O2 Health shaping the debate on telecare

Nikki Flanders, MD of O2 Health, talks about the increasing focus on telecare in the media, and the role O2 Health is playing in shaping the debate.

Telecare is in the headlines. Government ministers are making announcements about it, the press are debating it – and now, thanks to the O2 Health team, some of the top media medics in the UK are talking about it too.

At the end of January we hosted a meeting with some of the country’s best known TV GPs, chaired by Dr Sarah Jarvis from the BBC. Along with one of our Help at Hand customers, Leeds City Council, the session was a passionate debate about the role mobile telecare can play in transforming the lives of people with long-term health conditions.

Importantly, O2 Health is right in the middle of this debate. The links that we have forged with the health media are allowing us to communicate the huge changes technology can make to people’s lives.

Whether they have diabetes or dyspraxia, Alzheimer’s or asthma, just like mobile technology has changed the way we work and play, in 2013 mobile technology is going to revolutionise the way people are cared for. There are 15 million of us in the UK with at least one long-term health condition and that’s only going to increase in the coming years. At a time when the NHS is tightening its belt, the use of technology to deliver care is vital.

More than anything since I took the role of managing director at O2 Health, the lively meeting has cemented my view that telecare really matters to people. So much so that tensions run high and people are prepared to fight to have their view heard. At our event we saw technophobes won over having listened to the story of a Help at Hand user – and we heard firsthand how mobile telecare is creating efficiencies for local authorities.

As we gear up for the next stage in the development of Help at Hand, it’s hugely rewarding to know that our solution is really empowering and liberating people to live their lives more independently. While the debate about the role of technology in health and social care rages, O2 Health is quickly proving just how much of a difference it can make and is winning over advocates every day.