Praise for technology enabled care in Tayside

New report commends a home mobile monitoring initiative introduced by the Angus health and social care partnership

Thursday 23rd May 2019

An evaluation report, commissioned by the Scottish Government, has praised a home mobile health monitoring (HMHM) initiative in Tayside.

The initiative makes use of Florence – a simple text messaging system that sends text messages to peoples’ mobile phones reminding them to take their blood pressure reading or weigh themselves and then text back the results.

The system receives the texts and people may then receive further texts providing advice and instructions if necessary.

People with conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic pain and fatigue as well as those seeking support with weight management are participating in this HMHM initiative.

NHS Tayside’s director of public health, Dr Drew Walker, said:

Remote monitoring already makes a valuable contribution to the delivery of health and social care and empowering of people in Tayside to manage their own health.

Remote monitoring is just one of a range of digital approaches which can improve health and there is now a real need to push that much harder and further so that its full potential to improve health and reduce health inequalities can be realised.”

448 people have been supported to monitor their health conditions at home through Florence, improving their care and preventing hospital admissions. The system currently supports 68 people from one GP surgery, and this is estimated to save 272 face-to-face appointments every year.

The information gathered at home also added value when people did meet their clinicians face-to-face and patients reported using the system was very simple and straightforward.

Vicky Irons, chief officer of Angus health and social care partnership, said:

Our team started something completely new back in 2017, and they have been gathering solid evidence ever since. We know this works.

The challenge now is to turn this test of change into business as usual. That will take time, but we are getting strong support from the Scottish Government to make this new technique much more widely available.”