UK govt announces telehealth initiative, reports telehealth findings

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announced that telecare and telehealth systems will be rolled out to three million people over the next five years as part of a plan to help patients and reduce costs.


Prime Minister David Cameron launched “3 Million Lives”, a campaign that aims to enhance the lives of people living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, by accelerating the rollout of services across England.



On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announced that telecare and telehealth systems will be rolled out to three million people over the next five years as part of a plan to help patients and reduce costs.


Prime Minister David Cameron launched “3 Million Lives”, a campaign that aims to enhance the lives of people living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, by accelerating the rollout of services across England.


“This is going to make an extraordinary difference to people. Diabetics taking their blood sugar levels at home – and having them checked by a nurse. Heart disease patients having their blood pressure and pulse rate checked – without leaving their home,” said Cameron. “This is not just a good healthcare story. It’s going to put us miles ahead of other countries commercially too as part of our plan to make our NHS the driver of innovation in UK life sciences.”


In support of the campaign, the U.K. Department of Health has published findings from the Whole Systems Demonstrator (WSD) program, an extensive trial of telecare and telehealth services delivered to 6,000 people. Findings from the study showed a 45% reduction in mortality rates, 20% reduction in emergency admissions, 15% reduction in accident and emergency visits, 14% reduction in elective admissions and 14% reduction in bed days.

According to the Department of Health, the WSD program was the most complex and comprehensive studies the department had even conducted.  The program, which was launched in 2008, tracked 3,030 people with one for three conditions (diabetes, heart failure and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).


“This is not a national target or a government guarantee of delivery,” says the study. “Instead, it is about the Department providing national leadership, strategic direction, and advice to NHS and social care organizations; with support from industry who would be responsible for creating the market and working with local organizations to deliver the change.”