NHS 24 has committed to launch all telehealth solutions on three channels – smartphones, tablets and digital TV.
NHS Scotland’s online and telephone-based advice service has also committed to only launch telehealth solutions that are able to support multiple conditions.
“Scotland won’t deploy any solution that manages just one condition on telehealth,” NHS 24 medical director Professor George Crooks told the Healthcare Efficiency through Technology conference in London last week.
“We are moving to co-production of healthcare in Scotland. We will only use three platforms – smartphones, tablets and digital television,” he added.
“I never thought I would stand on a platform and say ‘thank you Rupert Murdoch’ – but 80% of social homes in Scotland have Sky and we need to use that unashamedly."
NHS 24 surveyed people about what technology they have in their home and found TV is seen as “essential”.
Professor Crooks this is great because the technology is just as familiar to people over 80 as teens.
“I get really angry when people say ‘what about older people’; they get the technology,” he said.
Professor Brooks explained that one of the most valuable aspects of technology is the way it makes health and social care services easier to navigate.
“Most citizens bump into a lot of services by accident. What tech can do is to join these things up and make it easier for them to navigate.”
He said that to scale up telehealth services in Scotland requires resource and partnerships.
“Its all about money. The health and social care sector won’t fund all of this, it requires a partnership – enterprise – technology companies and others.”
He added: “We are on a common shared journey. Even in times of austerity the public sector invests billions in services. We can invest and generate additional income, that is best way to well being.”