Telehealth Can Reduce Deaths by 45%, Study Shows

Lucas Mearian | Computer World | December 7, 2011

Last year, a report from Accenture showed that the rise of inexpensive Internet connectivity and smaller, cheaper and "smarter" health electronics should deliver better, more efficient health care. The U.K. Department of Health said its study was the first of its kind and one of the most complex and comprehensive studies it has ever undertaken. It involved about 6,000 chronically-ill patients at 238 healthcare practices across three counties in the UK. It took two years to complete.

The study looked at how the adoption of telehealth monitoring technologies could reduce the mounting financial burden of healthcare for the chronically ill. The study focused on patients with three conditions: diabetes, coronary heart disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It also showed how technology supports people who live independently, and how they can be more in control of their own health and care.

"The first set of initial findings ... show that, if delivered properly, telehealth can substantially reduce mortality, reduce the need for admissions to hospital, lower the number of bed days spent in hospital and reduce the time spent in [emergency rooms]," the Health Department saidn in a statement. "At least three million people with long-term conditions and/or social care needs could benefit from using telehealth and telecare."