The NHS would like us to live in our own homes for as long as possible and to minimise time spent in hospital. This enables the NHS to apply its medical expertise efficiently and helps patients to stay at home, which is the place where most of us prefer to be. To do that, the NHS may invite us to participate in remote monitoring. This means answering a few questions and taking a few measurements on a regular basis. This process of recording ‘observations’ is a bit like a consultation with a doctor or a nurse.
The difference is that we will be doing this in the comfort of our own homes and not having to go to the GP surgery or hospital to do it. For the NHS, it means that the doctors and nurses can observe our conditions more regularly and the information recorded is more frequent and richer, enabling them to improve the care they provide for us.
To make these recordings at home, we might have the option to use our own electronic device (this could be a computer, smartphone, or tablet) or the NHS will offer to supply us with one. Regardless of the choice of device, they are deliberately very easy to use – in our 20 years’ experience no one has been unable to participate. In our early years, the vast majority of patients had never used and had no experience of technology, we just had to make it very straight forward. In other words, you don’t need to know anything technical.Using technology in this way is a proven, practical and positive way of helping to care for a lot of people, and some who have complex conditions, may live alone and may be housebound.
Benefits to all of us include: