The 2008 Life & Health Sciences Report

The Life and Health Sciences Horizon Panel recommends that Northern Ireland becomes the first UK region committed to the early adoption of a telehealth system within the Health and Social Care practice. This means establishing a strong local capability across the telehealth continuum, and deploy this locally to achieve whole connectivity between the health sector and the home within 15-20 years.

The home based care market encompasses a wide range of products and services. The underpinning technologies and systems necessary to deliver those services can be sub-divided into four key domains along the telehealth continuum, as summarised in the diagram opposite. The overall aim of the model proposed for Northern Ireland is to join-up local capability across all four of these domains in an integrated manner and in a real clinical setting. The panel concluded that to maximise the market opportunity in this area, telehealth technology should be implemented within our own health system. This would allow the DHSSPS to benefit from savings achieved from the delivery of health services in this manner, whilst improving patient care. At the same time, it would create an attractive Whole System Integration Test Bed for local and international technology providers, who could use Northern Ireland as a gateway to UK and European home care export markets.