Telecare equipment to monitor patients in their homes

Rebecca McQuillan

12 Jul 2010

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Despite suffering from daily seizures, Angela Stark can live at home, monitored by carers. Pic: Stewart Attwood

Angela Stark never knows when she’s about to have an epileptic seizure.

“One minute I could be standing, the next I could be down on the floor,” she says. The 40-year-old from Cowdenbeath might be in her sitting room, surrounded by glass ornaments, or lying in bed, but a seizure is always risky. She is prone to tonic chlonic seizures, probably the most serious type, which first make the body go stiff and then cause the limbs to jerk. Angela has one every week. They can cause injury and difficulty breathing; sometimes, if they go on for more than five minutes, she needs medical help.

Yet Angela lives alone. How can she manage to do that? Because of telecare guardian angel gadgets throughout her home, which ensure she is watched over remotely 24 hours a day. They can detect when Angela is having a fit so that a carer can be sent to help her.

Angela, who was diagnosed six years ago, relies on two devices in particular. The first is a bed mat that detects sudden repeated bumps indicating that she is having a seizure. She’s lost count of the number of times it has been activated. Sometimes it takes five minutes for the carer to arrive, sometimes 15 minutes, but for Angela, the important thing is knowing that someone will come to her aid.

“It’s a lifesaver,” she says solemnly. “It’s so important because I might have fallen out of bed. Sometimes they have to get the paramedics out. If I just kept fitting, that could be it.”

She also has a fall trigger pendant, on a cord round her neck. If it is knocked horizontal, indicating she may have fallen, it sends a wireless signal to a detector unit, which alerts call handlers via a phone line. The emergency team immediately call to speak to Angela; if they get no response, they send someone straight round.

“The pendant and bed sensor have given me real peace of mind,” says Angela. “They’re brilliant. People wouldn’t be able to live on their own if this equipment didn’t exist.”

Click the link to read the full article on Telecare and Healthcare Technology at home

BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010

BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010 NHS Scotland logo

Open for Registrations 22nd and 23rd September 2010

Register now for the most exciting eHealth conference in Scotland this year! Held at the prestigious Glasgow Science Centre you not only have a great programme, wide range of exhibitors, great views over the Clyde and City but complementary entrance to the fun science exhibits as well!

The futuristic building mirrors BCS Health Scotland’s Innovative and Modern outlook See Here

We have an extensive International speaker Programme over both days with three themes held in twin parallel tracks.

Keynote speakers include:

Matthew Swindells, former CIO Connecting for Health, and chair BCS Health

Rikard Lovstrom from Sweden to talk about their National Patient Overview project and eHealth strategy

Dorothy Whittick from Canada talking about the Canadian Health Infoway national developments and a Wellness project in Alberta

Brian Robson from Scotland on the Quality theme and his experiences with IHI in America.

Kathy Dallest from Australia speaking on Clinical Safety Management in eHealth.

New! NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!

An exciting new event will be presentation of the ‘NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!’. These awards are given to winning NHS teams for three categories sponsored by BCS and Scottish Government.

Twin Exhibitions: We are very grateful to our sponsors with 18 commercial exhibitions in a superb bright atrium area and ANOTHER FIRST: 15 public information stands in a separate gallery open to the public. There is plenty to see!

The three main themes to be addressed at the BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010 are Quality, Innovation, and Efficiency. International speakers from Australia, Canada, Sweden, America, Ireland, Wales and numerous UK speakers will position themselves on current relevant issues such as patient safety, the quality strategy, efficiency gains from IT and more.

For the first time, the NHS Scotland eHealth Awards will be presented to eHealth teams in Scotland. These awards will be presented by Scottish Government and by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, to help boost the status of the IT profession in NHS Scotland at a time of significant change.

Moreover the new Vidiowiki delegate social networking tool will be used for linking up delegates before and after the event. Users can navigate a mind-map of delegates, speakers and exhibitors to create linkups and watch short clips about presentations and demos. This will help planning and networking before coming to the event.

A selection of posters will be available to view during the conference:

  • A novel security risk assessment model – Napier University
  • Clinical content modeling – NHS National Services Scotland
  • Trans-national exchange of eHealth innovations in northern Europe- Aberdeen University
  • A Study to evaluate the effectiveness of an electronic dashboard – Ulster hospital
  • A Study to evaluate the response times for alerts – Ulster hospital

Around 250 participants are expected to take part in this open event. Online registration is possible here. Details about fees and early bird registration can be found online.

A draft programme for the event can be found online at the event website.

Exhibitors are also leading a fun social evening at 5pm on the first day.

Yet again BCS Health Scotland has been able to produce all this for the incredibly low delegate registration prices starting as low as £30.

So register soon for the early bird rates, find us here BCS Health Scotland Conference

More spent per head in Scotland, but health benefits yet to show

Published Date: 10 June 2010

SCOTLAND is not seeing health improvements in line with the level of government spending, according to a new study.

• A report by a think-tank and auditors calls for more research into regional behaviour and health systems – to explain why Scotland’s health continues to struggle to improve. Picture: Getty

Just under £2,000 is spent per head on health in Scotland – about £250 more than in England – said the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR) think-tank and auditors KPMG.

The study said there was a 12-16 per cent higher spend per person and 30 per cent higher staffing levels north of the Border in the NHS.

Reductions in death rates, including from cancer, heart disease and strokes, were welcomed but the authors argued they do not go as far as expected.

On life expectancy, the report said improvements in Scotland did not match those in England.

The report also said that Scotland’s 30 per cent higher level of staffing should be investigated through a new regulatory body to ensure value for money.

CPPR’s John McLaren said: “Our research has shown that while health spending and staffing levels per head in Scotland appear to be greater than in England, we are not experiencing the improved health outcomes that might have been hoped would have followed.

“This could be due to worsening needs in Scotland relative to England, for example due to differing behavioural patterns, but at present it is difficult to convert any such higher needs into extra costs.”

The report said smoking has declined in the past ten years but the number of smokers in Scotland “remains higher” than elsewhere in the UK.

The rate of deaths linked to alcohol is more than double the rate in England, the study added.

“Greater comparability of UK health needs, health systems and behavioural patterns is required, along with the incorporation of lessons to be learnt from international evidence,” Mr McLaren said. “This research should be conducted with an eye to what potential savings or reductions in demand, with regards to future health budgets, might be possible.”

The Scottish Government said health was not improving quickly enough but said parts of the report were “ill-informed”.

Click the link to read the full article about Scotlands Health

Neil's Urbanathlon for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

Neil’s Urbanathlon for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

http://www.justgiving.com/Neil-Campbell0

Hello

I am raising money for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland by doing the Edinburgh Ubanathon on the 30th of May – an urban 10k  race with a twist!

As the Urbanathon is “only a 10k” I thought I would add some Bonus runs to give you value for your sponsorship

Bonus RUNS…

1. On 24th of April I ran the Highland Fling 53 miles on the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Tyndrum.

http://www.highlandflingrace.org/ I completed the Fling in about 13.5 hours. Very tough and took a lot to finish.

For some Photos of the Highland Fling on Flickr Click Here

2. Ben Lomond Hill Race. 12.6 km and 980m climb. I ran a PB in this tough Hill Race Details and photos here

3. Goatfell Hill Race 15th May. 9.63 miles with 856m climb. I PB’d again this week details and photos here

4. Cape Wrath marathon 22nd May http://www.capewrathchallenge.co.uk/

I have had the privilege to work with Chest Heart and Stroke over a few years now and they are a fantastic charity that makes a real difference in peoples lives.

If you have found this site useful please Make a donation to Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.

Aye

Neil

Neil Campbell
Scottish Healthcare
Improving Patient Care through Technology

HIE summit to drive strategy in emerging telehealth sector

As part of a strategy to put the region at the forefront of a potentially lucrative emerging sector, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is to host a high level summit on the future of telehealthcare.HIE logo

The challenges of managing the world’s ageing populations and of moving towards a low carbon economy are driving interest in the means of delivering healthcare from a distance through advances in information and communication technology. Governments around the world are expected to accelerate their use of remote clinical monitoring, supported self treatment and telemedicine in order to deliver an effective service.

To discuss how the region might take a lead in meeting this demand, around 50 delegates have been invited to Aldourie Castle, Loch Ness, on May 5 to contribute ideas on the delivery of telehealthcare in Scotland over the next decade and on building a telehealthcare cluster of international repute.

Dr Steven Dodsworth of HIE’s head of life sciences explained: “This region offers great potential to be a centre of excellence in this sector. We already have an encouraging number of companies developing expertise in this field who are working alongside healthcare professionals and communities to overcome the challenges of healthcare at a distance.

“The Centre for Rural Healthcare in Inverness’ Centre for Health Science is highly regarded and with the Inverness Campus in prospect, we look forward to sharing views with the sector’s leading public and private operators on a future full of opportunity.”

The following day there will be presentations and workshops at the Centre for Health Science on topics such as our changing attitudes to maintaining health and wellbeing  and the use of technology to deal with clinical emergencies in remote places.

Telehealthcare covers a range of services such as supporting elderly patients who wish to remain in their own homes; helping people to take control of long-term health conditions and enabling people in remote locations to consult health professionals with minimum inconvenience.

Harriet Dempster, Highland Council’s director of social work said: “This event will enable representatives from government, health and social care providers and patient groups to discuss ideas with Scottish companies and multinationals and to develop a shared vision. It represents a confident step in putting this region at the forefront of modern health and care delivery promising real benefits for the wellbeing of its residents.”

Highlands and Islands Enterprise hold conference on the potential of telehealthcare

Agency claims area is well placed to lead in delivering healthcare from a distance

HIE forum aims to put north at tele-healthcare forefront

By Iain Ramage

Published: 12/04/2010

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to host a summit on the future of “telehealthcare” in a bid to put the region at the forefront of the potentially lucrative emerging sector.

It claims the challenges of an ageing population and a low-carbon economy are key to “delivering healthcare from a distance” through technological advances.

The gathering, at Aldourie Castle by Loch Ness on May 5, will consider how the region could take a lead.

About 50 delegates have been invited to contribute ideas on the delivery of tele-healthcare in Scotland over the next decade.

Steven Dodsworth, HIE’s head of life sciences, said: “This region offers great potential to be a centre of excellence in this sector.

“We already have an encouraging number of companies developing expertise in this field who are working alongside healthcare professionals and communities to overcome the challenges of healthcare at a distance.”

Telehealthcare covers a range of services such as supporting elderly patients who wish to remain in their own homes, helping people to take control of long-term health conditions and enabling people in remote locations to consult health professionals with minimum inconvenience.

Harriet Dempster, Highland Council social work director, said: “This event will enable representatives from government, health and social care providers and patient groups to discuss ideas with Scottish companies and multinationals and to develop a shared vision.”

Scottish Government announces £4 million investment in telecare for older people

Hi-tech help to keep older people at home

A telecare system

A total of £16m has been invested in telecare technology since 2006

Hi-tech devices to help older people remain independent in their own homes will be funded with a new grant from the Scottish government.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison announced £4m of funding for the “vital” telecare technology.

The devices include vibrating “rumble” pillows to alert people with hearing problems if there is a fire alarm, and electronic medication reminders.

Funding is available for all 32 council areas and could help 13,000 people.

Every local council and health board partnership is to be offered £120,000 to spend in 2010-11, but each authority has to provide match funding.

A total of £16m has been invested in telecare technology since 2006, with 25,800 older people having benefited.

We are firmly committed to free personal care but we need to change the ways we deliver care
Shona Robison
Public Health Minister

Ms Robison said: “Investing in telecare is vital if we are to remain ahead of the game in meeting the needs of our growing older population.

“Telecare can help older people remain independent in their own homes – something we must explore further if we are to rise to the challenges we face.”

Read more about this investment in telecare

Life Expectancy in Special Areas of Scotland

The Registrar General for Scotland today published a report on differences in life expectancy between urban and rural areas, deprived and less deprived areas, and Community Health Partnership areas. The report shows life expectancy in the period 2006-2008.

Commenting on these results, Registrar General for Scotland Duncan Macniven said:

“This report shows that life expectancy varies a great deal across Scotland. In general, people in the countryside live longer than people in towns. And there is a big difference in expected lifespans between the most deprived and least deprived areas – over 13 years for men and 9 years for women.”

The key points in this report for life expectancy at birth in 2006-2008 are:

Men in rural areas – remote and accessible – can expect to live over 3.5 years longer (77.2 and 77.5 years respectively) than men in large urban (73.7 years);

Women in rural areas – remote and accessible – can expect to live around 2 years longer (81.4 and 81.2 years respectively) than women in large urban areas (79.3 years);

Life expectancy decreases as deprivation increases;

Men in the 10 per cent least deprived areas of Scotland can expect to live for 13.5 years longer than men in the 10 per cent most deprived areas (80.8 years compared with 67.3 years);

Women in the 10 per cent least deprived areas of Scotland can expect to live around 9 years longer than those in the 10 per cent most deprived areas (84.1 years compared with 75.1 years);

Men in East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership area can expect to live over 8 years longer than men in North and East Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership areas (78.0 years compared to 69.4 and 69.6 years respectively);

Women in East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership area can expect to live around 6 years longer than women in North and East Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership areas (82.5 years compared to 76.0 and 76.8 years respectively);

In the 10 years since 1996-1998, life expectancy at birth has increased in every Community Health Partnership area, although in 11 cases by a margin so small or non-significant that it may be a consequence of the volatile nature of life expectancy estimates in small areas;

For men, the largest increase in life expectancy at birth, over the 10 year period, was in West Lothian Community Health Partnership area with 5.7 per cent (an improvement of 4.1 years) and for women in East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership area with 3.8 per cent (an improvement of 3.0 years);

The gap of 8.6 years between the Community Health Partnership area with the highest male life expectancy at birth and the Community Health Partnership area with the lowest has not changed over the 10 year period; for females it has increased by 0.7 years (from 5.8 years in 1996-1998 to 6.5 years in 2006-2008);

The gap between male and female life expectancy narrowed in all but 6 of the Community Health Partnership areas. The largest decrease (2.2 years) was in North Highland (4.0 years in 2006-2008 compared to 6.2 years in 1996-1998).

The full publication, Life Expectancy in Special Areas 2006-2008, is available on this website.

Audit Scotland reports on orthopaedic services

NHS ‘could save £2m’ on joint implants

Hip Xray

Waiting times for treatment have ‘considerably’ reduced

Health boards in Scotland could save millions of pounds by handling the cost of knee and hip replacements more efficiently, a spending watchdog said.

Audit Scotland found that £2m could be saved just by stopping NHS boards from purchasing replacement hip and knee joints from different suppliers.

The price difference in joints was highlighted in a review of orthopaedic services across the NHS in Scotland.

It found some boards were paying more than double for implants.

Artificial hips can range in cost from an average £858 in Lothian to £1,832 in neighbouring Forth Valley.

The cost of knee implants varies from an average £1,166 at the Golden Jubilee hospital near Glasgow to £2,060 in the Western Isles.

‘Scope’ for savings

The report stated: “NHS boards can reduce the cost of implants and standardise training by minimising the different types of implants that are used and purchasing implants that provide best value-for-money based on cost and clinical effectiveness.”

Read more about NHS Scotland savings

Read the Audit Scotland Report