system will help it reduce the number of in-person patient visits to the hospital, freeing up time for more pressing issues to get their turn.
From The Times of London:
Some 400 patients are being monitored in Newham. Each is provided with diagnostic equipment, such as an SPO2 meter for blood oxygen, which clips on the patient’s finger. The meter is attached to a set-top box linked to the patient’s television. The readings are sent to healthcare staff of the Primary Health Trust, who contact the patient if the readings cause concern.
The Newham trial includes patients with diabetes, heart disease or breathing problems, known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, a condition affecting a million Britons.
The trial will also use sensors installed in homes to monitor elderly people suffering from dementia, or individuals with Down’s syndrome who may be at risk of injury.