Siobhan Melia, Product Marketing Manager, O2 Health, comments on key topics discussed at EHealth Insider Live

It’s been a busy few weeks here at O2 Health with members of the team out and about attending a number of different telehealth and telecare events, gaining new insights and having conversations about the vitally important issues the industry is currently facing. This includes huge cuts in NHS funding and a desperate need for greater efficiency.

The first event was the E-Health Insider Live Conference, which provided a great forum for healthcare IT professionals, clinicians and hospital managers to meet up, debate and discuss the issues currently facing eHealth and how technology can be used to improve the quality and efficiency of the health service.

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter’s speech on the first day of the conference was especially encouraging. He spoke about the crucial role telecare and telehealth will play in the future of healthcare – something that we’re very passionate about.

We also attended the International Telecare and Telehealth Conference 2012, hosted by the Telecare Services Association. Key issues covered included the 3millionlives campaign for greater use of telehealth and telecare, transforming services to meet the demands of our ageing population and coping with major budget cuts that are facing the sector. The O2 Health stand was buzzing with delegates keen to find out how, with mobile technology, people can live independently while still being able to access the care and support that they need.

The event also coincided with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s speech at the Age UK conference, where he set out his vision of improving the lives of 100,000 more people across the country through use of new technologies. He spoke of telehealth as a means of giving people with long-term conditions control over their own care. His comments were based around the ‘landmark’ NHS Mandate which was also published last week where he outlined plans for 3 million people to benefit from telehealth by 2017.

At O2 Health we strongly welcome Jeremy Hunt’s plans for telehealth and firmly believe this and other technologies have a vital role to play in helping us to rise to various challenges our healthcare services are facing. He also pointed out that telehealth will not be rolled out nationally, but will be based on local case-by-case needs, which echoes O2 Health’s view that healthcare technology should always be patient-centred, providing personal assistive solutions rather than a one size fits all.

It’s encouraging to hear that the Government will continue to support the use of innovative technology to help people with long term conditions gain greater control and independence over their care, as well as delivering much needed savings.

With the conference season over, now is the time to capitalise on the momentum it’s created. We’ll keep you updated on progress.

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