Telehealth devices are also becoming more common as they are used to monitor people at home who have chronic conditions such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes and chest conditions. It allows the person to take self management of their condition to a new level by sending medical observations or information directly to the doctor monitoring their condition remotely. This could be as simple as training the patient or carer to take a blood pressure reading at home and sending the reading to the GP surgery. This saves out patient appointments and the patient who may not be as able to go to the doctor can get information back on what to do next. The doctor can advise changing the dose of the blood pressure tablets for example.
In future Telehealth may be more widely available and can improve care especially in remote areas or for people who cannot easily access medical services.
Telehealth and telecare are never going to totally replace the human carer but they can successfully add to an existing care arrangement.
For more information see the Scottish Centre for Teleheath and Telecare website.