Britain's first “virtual hospital” gets go ahead
- By: Judy Jones
A prototype “virtual hospital” that will monitor patients in their own homes from control centres around the country is being developed in Britain with a £10m ($16m) Treasury grant for public service modernisation.
The project will be led by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency and will target hospital patients who need to remain under the care of medical staff but whose condition can be managed in their own homes. Thousands of patients are likely to be offered the chance to participate in the two year scheme, which will attempt to exploit the potential and principles of portable medical equipment that has been designed for the battlefield in a civilian context.
Suitable NHS patients will be provided with monitoring equipment that they can use to take readings of their own blood pressure, lung function, and, in the case of patients with coronary heart disease, cardiac function.
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