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Major self-care trials launched using technology

22 January 2016

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In order to keep patients in the community, NHS England has introduced major new technology trials that will see dementia patients wearing sensors connected to household gadgets, and intelligence centres monitoring people at risk of mental health crisis.

Seven schemes launched today will see the NHS partner with technology companies like IBM, Philips, and Verily (formerly known as Google Life Sciences) in order to keep patients with long-term conditions healthy at home.

Patients with diabetes in the west of England will be equipped with remote monitoring and coaching technology to better self-manage their condition, while older people in Rochdale will be remotely monitored so that doctors can help as soon as they need it. In Birmingham mental health patients can use apps and technology, which will be monitored so that specialist staff can step in before a crisis.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England explained: “Our new NHS Test Beds programme aims to cut through the hype and test the practical benefits for patients when we bring together some of these most promising technologies in receptive environments inside the world’s largest public, integrated health service.”

The first wave of test beds includes five health and care test beds and two ‘Internet of Things’ test beds. The sites will be spread across different areas of England, including the west of England, Surrey, Sheffield and Birmingham.

The results of the trials will be “rigorously evaluated” NHS England said, with the aim to roll out successful schemes and provide evidence to give more areas the confidence to adopt the innovations over the coming years.