A series of JRC reports examine drivers and barriers to large-scale take up of personal health system in Europe, which provides care outside traditional facilities© EU, 2012
ICT for health: Denmark leads the way with telehealth deployment
Denmark, the UK and some regions of Italy and Spain are European leaders in deployment of telehealth as they have succeeded in integrating telehealth into standard patient treatments. Telehealth is healthcare empowered by Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The role of integrated governance models, the availability of funding mechanisms for mainstreaming, the alignment of incentives across tiers of care are some of the best practice examples identified through the latest JRC research on personal health and care services.
It was carried out in co-operation with the European Commission’s Information Society and Media Directorate-General.
The findings are part of the multi-annual Strategic Intelligence Monitor on Personal Health Systems (SIMPHS) research project which focuses more particularly on telehealth and telecare including remote monitoring and treatment of patients. Such healthcare supports independent living of individuals and contributes to more efficient health and social care services delivery. The research scope further includes mHealth (mobile health care through mobile communication devices) and wellness/fitness applications.
The SIMPHS results were made public at the eHealth Week 2012, held from May 7-9 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The results showed that alongside technology implementation, the main issue for telehealth uptake is re-organisation of care which could be enhanced with greater involvement of governments as market forces alone cannot achieve the integration of telehealth solutions into care delivery. Additional barriers to deployment are interoperability and standardisation of health data across regions and healthcare systems.
Denmark emerges as an example where good co-operation between government and other key stakeholders such as health care professionals has speeded up the integration of personal health systems such as remote patient monitoring systems into healthcare delivery. Tele-health projects in Denmark include remote monitoring of patents suffering from diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), patients with high risk of stroke, and those receiving anticoagulant treatment. Telehealth is being also mainstreamed in England and Scotland while in Italy and Spain sharp differences emerge between regions in the application of telehealth.