Nikki Flanders, Managing Director, O2 Health, discusses the latest mHealth launch, Health at Home.

Today is another very important day for O2 Health as we launch Health at Home at the Healthcare Innovations Expo 2013 in London. Health at Home is a remote patient monitoring service that helps people with long-term conditions feel more in control of their health while freeing up more time for clinicians to deliver personalised care.

Using a web-based, secure platform, healthcare professionals (HCPs) are able to monitor patients’ vital signs – such as blood pressure and oxygen levels – ask questions about symptoms, provide educational materials and communicate with patients directly.

This allows HCPs to spend less time on paperwork and travel, and more time providing care to their patients. In addition, patients are given more control of their care and can learn to self-manage their long-term health conditions, such as heart disease.

This type of condition currently accounts for up to 70% of primary and secondary care budgets, and with the number of people in the UK with a long-term condition anticipated to rise to 23% over the next 25 years, healthcare services will come under increasing pressure.

At the same time, budgets are shrinking, so healthcare organisations must find more efficient ways to care for long-term conditions – all while improving the quality of care and choice for patients. Although not a one-size fits all solution, investing in mobile technology such as Health at Home could help alleviate some of the pressure on the system whilst improving the quality of care available.

Health at Home is already being used to monitor patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure through NHS Lothian and North Somerset Community Partnership and we’ve had great feedback both from patients and healthcare professionals. For hospitals it has reduced unnecessary admissions and reduced the time of stay in hospital, whereas for patients it has allowed them to manage their care more easily and avoid unnecessary and unsettling trips to hospital.

Following on from the launch of mobile care service Help at Hand last week, Health at Home is the next step in the natural evolution of using technology to improve healthcare. Stay tuned to find out how our services evolve and develop to improve the lives of patients.

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