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: NHS And BT Trial Helps Chronic Heart Failure Patients Stay Independent
[January 10, 2011]

: NHS And BT Trial Helps Chronic Heart Failure Patients Stay Independent


(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) RDATE:10012011 Patients in the Wakefield district suffering from chronic heart failure are taking part in a trial which allows them to manage their condition better from home.

The partnership trial, being run by BT and Wakefield District Community Healthcare Services (WDCHS) - part of NHS Wakefield District - uses an interactive personal health system called the Intel® Health Guide*. This allows patients to record important information about their health including vital signs such as blood pressure, oxygen levels and weight. These can then be sent over the patient's broadband line for analysis by their community nurse.



The benefit of the system is that nurses can more easily monitor early warning signs that a patient's health may be deteriorating and proactively respond to their patients' needs. For example, patients with chronic heart failure can experience rapid weight gain over a few days due to water retention if they don't take their medication. The system enables this to be spotted early on so that corrective action can be taken.

The Intel Health Guide, provided and managed by BT, is easy to use and prompts the patient to input information about their health. It also has videoconferencing, which means the healthcare professional treating the patient can hold a consultation with them from their computer.


Richard Brothwell, WDCHS community heart failure matron, is one of the healthcare professionals trialling the system. He said: "This technology allows us to keep in touch with patients and monitor their health daily without always seeing them physically. That means we can see more patients and those taking part in the trial are telling us they find the remote monitoring very reassuring." The trial runs until February 2011. A decision on whether the service will be taken on board on a permanent basis will be dependent on how it evaluates, against both patient and healthcare professional satisfaction and value for money.

Alan Wittrick, chief executive of NHS Wakefield District, said: "Locally we have a higher incidence of patients with chronic conditions than the national average and with heart disease being a particular issue we decided to focus our trial on chronic heart failure patients. The aim is to see if technology could benefit their quality of life and help us to manage their condition better.

"While in its early days, overall the feedback we are receiving from patients and community nurses is encouraging. Patients have said they feel more in control of their condition and in some cases it has transformed their lives, although we appreciate this won't be the case for everyone on the trial.

"We know that constant visits to hospital or clinics can be debilitating and we are looking to see if this trial could in the long term help to reduce the need for these. The system provides reassurance to patients that changes in their condition can be picked up through the timely analysis of data." Wakefield patient David Ward, aged 69, had a heart bypass 12 years ago and says the interactive health system has given him a new lease of life. Mr Ward said: "Obviously I owe my life to the cardiology team at Dewsbury and District Hospital who fitted a defibrillator with pacemaker last year. But this system has given me the confidence to lead as normal life as possible with my heart condition.

"It wakes me up with a 'good morning' - I open up the screen and do my key tests and within two minutes, if all is well, I'm done for the day. If not I can talk and see Richard, the community heart failure matron, through the videoconferencing feature and he tells me what's needed. That might mean keeping a closer eye on my health that day or a slight change in my medication.

"Because of the confidence I have in this system, I don't worry about my health like I used to. I sleep better and don't have the panic attacks I used to and I've started to walk small distances again - I'd go as far as saying it's given me a new lease of life." BT Health's chief clinical officer, Dr Justin Whatling, said: "The remote monitoring of patients, or telehealth, is of strategic importance to the health sector as chronic conditions place increasing pressure on its resources. There is a pressing need to shift the emphasis to self-care and lower the cost of health care. The Wakefield trial demonstrates how the patient can benefit in terms of quality of life and the community nurse can work more effectively.

"For BT and Intel this is particularly exciting. We are both major players in the health IT market and are working together to deliver telehealth solutions to the market.

"Telehealth not only demonstrates how existing technology can benefit patients and give them more control and confidence in the care they receive; it also has the potential to save the health service millions of pounds." Enquiries may be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369.

All BT news releases can be accessed at: http://www.btplc.com/News Enquiries may also be made to Jo Thorne, media and marketing manager at NHS Wakefield District, on 01924 317660.

Notes to editor: BT BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2010, BT Group's revenue was £20,911 million. BritishTelecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt NHS Wakefield District 1 NHS Wakefield District is responsible for providing health services across Wakefield, the five towns, and their surrounding communities. This includes community-based health services such as district nursing, health visiting and podiatry. NHS Wakefield District also oversees the work of GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists, and is responsible for commissioning mental health, hospital and other specialist services on behalf of local people.

2 In addition NHS Wakefield District carries out a wide-range of health promotion aimed at helping to improve the health and well-being of local people.

Intel Health Guide The Intel Health Guide is a comprehensive, next-generation remote patient monitoring solution. It combines an in-home patient device, the Intel Health Guide PHS6000, with the Intel Health Care Management Suite, an online interface that allows clinicians to monitor and communicate with patients and remotely manage their care.

* The Intel Health Guide requires an internet connection to enable communications between the patient, health care provider and backend data hosting and is intended for use by patients under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

For further information Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News About BT BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2010, BT Group's revenue was £20,911 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to [email protected])).

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