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

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One thought on “Lessons from Richard Pope, Video Consulting Diabetes Consultant”

  1. Many thanks for the interesting summary of Dr Pope’s presentation. As one of his co-presenters, I just wanted to clarify some of the figures in the article. The first three ‘key take aways’ (150 patients; 202 admissions saved; £93k in net savings) relate to the Hull Heart Failure telemonitoring service, rather than the Video Conferencing (‘Telemedicine’) service. The Hull service deals only with the monitoring of data (e.g. weight; pulse; BP) with no face-to-face consultation. However, we are working closely with Dr Pope’s team as part of the Yorkshire and Humber Telehealth Hub project to identify which patient groups benefit most from video conferencing and which just require ‘standard’ telemonitoring.

    David Barrett – Lecturer in Telehealth

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