Horizon Scanning for Telehealth Technologies
Project Lead
Dr Peter Cuddp.cudd@sheffield.ac.uk

Background
When looking at new technologies to consider for implementation within the NHS it would be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it is enough to solely explore those systems and devices that exist now. However this does not provide a good scientific or systematic way of identifying those technologies that are addressing things that are needed.

Aims
The aim of this project was to explore what users unmet needs were and then filter the technologies found to identify those technologies that addressed those needs.

Project Summary

Attempts to explore collaboration with UK Information scientists to study the process of horizon scanning in the context of telehealth and semi-automation of that process were made.

Across the literature relating to the CLAHRC-SY long term conditions it was found there were very large numbers of publications that mentioned generic patient needs. With one of smallest pools of publications Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease was selected for further study.

Also during the literature reviewing the burgeoning global research activity in use of mobile phones for health interventions (widely referred to as 'mHealth') was noted. Systematic reviews were and are planned through supervising taught Masters degree student dissertations. The goal being to engage CLAHRC-SY in what will be the next pervasive tool for supporting patient self-management of their health.

Impacts

- Dissemination
A student chosen dissertation titled "A systematic review of mHealth for 'AIDS' : mobile phones or pagers used as an adjunct to antiretroviral therapy" was submitted and is currently being improved to submit for publication.

Two student chosen dissertations on systematic reviews of COPD patients needs are being conducted with a view to publication.

A third placement dissertation developing behaviour change monitoring questionnaires/interviews for a mHealth intervention for diabetic patients in rural india is also being conducted with a view to publications.

- A web-based horizon scanning tool was under development.

- A presentation "A Horizon Scanning System for Identifying New Telehealth Solutions@ given at Med-e-Tel 2010 is available from our resources section.

CLAHRC Project Partners

University of Sheffield

Project Update - Most Recently Updated February 2012

A student chosen dissertation titled "A systematic review of mHealth for 'AIDS' : mobile phones or pagers used as an adjunct to antiretroviral therapy" was submitted and is currently being improved to submit for publication.

Two new students masters dissertations have just started on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients needs. One will focus on health needs and the other on social needs.