“As you can see, Mrs Lilley has a new friend. Her companion arrived at Christmas, wrapped in a box with a crimson ribbon. Mrs Lilley has joined the iPad generation. And, at age 92 and 11/12th not a moment too soon.
Mrs Lilley has mastered Skype, Face-Time and emails, downloads the newspapers, has found an App for crossword solving and has mastered BBC’s iPlayer, TVCatchup and the News Channel. And, she is a dab-hand at taking photographs (Groan). Courtesy Mr Google she has visited the Sistine Chapel, Marks and Spencer’s sale and WeightWatchers (Don’t ask, she’s as thin as a rake!).
We’re thinking about the ‘Big Red Button’ App that will alert me by text and email if she has a problem. It can also connect her to the emergency services if required. I think the ice cream box, with the red-button, sitting on the sideboard may well go back to the call-centre, along with the annual subscription.
Mum can connect anywhere, find out anything from sponge baking to spondylitis. New shoes to nuclear fission. Alas, she cannot connect with the doctor’s surgery and speak to the nurse, report her blood pressure and peak flow readings or talk to the doctor. She can’t ‘do’ an outpatient’s appointment or have a face to face with the pharmacy.
It does seem rational, doesn’t it? A reasonable thing to ask? In this day and age, e-mail, Face-Time or Skype, might be a reasonable choice for a patient to transact with the NHS?
The NHS delivers theoretical, academic, policy-wonk choice. Ministers think a competition between six providers means choice. It doesn’t. Whoever wins is what we get. No choice for the patient. Ministers think of choice in terms of retail. Choose the wrong dress, holiday, evening meal; no harm done. Choose the wrong surgeon and the wrong procedure; catastrophe. That’s why patients say; ‘What would you do Doc?'”
Once again Roy Lilley makes the opportunity clear in the latest issue of News and Commentary from Roy Lilley. Could you imagine the potential if a mobile operator hired someone like this to head their mHealth strategy?
As I died a slow death during last weeks Digital Policy Alliance paper launch in Westminister during which politicians wielding reams of rehashed printed literature pondered the “potential to use technology, in the form of telecare and telehealth, to both improve the client/patient experience and to reduce cost” it struck me that most people involved in government policy decisions in this area haven’t the first clue about the D-I-Y cliff that we’re standing on the edge of.
What better time to start building my “Museum of TeleHealth/Telecare”:
Mains powered Ice-Cream Box with bluetooth, B/W screen and grey buttons:
Mains powered Telecare Whoopie Cushion:
The £2,500 reverse hinged Touchscreen Telecare PC with cursor pointer and Windows 95 inspired UI:
Table top diet coach robot (with blinky eyes):
I want everything to have it’s own screen:
Why can’t I just use an iPad?:
Where did I put the 1000 page manual?:
I don’t know what I’d do without “My Medic”:
Did I mention I have arthritis?:
“Compact, ergonomic and highly flexible“
PS. If you have any pictures to share of these rare, expensive and unloved dinosaurs (especially in the wild with the cables running in/out and all over the place) please share them with us on Twitter or in the comments and I’ll add them.
Update 19 Feb 2015: This Wall Street Journal article gives us a snapshot of the latest range of unconnected white and grey boxes from Philips featuring 1990’s retro monochrome LCD screens:
Update 1 August 2016 (HatTip ): “At several rural hospitals nearby, there is a shortage of physicians who can work emergency room (ER) or care for acutely ill patients. Using a robot called AGNES from AMD Global Telemedicine, he is able to provide an immediate presence when needed. The robot provides a mobile platform of digital diagnostics and video communications: Littman electronic stethoscope for listening to the lungs, heart or abdomen; a dermascope (digital scope for looking at the skin lesions, rashes or whatever); an otoscope (camera to look into the ear); a vital signs monitor for the heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse oximetry and blood pressure; an Electrocardiogram (measure the electrical activity of the heart); or a multipurpose camera to look inside the mouth or more closely at a burn or cut…all are options available on the robot. The cameras can take high definition video and magnified still images of any part of the body”
Update 18 November 2016: “Guardian Technology: Internet of things set to change the face of dementia care”.
Update 31 December 2016: Bob Watcher shares a picture of the COWs (ComputersOnWheels aka ridiculously un-weildy computers) being moved between Patients in one of the world’s ‘leading’ Hospitals in San Francisco: