Telehealth enables patients to get help from the healthcare system without visiting the hospital or a general practitioner. As such, telehealth solutions not only benefit the patients in terms of avoiding unnecessary transportation – Danish research provide evidence that the solutions are also cost-efficient for the society as a whole. Numerous patient groups experience significant advantages from being closely monitored while they are in their own home. Patients often feel more secure at home and do not have to commute to and from outpatient departments. At the same time, the solutions empower and involve chronic patients to take control of their own disease and increase their compliance and quality of life.
Effective collaboration between Danish municipalities and medical professionals as well as experts brought in from hospitals, ensures that patients receive better treatment with both faster and better outcomes. Videoconferencing and home monitoring of patients offer a good supplement to physical consultations with caregivers, and online tools for rehabilitation are increasingly being implemented to prevent readmissions. Online dialogue-based tools provide caregivers in the municipalities with the ability to tailor rehabilitation programs for their patients. The results from the rehabilitation programs are available online, and the caregiver can assess the data and adjust the exercises if needed.
An example of a successful Danish telehealth initiative is the TeleCare North project. The project inspired the plan for a national roll out of telehealth for COPD patients and heart failure patients in all Danish municipalities and regions by 2021.