£2.8m scheme for better health care at home


TWO multi-million, technological health pro- grammes have been launched officially to help deliver better healthcare in people’s homes.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Alex Neil MSP unveiled the two Telehealth and Telecare programmes, worth £2.8million, when he visited an East Ayrshire monitoring station within the council.

The programmes are being jointly funded by the European Commission and the Scottish Government and are part of the Digital Health and Care Innova-tion Partnership aimed at using new technologies to support people with disabilities and/or health conditions in their homes or communities.

Mr Neil said: “These projects are a fantastic example of how using innovative technologies as part of effective service redesign can enable people to be treated as close to home as possible and reduce the need for hospital admissions.

“Scotland has already made significant pro-gress on developing and expanding new technologies, and by delivering these two projects across the same geographical area will enable us to expand even further the role technology plays in supporting 21st century healthcare.”

Called United4Health and SmartCare, the three-year programmes will operate within seven local health and care partnerships across Ayrshire & Arran, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Clyde Valley.

The United4Health programme will give patients living with diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or heart failure a central role in the management of their condition through home-based mon- itoring of the patient’s health and wellbeing.

The SmartCare programme will link service provision across health, social care, family, informal carers and the voluntary sector but using technology to support the health, care and wellbeing for the over 50s with a specific focus on falls prevention and dementia care.

Full article here http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/28m-scheme-for-better-health-care-at-home-121360n.20811628

Dundee and St Andrews researchers develop a communication support system for older people with dementia

Caring for people with dementia
Caring for people with dementia


Dundee and St Andrews researchers develop a communication support system for older people with dementia

As one result of their collaborative work over twelve years, a multidisciplinary team from Dundee and St Andrews Universities has produced CIRCA, a system which  takes over the job of prompting and supporting the communication of a person with dementia and restores an ability to have satisfying interactions with relatives, friends and carers.  CIRCA gives the person with dementia and their conversation partner touchscreen access to a hypermedia structure holding a large collection of reminiscence content : photos, film clips, and music.

In a session with CIRCA, the person with dementia and a carer or relative enjoy exploring the material together via the touchscreen, and the person with dementia has their long-term memory occasionally prompted by what they are experiencing.  In dementia, although working (short-term) memory can be severely compromised, long-term memories can be relatively intact.

Norman Alm, of the development team, said  “We had hoped to develop a system that supported an effortless reminiscence session.  CIRCA certainly met that goal.  However, two of our findings were quite unexpected.  With CIRCA we observed people with dementia being able to take more control of the direction of the conversation, because of the touchscreen access to an easily understood structure, and also because of the way we organised the material with multiple ways of moving through it, modelling what happens when we have a natural conversation. We also found that, for people with dementia, a rich collection of carefully selected  generic material can prompt personal recollections actually better than personal material.”

Dundee and St Andrews Universities have set up a spinout company called  CIRCA Connect to bring CIRCA to the market, and make it available to the people who need it.

More information is available at :


International Telehealth and Telecare Congress – Free to attend virtual conference

Organised by The King’s Fund and the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC), this annual event brings together key speakers from around the world to showcase innovations and best practice in the deployment of telehealth and telecare. In addition to the physical three day congress in London we are also running this congress as a virtual event in order to share learning on a larger scale.


The congress will feature results and learning from the UK Whole System Demonstrator programme (the largest radomised controlled trial of telehealth and telecare in the world), and UK and international case studies, providing you with insight and best practice into the use of telehealth and telecare.


This virtual event will allow you to watch all of the main plenary presentations live; visit exhibition stands and watch videos, download brochures and chat live online to stand staff; visit and chat online to other participants in the networking lounge; and download resources from the resource centre.


How the virtual event works


Congress lobby

Once you log in, you’ll find yourself in the congress lobby where a video greeting will welcome you. Clearly marked entry points will point you to the various show locations, Exhibition Hall, Auditorium etc. Along the top of the screen is the Navigation bar for quick access to area locations.


Exhibition Hall

“Walk” through our stands in the 3-D exhibition hall. You can move to the left and right in the hall by moving your mouse accordingly. There is also a text based exhibitor directory for those wanting to get to a stand quickly. Hovering over a stand will display more information about the company, while clicking on it will take you right into the booth.


Exhibition Stand

Just like a real stand, exhibitors set up their stand with company and product literature, videos and more. Stands are staffed with company representatives to answer your questions online.



Visit the auditorium to watch all the main plenary presentations live. You can also submit questions for presenters during the live sessions online and via Twitter. If you miss any of the live presentations you can catch up with these in the auditorium.


Network Lounge

Engage in an ongoing group chat among other delegates or participate in scheduled group chats for focused discussions on specific topics. Use the message box to exchange emails or V-Cards with other attendees, and invite them for one-on-one chats.


Resource Centre

Find all the downloadable content here – static information such as case studies or white papers in addition to webcasts or any other presentations. Use the search functions to quickly find information by topic/type. You can view while you’re here or save to your briefcase to view later.


My preferences

After logging in, we recommend setting up your profile, avatar etc. (My preferences on right side of the congress lobby navigation bar) to share information about yourself with other attendees via your V-card. Your profile is a great tool to introduce yourself so be sure to take advantage of this networking tool. This is also where you can set your avatar, privacy options and change your password.


Congress format


Day one: Pre-congress seminar: Evaluating telehealth and telecare projects

Tuesday 6 March 2012


Day two: Telehealth Congress

Wednesday 7 March 2012


Day two: Telecare and Whole System Demonstrator Congress

Thursday 8 March 2012

Get more details and register for the International Telehealth and Telecare Congress HERE



£10 million for Scottish telehealthcare

Ten million pounds is to be invested over four years to improve care by growing the Scottish telehealthcare sector.

The project – jointly announced today by the Scottish Government and the Technology Strategy Board – will show how new technologies and innovative services can help improve the quality of life of, and support independent living for, older people and people living with long-term conditions.

The demonstration programme will involve at least 10,000 older people and people with disabilities.

In the first joint project between the Technology Strategy Board and the Scottish Government, the Scottish Assisted Living Demonstrator agreement was signed today by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon and Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“Supporting people to live independently at home is a key priority for the Scottish Government. It is what older people have consistently said they want and we know it is generally better for people’s health to remain at home wherever that’s possible.

“Over the last four years, Scotland has made significant progress on developing and expanding new technologies to help people do just that – providing effective care and reassurance to many older people.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to build on this progress and to expand even further the role technology plays in supporting twenty-first century healthcare.

“The experiences from the Scottish Assisted Living Demonstrator will also be used to inform and provide invaluable opportunities for Scottish businesses in support of economic growth.”

Iain Gray said:

“I am delighted that the Technology Strategy Board and the Scottish Government are to work together to establish an Assisted Living Demonstrator in Scotland. Scotland is a leader in the introduction of innovative technologies and services to enable independent living for older adults and people living with long-term conditions.

“This demonstrator programme, which will involve at least 10,000 users in Scotland, will be the first step towards the aspiration of providing assisted living services for millions of people across the UK.”

The key objective behind the demonstrator is to help break the barrier between new healthcare technology and the implementation and use of the technology in the public sector, such as NHSScotland, the private sector, for example in housing and in the insurance sector and the third sector, including by charities and social enterprises. Other key agencies involved in the development of the demonstrator are NHS 24, Highlands & Island Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise.

The demonstrator will also show how cost savings could be made alongside the provision of improved health benefits for both public and private provision, while opening new markets in social innovation, service innovation and wellness.

The Scottish Assisted Living Demonstrator is likely to be the first of a number that will be established across the UK by the Technology Strategy Board under a programme named DALLAS – Demonstrators of Assisted Living Lifestyles at Scale.

Further details of the Scottish Assisted Living Demonstrator programme, including the geographic focus, will be agreed in discussions between the Scottish Government, its agencies and the Technology Strategy Board.

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy.

The demonstrator programme sponsors, and anticipated funding contributions, are: Technology Strategy Board (£5m), Scottish Government (£3.9m), Highlands & Islands Enterprise (£0.8m) and Scottish Enterprise (£0.3m). NHS 24 will be the delivery arm for Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Government’s Health & Social Care Directorate.

Further details of the programme will be developed and established by the Scottish Government, its agencies and the Technology Strategy Board over the next year, as preparations are advanced for implementation of the Scottish Assisted Living Demonstrator from April 2012.

This programme is being run through the Technology Strategy Board’s Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP), which is responding to the challenge of the demographic shift – in essence promoting independence by making technology better, cheaper and more desirable. The ALIP aims to significantly advance the technology to meet the demand for independent living from the expected increase in the numbers of people suffering from long term conditions and age-related disability. By 2021 half of the UK’s adult population will be over 50 and by 2025 almost 1.5 million people will be living with an age-related disability.

Lessons from Richard Pope, Video Consulting Diabetes Consultant

By David Doherty

video diabetes care

At the Healthcare Innovation Expo in London I met with Dr Richard Pope, Consultant Diabetologist, who is reporting some great success with the use of Video Conferencing with home based patients:

Key take aways of the talk:

  • There are currently 150 home based patients being telemonitored. Set against registry data service is saving ~0.1 all cause admissions, per patient, per month
  • Between July 2009 and December 2010 it has saved 202 all-cause admissions
  • Based on these reduced admissions alone it’s saved >£93k in 18 months
  • 5 year programme is running across 20 prisons delivering A&E urgent care service + 21 outpatient specialities offering elective services via telemedicine

Patients Perspective:

…There is no expensive journey to and from hospital. No re-organising of work commitments to then spend time sitting around in waiting rooms… simply a live link up where I can talk freely and we can swap ideas as to how to improve my life…

Consultants opinion on the value of video connectivity:

…First of all it allows you to deal with comorbidities much more straightforwardly, we’re doing what we’re doing in clinic but we just happen to be remote from the patient. And the visual dimension gives you a lot more confidence in your decision making. So you’ve got a data stream coming in oxygen saturations are low and you’re going to admit somebody because thye’ve dipped but you can actually see them in their own house and they’re not breathless and you just make decisions that you make day in day out and I also think there is an ability to engage in a different way with the family so i’ll give you an example, I was doing a call to a guy with diabetes at home and he’s telling me how he’s sticking rigidly to his diet and then i hear a shout from the kitchen “oh no you’re not you lying bugger!” and his wife comes around the corner joins in the call and we have a much more engaging conversation. So obviously he’s given permission to have his wife in the room so confidentiality isn’t an issue in this case but there are lots of examples like that were another patient who was hospital phobic and wouldn’t come to clinic, and her (blood sugar) control was awful and she felt really bad about herself. But she engaged through this modality in a way that allowed her to have really quite complex clinical discussions, six or seven sessions later and her HbA1c levels are back down and have stayed down. so i think it allows you to do what you do day in day out but actually do it in a much more efficient way

Telehealth BoxRead the full article on 3GDoctor

Telecare equipment to monitor patients in their homes

Rebecca McQuillan

12 Jul 2010

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

UK better placed than the US to manage chronic disease: lessons from the US

A major new report published today by Healthcare at Home Ltd explores which technologies and models used in the US for chronic disease management could successfully be adopted here in the UK.

The report – Lessons from the US: using technology and homecare to improve chronic disease management – is based on the observations of a US study tour of NHS and Healthcare at Home representatives who visited colleagues in Kaiser Permanente and HealthTech to look at how they use remote technology to manage chronic disease. Whilst they found there to be some exciting hi- and lo-tech innovations and lessons to glean, the group found that the US was not as far ahead in this field as expected.

Ruth Poole, Group Clinical Director, Healthcare at Home Ltd, says: “We were pleasantly surprised to find that the UK is in many ways better resourced and structured than the US to overcome the challenges related to increasing demand for services and chronic disease management. Specialist out-of-hospital care providers like Healthcare at Home Ltd are well established in the UK, and the NHS is already embracing innovation and major transformation in service design in certain areas, but we need to see this progress on a much wider scale if the NHS is to achieve the significant benefits that can be gained.

”The report found that in the “[US] healthcare follows the money, not the population’s health needs. The UK has an opportunity to look beyond this and concentrate on longer term benefits”.

One of the key recommendations is that the move to deliver more care closer to the home has to be underpinned by new models, technologies and systems: “If we simply transplant the same model of care used in hospitals to another setting we will not achieve the changes needed”.

Other reflections and recommendations from the report include:

  • The UK must concentrate on longer-term benefits and consider the population’s health needs as much as the return on investment
  • The NHS set-up allows it to look beyond immediate costs and benefits to start developing more innovative solutions that will lessen the cost of future services.
  • Technologies delivered through everyday devices such as TVs and mobile phones will encourage greater compliance
  • SHAs have access to innovation funds and should therefore take the lead in system development
  • Transplanting the same model of care to another setting closer to home will not achieve the necessary changes
  • Enabling an efficient flow of information between different health organisations is essential to effective disease management
  • Capital investment should not just be about buildings
  • Commissioners need to look beyond their usual providers and pathways and embrace more imaginative commissioning
  • GPs and other primary care staff will play a key role in providing care closer to home
  • The NHS must place more emphasis on managerial analytical competency

The overall purpose of the study tour was:

  • to explore how diagnostics and care are delivered in the home
  • to see how clinical interventions are managed using technology and support workers for increased value, and
  • to glean any lessons for the UK from how the US is addressing these issues.

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