Ministers are planning on allowing patients with long term conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) to manage their illnesses at home via telehealth and telecare.
Telehealth is a system which allows patients to submit vital signs like blood pressure and glucose levels to their doctors online. This would aim to cut the number of people in hospitals and save the NHS up to £1.2 billion over the next five years.
The downsides to this system include the substantial initial cost involved for surgeries and hospitals who may feel that in the current climate extra costs are unwise and the concern that elderly patients may be marginalised by not wanting, or being unable to use the technology. The worry is that this could prevent them from seeing medical experts face to face.