International Congress on Telehealth and Telecare 2012 – London
During the second annual International Congress on Telehealth and Telecare in London in March, presenters shared experiences and showcased ideas, research and innovations in telehealth and telecare that improve the care of people with long-term conditions and other health and social care needs.
Professor John Weinman, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College and Head of Health Psychology, Atlantis Healthcare Europe, presented new research pertaining to innovation in telehealth. He discussed a piece of research commissioned by Atlantis Healthcare that investigated the common issue of non-adherence to preventative asthma medication. The research utilised a text message programme that was designed to modify patients' illness and treatment beliefs to improve self-reported adherence to asthma preventer medication. For more information on this research click here.
Professor Weinman shares his thoughts on the event: “While there were a range of innovative telehealth technologies presented, it was interesting to note that these were not generally linked to any underpinning health psychology research which could provide a sound basis for understanding the behavioural response to a novel intervention. Thus, while many interventions were often quite sophisticated in technological terms, they failed to make use of any psychological models of patients’ illness behaviour in their implementation and so the results were often quite disappointing."
"In contrast – the SMS research programme was seemingly less technologically advanced at face value but it was based on strong background research which had shown the importance of patients’ beliefs about illness and treatment in adherence to asthma medication. The research clearly indicated that if targeted SMS messages are used to communicate with asthma patients, adherent behaviour will increase for the long term. Interestingly so, even nine months after the SMS messages ceased, the majority of people who took part in this were found to have continued adherence – delivering health benefits for the patients that were involved in the study.”
The key themes covered at the event were:
• evaluation and research methods
• remote monitoring
• online health management
• promotion of self-management
• developing applications at scale, and
• integrating information systems to support integrated care.
For a more in-depth summary on the International Congress on Telehealth and Telecare click here.