Newham Whole System Demonstrator: four testimonials (UK)

Tackling Congestive Heart Failure – Emelie’s story

Emelie’s heart has lost the ability to pump blood efficiently. The result is that her body doesn’t get as much oxygen and nutrients as it needs, leading to problems like fatigue and shortness of breath. Although in the past few years her condition has improved somewhat, the concern for Emelie is that her blood pressure could go up very quickly without warning.

What is the Telehealth intervention how does the technology work?

Since 2009, Emelie has been using a Telehealth system allowing her to manage her own health at home, with the supervision of health professionals. Emelie is now able to take her own blood pressure, weight, pulse and oxygen levels each day, with special equipment linked to a set-top box connected to her television. The results are automatically uploaded to a team of healthcare professionals who view them daily and can contact Emelie if anything is out of the ordinary. 

Outcome of telehealth intervention for Emilie

Emelie is enjoying the part she is now playing in managing her own health and she is more conscious of changes in her readings. “I can see how my readings are related to my diet and how much physical activity I do… if they change, it makes you think “What have I done? What did I eat?‟ and when you remember, you say to yourself “no wonder my readings have gone up!”

Telemonitoring service to treat COPD – Frank’s story

ATICO case study – Robert Bosch Healthcare GmbH
COPD is a chronic and progressive disease that damages airways and causes breathing dysfunction because of the amount of mucus present in the lungs. It can lead to pneumonia, pulmonary hypertension and heart failure.

What is the Telehealth intervention how does the technology work?

Every morning, Frank captures his vital signs, such as oxygen saturation and heart rate, through a simple electromedical device. He also answers a few questions on his symptoms – coughing, sputum and difficulties in breathing – and on how he is feeling. The information is then automatically sent to a data analysis center. The system issues a listing of all patients, with a color code: green if all goes well, red if there are reasons to worry. A nurse opens the red files to assess the seriousness of the situation and contacts the patients to ask them further questions on their condition. If she notes that Frank’s condition has deteriorated, she will immediately put him in contact with Dr. Werne

Outcome of telehealth intervention for Frank

If something is wrong, I’ll be notified and taken to hospital or my doctor will be in touch. That gave me so much security and confidence, that I could do things again. It motivates you to get moving. I used to be pretty passive, but now I try to walk as much as possible.”  Frank

 “The idea is that routine visits are diminished and emergency visits, when necessary, can be made at exactly the right time. It is more important that patients come in such cases, rather than for routine examinations, when there is nothing wrong.” Dr. Werner


Carol’s story

In addition to diabetes  58-year-old Carol also suffers from a heart condition which means she has an irregular heartbeat and palpitations. Her blood pressure often drops very low and,  the concern for her and her husband is that it  could  happen quite rapidly with little time to recognise the symptoms.

What is the Telehealth intervention how does the technology work?

Since 2009, Carol has been using a TeleHealth system connected to her television, enabling her to take her own blood pressure, weight, pulse, blood sugar and oxygen levels every day. Data is automatically received and reviewed by healthcare professionals. Once, they noticed Carol’s blood pressure was too low; an ambulance was sent to her house, and she was taken to the hospital early enough to avoid serious complications.

Outcome of telehealth intervention for Carol

Every morning I look forward to seeing how my readings are. Before I would just do it but not really understand or take the time to see a pattern,” said Carol. Carol is now playing a much more active role in the management of her own health and is more conscious of any changes in her readings.

Ahmed’s story

Ahmed was diagnosed with diabetes 18 years ago and has been battling with his condition for the past ten. At the end of 2008, his health deteriorated so much that he lost all feeling in his body from the neck down and was hospitalized. Ahmed’s health has since stabilized but he is concerned about his health deteriorating again. Ahmed realized diabetes is a serious disease when he suffered complications including an amputation.

What is the Telehealth intervention how does the technology work?

Ahmed has been monitored by telehealth since November 2008. He is able to take his own blood pressure, weight, pulse and blood sugar readings each day. The readings are taken with special equipment which is linked to a set-top box connected to his television. The results, which Ahmed can view on his television, are automatically uploaded to a team of healthcare professionals who view them daily.

Outcome of telehealth intervention for Ahmed

In one instance, Ahmed noticed his blood pressure readings were not right and as he was feeling dizzy as well, he called his GP. He was told his symptoms sounded like he may have had a stroke and that he should call an ambulance. On arrival at the hospital he found out that he’d had a minor stroke. Getting the advanced warning may have saved him from something more major.

TeleHealth is really great for a person with an illness. Someone is always looking out for me and that is a big support. I’m always aware what is happening about my health.” Ahmed

The system helped him (Ahmed) to learn more about the disease in the first place, learn about the importance of good treatment and learn how to control his diabetes.” Doctor Kumar

For further information

(July 2011)

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