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Simple Telehealth

Telehealth & the third sector


Telehealth & the third sector

With telehealth covering such a wide range of services and tools, we explain where we fit in and make a pragmatic recommendation.

With strategic changes to the telehealth environment underway that raise awareness of the wide range of technologies available to clinicians and rationalise some of the perverse funding models that have proved a barrier to adoption. Simple Telehealth is just one of many “telehealth” tools.

Simple Telehealth has its own niche helping clinicians to achieve better, faster and sustained outcomes without the need to re-design a pathway. Whereas at the top end of the telehealth spectrum, some leading suppliers are developing the capability to provide large scale “Fully Managed Services” where responsibility is handed to a third party and as one of the industry partners claims in its advertising; it provides a “Hassle free home monitoring service”.

As an NHS organisation, we support the overall objectives of telehealth and we encourage those commissioning telehealth services to consider tools across the whole spectrum, from telephone & Skype through to “Fully Managed Services”.  There is no one-stop shop for telehealth and inevitably several services will be needed, however if you are commissioning for the NHS, you should consider a range of services that can be seen to assist the attainment of better clinical outcomes over and above that achievable in normal care.

At the distinctly low-tech end of the telehealth spectrum are third sector telephone befriending services.  Given that a considerable number of long term conditions patients benefit from telehealth not because of clinical management but due to the additional contacts they receive from monitoring centres, this is an alternative low-cost and sustainable way to reduce anxiety thereby possibly reducing inappropriate use of services and achieving better adherence without the need for more costly solutions.  Why not start here?


Updated 13 November 2012

Great to hear that befriending services were discussed at the  International Telecare and Telehealth Conference 2012.  Thanks to @clarkmike for tweeting.