A new animation has brought to life how the simple text message is helping people take care of their hearts, minds and general health.
Created by health and social care partners in North and South Lanarkshire, the short internet film tells the story of Fraser – a busy thirty something who’s living with high blood pressure. Traditionally, that means he would have had to make regular trips to his GP to have his blood pressure monitored.
But now, thanks to the help of a system called Flo, he can text his readings from home - ensuring his safety and reducing the need to attend the Doctor’s surgery for routine checks.
Morag Hearty, of NHS Lanarkshire, explained: “We already use communication technology at work, rest and play - whether it’s a teleconference, ordering shopping online or booking activities - and we don’t think twice about it.
“This system is equally easy and intuitive to use and is supporting people with a range of conditions and challenges including mental health, smoking cessation, diabetes, heart failure and respiratory conditions, to name but a few.”
The animation was launched this week at a national Network event on Simple Telehealth (Flo). Telehealth is a means of enhancing health care by using communications technology, like tablets or mobile phone texts.
Morag added how Fraser’s story provides a practical example of the technology in action.
“Patients, like Fraser, are equipped and taught how to self monitor their own blood pressure,” continued Morag.
“The patient then texts readings from home to an automated system which has been specifically programmed for them.
“If necessary, the system can assist Fraser’s nurse to identify any issues at the earliest stage. And his nurse can send personalised texts to best manage the situation.
“This is all about independence, patient safety and using modern technology to enhance traditional supports.”
Val de Souza, Director of Health and Social Care for South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said the animation carries a key message.
“Telehealth is a vital component of the transformation of health and care delivery. It can support people to feel safe, more confident in their everyday life as well as making sure people are independent where possible.”
Janice Hewitt, Chief Accountable Officer of Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire explained:
“Our mission is to create safe, healthy and independent lives for people and this animation shows how Telehealth is playing a major part in making that a reality.”