The Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) programme is the largest randomised control trial of telehealth and telecare in the world.
It involves 6191 patients, 238 GP practices across three sites, Newham, Kent and Cornwall. WSD was set up to look at cost effectiveness, clinical effectiveness, organisational issues, effect on carers and workforce issues. It focused on three conditions, diabetes, COPD and coronary heart disease. The programme will provide a clear evidence base to support important investment decisions and show how technology supports people to live independently, take control and be responsible for their own health and care.
The Whole system demonstrator programme: Headline findings - December 2011 is now available. They show that, if delivered properly, telehealth can substantially reduce mortality, reduce the need for admissions to hospital, lower the number of bed days spent in hospital and reduce the time spent in A&E.
At least three million people with Long Term Conditions and/or social care needs could benefit from using telehealth and telecare. To achieve this level of change the Department of Health is planning to work with industry, the NHS, social care and professional partners in a collaboration with a difference, the “Three Million Lives” campaign.