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Tunstall demonstrates system that is helping NHS PCTs win telehealth awards

Tunstall Group : 02 May, 2008  (Company News)
At this year’s Managing Long Term Conditions conference in Harrogate, Tunstall demonstrated how its telehealth solutions are being successfully used by NHS Trusts to deliver timely, preventative care to its patients.
Tunstall’s Genesis DM monitors are used to remotely monitor a patient’s vital signs including weight, heart rate, oxygen saturation levels, blood pressure and glucose. The monitors can also be programmed to ask the patient a series of medical questions specific to their condition, to help clinicians to further determine their current condition. NHS staff can then prioritise visits, ensuring effective use of healthcare resources, while patients benefit from an improved quality of life and increased independence.

Sheffield Primary Care Trust won the 2008 regional finals of the NHS Health and Social Care Awards as a result of its deployment of Telehealth to tackle the issue of COPD and provide more community-based care. Sheffield’s innovative approach to managing the condition saw COPD-related hospital admissions decrease by 50 percent, saving the PCT between 30,000 to 40,000. Home visits by community COPD nurses were also reduced by 80 percent, cutting travel costs and enabling healthcare staff to prioritise their workload.

This year Nottingham City Primary Care Trust launched one of the UK’s largest mainstream deployments of Telehealth to reduce the 22,000 hospital admissions and the GP visits associated with long term conditions. The PCT is using Genesis DM monitors to support around 800 people a year with COPD and CHF. The approach supports independent living for patients and it educates them to be more aware of their symptoms and to proactively manage them, reducing the need for repeat hospital admissions.

Swindon PCT and Wolverhampton PCT also won its regional finals in the Innovative Health and Social Technology category of the NHS Health and Social Care Awards for their deployments of Telehealth monitoring.

Matthew Marshall, health director of Tunstall said: “The clear success of mainstream deployments across the UK demonstrates how Telehealth can be used to provide more preventative, community-based care for people with long term chronic conditions, freeing up valuable healthcare resources within the NHS.”
80 percent of all NHS costs and 60 percent of NHS activity is directly linked to the management of long term conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF).

The figures show there is an urgent need to look at alternative models of care that will lessen the burden on primary and acute care providers and ensure NHS resources are used efficiently. Telehealth is crucial to the effective management of these conditions by reducing the burden on NHS resources and improving the quality of life for patients.

At the Managing Long Term Conditions conference on May 1, 2008 in Harrogate, Tunstall demonstrated the company’s award-winning Genesis DM Telehealth monitor, which is benefiting several PCTs and hundreds of patients across the country.
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