Video link to medics will re­duce trips to hos­pi­tal

‘Win-win’ as those in ur­gent need can get to clin­ics quicker

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - By Ai­dan Bar­low

Pa­tients will soon be able to get the health ad­vice they need with­out hav­ing to go into hos­pi­tal af­ter the launch of a new video ser­vice.

East Kent NHS Trust chiefs have launched the telemedicine ser­vice which al­lows pa­tients to get med­i­cal at­ten­tion for cer­tain ill­nesses in their own home.

They say that the new tech­nol­ogy will help those whose symp­toms may make it dif­fi­cult to get back into hos­pi­tal and those who don’t wish to spend time in wait­ing rooms or off work.

Telemedicine uses mo­bile tech­nol­ogy to let pa­tients mon­i­tor their own symp­toms, and trust chiefs say it will help cut the 80% of un­nec­es­sary ap­point­ments.

Pa­tients will need a smart mo­bile phone, tablet, lap­top or com­puter with a cam­era, and in­ter­net con­nec­tion.

The pilot test was used with health staff treat­ing Parkinson’s pa­tients.

Among them was Chris­tine Pierce who was the first to see a spe­cial­ist for a fol­low-up ap­point­ment.

She said: “It was so ex­cit­ing. We are at the fore­front of tech­nol­ogy. This will save me so many hours at the hos­pi­tal. I re­ally hope it takes off.

“The qual­ity of the sound and the pic­ture was ex­cel­lent and it will save my hus­band and I the stress and anx­i­ety of get­ting to the hos­pi­tal for rou­tine ap­point­ments. It was re­ally ex­cel­lent to see the nurse from the com­fort of my own home.”

Parkinson’s dis­ease nurse spe­cial­ist Michelle McHenry was also im­pressed.

She said: “It was a good ex­am­ple of how we can of­fer al­ter­na­tive means of ac­cess to health pro­fes­sion­als.

“This type of ap­point­ment sys­tem can com­ple­ment the ser­vices we al­ready have and give pa­tients more flex­i­bil­ity and choice.

“It will also al­low more ur­gently ill pa­tients to be seen in clinic faster, while sta­ble pa­tients who are well can log in from home or work – hope­fully a win-win sit­u­a­tion for ev­ery­body.”

East Kent NHS Trust has suc­cess­fully tri­alled telemedicine for pa­tients, mean­ing they don’t have to travel into hos­pi­tal for fol­low-up ap­point­ments

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