Telemedicine gives patients zest for life

The Lung Association is looking forward to the nationwide offering of telemedicine to patients with COPD by 2019. This is especially because fewer and shorter visits to the hospital mean more energy for walks and bingo in the lives of the COPD patients.

Both the TeleCare North project and the Lung Association experience that the patients are happy with their telemedicine equipment. The Lung Association sees telemedicine as a welcoming solution for the COPD-patients who experience numerous hospitalizations and where the disease is a daily challenge.

CEO in the Lung Association, Anne Brandt, expresses:

Patients with a chronic lung disease experience great insecurity and anxiety from not being able to breathe. They struggle to manage their everyday lives, and don’t have energy to do a lot of thing, because they are lacking the ability to breathe normally. When they have to transport themselves from their homes to the hospital for a checkup or in case of deterioration in their disease, the journey can be very exhausting. When the distance between the health system and the patient is reduced, it not only creates a feeling of increased safety, it also provides the patient with increased energy to do more.

Anne Brandt elaborates and tells that the extra energy gives the patients better opportunities of retaining beneficial social and physical activities – activities like going for a walk or playing bingo.

Connie uses telemedicine in her everyday life

Connie Winther Staffe, age 73 and from Aalborg, has been a part of the TeleCare Nord project and is very pleased with the telemedical solution. She avoids hospitalizations and feels safe, she tells:

Every Monday morning I take out my Telekit and measure blood pressure, oxygen saturation and pulse rate and I am being weighed. Afterwards I do some exercises. If there is anything wrong with the numbers, I know that my community nurse or another of the nice nurses will call me immediately. And if there is anything with the medicine having to be changed, I’ll have a chat with the doctor. We nip colds and stuff like that in the bud, so I don’t have to be hospitalized,” Connie tells and continues: ”I am really happy that I get to keep the Telekit – it gives me a feeling of safety, and that is important!

The preconditions need to be in order

As a result of the great satisfaction of the patients with the telemedical equipment, the Lung Association believes that the technology should be offered to everyone who can benefit from it. However, some important preconditions need to be in place, before the patients with COPD can benefit from the solution, the director of the Lung Association tells:

The health system has the possibility of making life easier for patients in Denmark who are living with a chronic disease. The technology can both ensure a greater cohesion between different offers within the health system and create the necessary differentiation regarding the needs of patients with a chronic disease, if organized in the right way. But to become a success, telemedicine needs to be closely linked with the professional environments surrounding the patients.

A successful dissemination of telemedicine requires a focused effort towards 2019 regarding technology, organization and education of professional personnel.