Why do video calls still look like 2006 in NHS pilots?

Yorkshire Airedale NHS Foundations testing outdated laptop tech to make video consults into care homes

Reading this Yorkshire Post article posted yesterday about how 200 nursing and residential homes are participating in a trial funded by the NHS in Calderdale and Huddersfield and I had to double check the date of the article (I’ve had a webcam built into my laptop for nearly a decade now).

It appears to be the work of the NHS’s Airedale Digital Healthcare Centre (click here for a previous post on this organisation):

NHS Airedale Digital Healthcare Centre

Why aren’t they just using tablets (eg. like those being used at the Henry Ford Hospitals?) or iPhones (eg. like those now being used to connect trauma surgeons across an 18 hospital TeleHealth network in Maine?).

A few thoughts:

> If you’re wondering where these nursing homes could get the money to afford iPads or Samsung Galaxy Tabs consider that the average cost of a place in a care home in England now stands at £28,367 per year, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 costs as little as £200 and a documented remote Doctor visit via skype/facetime costs from as little as £35.

> With as many as 300,000 patients a year in England acquiring a healthcare-associated infection as a result of care within the NHS healthcare providers really need to focus on using tech that is easy to disinfect so that they are not acting as fomites passing pathogens back and forth between Patients and staff e.g. it’s going to be much easier to wipe down an iPad in a Griffin Survivor case than the laptop keyboard, webcam, connecting cables, etc, associated with the laptop/webcam set up being used in these Yorkshire nursing and residential homes.

> With billions in R&D budgets and the global spotlight of developer talent it should be obvious that consumer communication tech is now technically more advanced than enterprise communication tech and this isn’t a trend that will turn around. To get results it’s time NHS (and other government funded) telemedicine efforts seek first to leverage the tools of our time

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