Health Minister Paul Burstow believes that 'telehealth' and 'telecare' will help people to live more independent lives and save the NHS up to £1.2 billion over the next five years.
In a speech at a telecare conference yesterday, 'telehealth' and 'telecare' technologies, which aim to let people with long term conditions such as heart disease and diabetes to manage their illness largely from the premises of their homes, would benefit three million people by 2017.
Speaking at the King's Fund international congress on telehealth and telecare, Mr. Burstow said, "By keeping people out of hospital. by being far more targeted and efficient with the use of NHS resources, we estimate the widespread use of telecare and telehealth could save the NHS up to £1.2 billion over five years."
A Department of Health study of six thousand patients reveled that it slashed accident & emergency visits by 15 per cent and mortality rates by 45 per cent.
In December, the Prime Minister said that he wanted telecare and telehealth technologies to roll out on an industrial scale.
Telehealth technology allows patients to submit vital signs, such as glucose levels and blood pressure, via broadband to be interpreted remotely by doctors and get treatment plans.
Telecare technology provides vulnerable people with equipment like personal pendant alarms so that they can live at home longer and can activate alarms if in trouble.