The last few weeks have seen a series of developments in the nascent UK telecare and assisted living market. Perhaps the most significant development is the news that Northern Ireland's Department of Health and Social Services is set to tender for the supply of telehealth services to cover 5,000 people by 2011. The initiative will see Northern Ireland invest £46 million in telecare to support chronic disease management.
Other developments include the start last week of the three Whole System Demonstrator telecare pilots in England. The Programme is costing £31 million over three years and involves trials at Newham, Kent and Cornwall, each covering 2,000 people. It aims to test telecare devices on patients who are at risk of hospital admission for heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It will also look at the use of assistive technologies for individuals with health and social care needs.