Project title:

Economic Evaluation of telehealth: Systematic Review and economic model

Type of research:

Systematic review & meta-analysis

Background & Scientific Rationale:

Treatment costs for people with long term conditions are rising, as are the number of people with these conditions. Telehealth services (where monitoring occurs through the remote exchange of physiological data between a patient in their home and a healthcare professionals e.g. blood pressure monitoring) have the potential to bring about cost savings for the NHS e.g. reducing the need for out-patient appointments with health professionals, and are now being provided for people with a range of health conditions. However, there is uncertainty as to the cost-effectiveness of such services (Mistry, 2012). Though a systematic review has been undertaken, more recent publications are available (Henderson et al. 2013) and we thereby plan to update the review conducted in 2010. Additionally, Cambridge University Health Partners / the AHSN have commissioned a Service Evaluation of the Cambridgeshire Telehealth and Telecare Service. This includes limited funds for an economic evaluation (£6,000). We plan to use data collected as part of this evaluation (based on a minimum of 226 patients who are referred to the Cambridgeshire Telehealth and Telecare Service between August 2013 and February 2014) along with data extracted as part of the systematic review to build an economic model to estimate the cost-effectiveness of the Cambridgeshire Telehealth and Telecare Service.

Research aims:

To conduct a systematic review of economic evaluations of telehealth services.

Proposed methods:

Systematic review: A list of search terms will be devised and a search of standard databases conducted (e.g. Medline, EMBASE)

Expected Output of Research / Impact and added value:

  • Manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • The information obtained regarding the costs and benefits of telehealth services will be used to make recommendations as to whether telehealth services (for particular patient groups) are likely to offer value for money, or whether resources would provide better value if spent elsewhere.

For further information on this project, contact Dr Garry Barton, Reader in Health Economics, Health Economics Group, Norwich Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of East Anglia



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