Video link to medics will reduce trips to hospital
‘Win-win’ as those in urgent need can get to clinics quicker
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