The NHS recently released the NHS Long Term Plan where it discussed the increasing focus on utilising technology within healthcare. They revealed that within the next 5 years every patient will have the right to online ‘digital’ GP consultations.
With telehealth solutions being utilised more and more frequently as healthcare professionals become increasingly aware of their benefits, these are some of the areas within the NHS our telehealth solutions have been deployed:
Powered carts in A&E with consultant on a PC/App to get the patient diagnosed within the window of care recommended. Carts can also be used for other areas of patient care.
- Cancer/Mental Health/Other
MDT/MDM Meetings – patient’s notes are discussed by specialists and junior doctors across Trusts to agree patient treatment plans. Can also bring in specialists from other regions to offer advise where required. These meetings are used in other specialties too including Mental Health to bring in all carers to make decisions on patient care.
General check-ups, specifically pregnant ladies who have to see the specialist regularly or young people who are going away to university. Anyone who needs a regular consultation that can be conducted remotely either from hospital to hospital or hospital to patient home.
- Paediatric Cardiology
Mother is scanned locally and if problem found the specialist in Belfast can video in and see the scan to confirm if they need to refer the patient. Baby is born and receives operation, once ready to go home the family receive video facilities in their home for immediate connection with the specialist nursing staff in Belfast should they have any worries. Means the family can go home sooner and beds are freed up quicker.
- Cystic Fibrosis
Patients cannot meet in person due to cross-contamination, therefore video meets are ideal to allow them to discuss new treatments, diet, any physio, etc.
Ideal for A&E or even in-patients who may need access to an interpreter ad-hoc. Can be via an app or portable device in the hospital to give instant access to a sign language interpreter or language interpreter too.
- Speech & Language Therapy
Conduct the general exercises remotely by video to allow staff to cover more patients without travelling. Can also include Teleswallowing.
General sessions to check that patient in the community is following the physio plan and doing the movements as they should be. One to one or group sessions.
General sessions to discuss dietary option for the patient in the community, one to one or group sessions.
- Wound Management
Patient can share their wound live with the consultant or health professional, so they can advise whether it is healing well or more treatment is required.
Parents or family members can be at the bedside remotely if required or consultant can be brought in via App or PC if needed.
- Second opinions
Easy to bring in specialists from other areas to give second opinions or advise on patient care.
Hospital to Hospital – where the patient is to be treated in a hospital but rehabilitate elsewhere. Allows the specialist to have access for follow-up without travel needed.
- Virtual Clinics General
For follow-up clinics with patient in the community where just general checks or discussion is required.
Junior doctor training with simulation family. The trainer can watch the trainee by video and chat if needed without having to be there.
General training, across the board for keeping the general training of all staff up to date without having to travel, can record and stream these too.
- Theatre links
From the Theatre to the classroom for training on any operations or procedures that may be useful.
The ability to bring in specialists in various areas to meet with patients to discuss areas that may be of concern. Not always medical specialists, within mental health especially it could be specialists to help in areas that are causing worry to try to lessen the worry and help the patient to recover quicker.
- Virtual visits
Bringing in family members who live away and are not able to visit in person, useful in most areas but highlighted are children who are in hospital for a longer period of time (maybe also allows them to join in with classes, etc. that they are missing) and mental health, to bring in family members to aid recovery if the family are not local.