Several studies have been conducted on the impact of telehealth for people with long term conditions, but findings have been mixed. Some research suggests that telehealth can help patients develop a better understanding of their condition, leading to better quality and more appropriate care, as well as more efficient use of health care resources, but other studies have found negative effects.
However, assessing the scale of such an effect is complex.
So, an international team, led by researchers at the Nuffield Trust, set out to assess the impact of telehealth on hospital use for 3,230 patients with long term conditions (diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or heart failure) over one year.
The study is one of the largest telehealth studies ever conducted.