Bosch announces major telehealth project at Barnsley (UK)

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The project begins in September with an initial 150 high intensity patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) who will be provided with the Bosch Telehealth Plus monitoring system. Evaluation of the first 150 patients will be supported by a local university and [when, as is their wont, the academics call for further research] this will trigger the roll out to the second phase.

The event was also an opportunity to re-introduce the press to the Bosch Telehealth Plus (still known as Health Buddy in the US). Peter Fouquet, Bosch’s UK President was followed by US-based Ulrich Behner, Vice President of Global Technologies and Ilena Welte, Global Head of Sales. After an introduction to Bosch technologies and their eco-friendly credentials, Mr Behner introduced the Telehealth Plus [‘Plus’ as in…? Reader’s suggestions welcome] which is a telehealth system that has been in use in the USA and Germany for 8 years. The Telehealth Plus is also currently being trialled in Dundalk, Ireland with 40 people who have CHF and diabetes.

Pros and cons

The advantage of the Bosch system is that it comes from good stock: 150,000 people have used it to date and over thirty evaluation papers have been written on it. A core feature stressed by Mr Behner, and later by Ms Welte, was that the system fits into the ‘Bosch model of care’ which is centred on improving quality of life, promoting self management, preventing hospitalisation, and reducing heath care costs.

The device is not radically different in appearance and functionality from other telehealth devices currently available in the UK as it has been around long enough to be the conceptual model for the other systems.

Cons are that responding to the system can take 6-10 minutes out of a patient’s day – much longer than competing systems – and the questions have the reputation of having a patronising tone. However, these are both fixable should the company be so inclined.

The pros include the very fact that it is ‘Bosch Healthcare’, which well respected as an experienced and ethical company in the health care market place and, if Bosch gets its sales and marketing operation properly geared up, we predict that it will become significant completion for the other companies in the UK.

Bosch press release (PDF)

Bosch UK telehealth website