The London Borough of Newham and Milton Keynes Council have both won European e-inclusion awards for their use of telehealth services.

The two were among the seven winners of European e-inclusion awards, presented at a European e-inclusion conference in Vienna at the beginning of December.

The awards formed part of the Commission’s ‘Be Part of it’ campaign. Some 496 projects were entered for the awards.

The Ageing Well award was presented to the London Borough of Newham in recognition of its innovative use of telehealth to promote social inclusion. Over the past 18-months, Newham has installed more than 2,400 telecare systems as part of the Newham Advanced Telecare (NeAT) and Whole System Demonstartor (WSD) programmes.

The NeAT project aims to use telecare to improve the quality of life of older and vulnerable people, helping them remain in their homes for longer.

Martin Scarfe, WSD programme director at Newham, said: “telecare is crucial to us. Not only do we have our existing 2,400 telecare users, but we are also attracting an additional 1,000 critical needs service users into the programem as well.”

Milton keynes’ received the cultural diversity award for its Connect MK and Digital MK projects, which were set up to help create a digitally and socially inclusive modern city.

As part of the two projects the coucil intrdouced a telehealth service to improve the lives of people with long-term conditsions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Patients with COPD have been provided with telehealth monitors, to enable them to measure their vital signs such as heart rate, weight, blood pressure and oxygen.

The telehealth device, suppleid by Tunstall, also asks a series of clinical questions about their condition, to help ensure that prevenetative medical intervention can be taken at an early stage to avoid hospital admission.

Steven Jewell, head of IT and e-government at the council, said “We are absoluteley delighted to have been recognised in Europe for the council’s contribution to enhancing the lives of those residents less able to help themeselves or those that have previously been excluded from the benefits that technology can bring.”

The full list of award winners is:

• Ageing Well: London Borough of Newham (United Kingdom)

• Geographic Inclusion: Kyyjarven Mediamyllarit ry (Finland)

• Digital Literacy: Association "Langas i ateiti" (Lithuania)

• Cultural Diversity: Milton Keynes Council (United Kingdom)

• Marginalised Young People: A-Clinic Foundation (Finland) e-Accessibility: Synscenter Refsnæs (Denmark)

• Inclusive Public Services: Sotiria Hospital (Greece)