The Royal College of Nursing has announced that it is developing a telecare and telehealth resource for its members.

The RCN is encouraging members to participate in an online survey so it can find out what members needs are in relation to telehealth and telecare.

The survey includes multiple choice questions such as ‘what should be the wider role of the RCN in relation to telehealth and telecare’ and asks members to rate the importance of setting up a telehealth or telecare intervention or programme.

Nick Hardiker, from the ehealth department at the RCN, told E-Health Insider: “The resource will allow members to engage and interact online; the results of the survey will then be used to get feedback to develop content for the website.”

The questionnaire was developed following an RCN Congress 2008 resolution, telecare in the community, with the view of developing a relevant resource for use by RCN members.

The resolution, which asked congress to support the implementation and use of telehealth and telecare for patients with chronic conditions, was passed with a majority of 95%.

The RCN has recently established an e-health programme board to examine the impact of new technologies on the provision of care services across the UK.

The board will commission and support ongoing work to ensure RCN members have access to the right resources, policies, guidance and learning opportunities to enable them to continue to provide optimal care in a modern and technology-enabled health care service.

Telehealth and telecare have increasingly been moving up the healthcare agenda. Last week, EHI reported that 12 projects are being run alongside England’s whole system demonstrator projects to “mainstream” telehealth and telecare.

Tola Sargeant, author of a new Ovum report on the UK telehealth market: beyond the hype said: “Many companies are on the brink of launching telehealth strategies and are likely to do so in as little as a few months.

“Telehealth is a no brainer, in terms of how much it improves quality of care, changing demographic and shrinking NHS budgets. Although adoption of telehealth has been low, suppliers that are active at present don’t make much money, that is about to change.”

Link: RCN ehealth webpages