The Medetel Conference in Luxembourg last week saw release of the first version of a new European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services. The Code offers the prospect of a quality standard that will guide telehealth service development and engender greater trust among stakeholders. The Draft Code is being tested this year in five EU countries before its final launch at Medetel in 2013.
What is distinctive about the Draft Code is its wide view of health and its clear intent that services should, wherever possible, give greater control and choice to patients and users. It adopts an approach that is applicable to people of all ages, addressing lifestyles and wellbeing as well as more clinical health agendas. Notable is the Draft Code’s affirmation that services must move from ‘those that have been delivered to patients’. Rather it promotes service delivery in ways that enable access by people who seek to use them.
Following from this it is unsurprising that the Draft Code is as much concerned with aspects of health under the headings of medication compliance, health training and activity monitoring as with vital signs monitoring. Telecare and social alarms are also included.
Further detail of the Draft Code is available here.
[Item provided by Dr Malcolm Fisk, Coventry University]