November 10, 2021
A version of this article first appeared on the HINZ website.
Spritely was recently chosen to support two new digital enablement initiatives funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health.
As the healthcare workforce comes under increasing pressure, and capacity at primary and secondary facilities is regularly tested, it’s imperative that the sector finds more efficient ways of delivering care.
NZ’s Ministry of Health is supporting these efforts by establishing a digital enablement program with the aim of increasing the availability and use of services such as telehealth.
While telehealth can’t entirely replace in-person service delivery, there are some areas where it can make a real difference. One such area is the management of long-term conditions including hypertension, COPD, and diabetes.
Research proves that telehealth can improve outcomes for people living with chronic conditions. The challenge is that these long-term conditions are most common in older people, and they are less likely to engage with telehealth than younger people.
In many ways it is older adults that could benefit most from the Ministry of Health’s new digital enablement program. Increasing the availability and use of telehealth for older adults with long-term conditions could reduce pressure on the health system.
Primary care providers such as GPs, pharmacies, homecare, and medical alarm companies are well placed to offer telehealth to older adults with chronic illness but there’s no funding for them to do so. And until now there’s been a lack of technology that is both suitable and affordable. That’s changing.
The digital enablement team recently awarded two charities at the forefront of caring for New Zealand older people, a grant to create a telehealth service focused on managing long term conditions. These two charities, St John, and Nurse Maude are both using Spritely’s age-friendly touchscreen technology to deliver their own telehealth services so they can proactively manage the health of their clients.
The opportunities for using remote care technology, such as that being offered by Spritely to manage chronic illness, are endless.
Spritely is proud to play an active role in the development of trial telehealth services by St John and Nurse Maude. We look forward to working with more care providers and developing more telehealth services to improve the long-term health of more seniors.
If you are a provider of primary or secondary care, and you want to develop a telemonitoring service for some of your patients, then please get in touch with us, we’d love to help.