After reading this BBC News article I think there are two things that anyone commenting about the value of remote care should be aware of:
1) Challenging accepted wisdom can be tricky. Most of us want to be cared for in our own homes but it may not be cheaper. Roy Lilley explains this better than I ever could:
“To get all that working in the same place at the same time takes coordination, timetables, worksheets, days on, days off and cover, offices, computers, mobile phones, voicemail and text, recruitment, CRB vetting, transport, expense claims, parking and vehicles off the road. Back to my accounting favourite; ‘costs-in-flow’; there is a huge amount of money swirling around this“
2) The use of Consumer technology and particularly Mobile (the newest mass media and the only mass media that is personal, permanently carried, always on, has a built-in payment channel, is available at the point of creative impulse, is most accurate at measuring its audience, that can capture the social context of consumption and offer augmented reality) is the best chance we have of making remote care affordable.
As we approach the Mobile Moment (when Mobile phones will become the first consumer gadget that will be as wildly distributed as mankind) I think it would be a good idea for “TeleHealth” champions to rebrand their efforts and focus to “mHealth” as for one thing it will help shake off the perceptions held by Healthcare Professionals who have had an experience of Ice Cream Boxes for oldies.