4 November 2016
Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has today visited the Telemonitoring NI Centre at Fold Housing Association in Holywood to learn more about how technology is helping people in managing their health and care needs in their own homes.
During a tour Minister O’Neill commented: “I am very pleased to be here today and to see firsthand what happens behind the scenes of our regional telemonitoring service.
"The feedback from patients who use the service is very positive, with many enjoying added peace of mind and a better knowledge of how to manage their conditions.”
Fold's Telehealth services enables sufferers of long term conditions to have their vital signs, such as blood pressure and pulse rate, monitored on a daily basis. Readings are transmitted from service users’ homes to the telemonitoring centre where they are reviewed by a triage team.
The centre also provides telecare services, whereby sensors and personal alarms are combined with a 24/7 monitoring service to enable people to continue living independently at home with less risk associated with falls and other emergencies.
The Minister continued: “The telemonitoring service was one of our early steps into using technology to support healthcare delivery. Looking ahead, technology will be a critical enabler in delivering the change set out in ‘Delivering Together’, my 10 year vision for the HSC.
“Having seen for myself how the service operates, I can understand how the continuous, personalised care which it provides helps to keep patients more engaged and focused on their wellbeing.”
Concluding the visit and tour, Health Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Technology allows us to interface with and empower people at every stage of their health experience – maintaining health, receiving care and managing long term conditions. It can help to smooth the flow of information around the system, enabling speedier, safer clinical decision-making. By fully embracing the potential of technology, I believe that we can shape a more effective and sustainable health and care system for the future.”
Kevin McSorley, Executive Director, Fold TeleCare said, “We were delighted the Minister was able to see first-hand the potential for upscaling Fold’s TeleCare and TeleHealth services which enable people to stay safe and well at home within their own communities and provide better health outcomes as well as reducing demand on the health and social care system.”
Pictured above: Health Minister Michelle O'Neill visits Fold Housing Association with Diana Fitzsimons Chair (left) and Trevor Conway, Board member.