Stroetmann, K.A., Kubitschke, L., Robinson, S., Stroetmann, V., Cullen, K., & McDaid, D. (2010). How can telehealth help in the provision of integrated care?. World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/120998/E94265.pdf.
The quest for more integrated care is not itself new, but new opportunities for effective realisation have emerged quite recently. In particular, the appropriate application of advanced ICT can make a major contribution towards achieving this goal. Telehealth, the provision of care at a distance, is certain to be a key component in future ICT infrastructure for integrated care. It has already raised high hopes among policy makers with reagrd to its potential for delivering solutions for growing capacity problems. For integrated care, today’s segregated telehealth applications still require linking into more comprehensive eHealth strategies, in which clinical pathways and service delivery processes are fully coordinated and patient data safely shared.
Although few instances of routine application have yet emerged in Europe or elsewhere – in contrast with an enormous breadth of research activities – an increasingly solid evidence base is emerging indicating that telehealth can be used effectively to help support better integrated care, in particular for those with long-term chronic conditions.