HEDS is part of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. We undertake research, teaching, training and consultancy on all aspects of health related decision science, with a particular emphasis on health economics, HTA and evidence synthesis.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Big news in telehealth

The largest randomised control trial of telehealth and telecare in the world – the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) – which involved 6191 patients and 238 GP practices across Newham, Kent and Cornwall has reported its headline results. The telehealth component of the WSD examined 3030 patients with either diabetes, heart failure or COPD.  From the Headline Findings document:

“The early indications show that if used correctly telehealth can deliver a 15% reduction in A&E visits, a 20% reduction in emergency admissions, a 14% reduction in elective admissions, a 14% reduction in bed days and an 8% reduction in tariff costs. More strikingly they also demonstrate a 45% reduction in mortality rates.”

Details are to be published over the coming months, so until then, we don’t know what “if used correctly” means – per protocol? – or whether it is cost-effective.

Until then, you may be interested to know that ScHARR is currently working with Leeds Business School and the Advanced Digital Institute on a study aimed at mainstreaming assisted living technologies (the MALT study), which will develop implementation strategies for telehealth and examine their cost-effectiveness.  Contact Simon Dixon or Mark Hawley for further details.