A ground-breaking telehealth trial has been deployed across West Wales to support people living at home with long-term health conditions.

One third of adults in Wales - around 800,000 people - have a long-term health condition, such as cardiac, lung and chronic disease.

And so far, 300 patients across Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthen have been supported in the trial.

It’s being spearheaded by Hywel Dda Local Health Board, working in partnership with Delta Wellbeing; global health and care technology solutions provider Tunstall Healthcare and local primary care services.

People with long-term health conditions account for around 50 per cent of all GP appointments and more than 70 per cent of all inpatient bed days.

Telehealth, using remote monitoring, means that patients can remain in their own homes, with the reduced need to travel to appointments, thus decreasing the need for staff to see patients who can be supported remotely.


Gavin Bashar, managing director at Tunstall Healthcare, explained: “Patients in the trial use telehealth equipment including a blood pressure cuff, weighing scales and a pulse oximeter.

“The readings from these devices are transmitted to the Tunstall myMobile app on their smartphone and all the information submitted by the patient can be viewed remotely by clinicians 24/7, allowing preventative action to be taken.”

The technology also allows patients to have consultations by video helping to avoid unnecessary visits to clinics or hospitals.

One 79-year-old cardiac patient, Pat, said: “It’s no more difficult than going into a GP surgery. It’s all connected to the iPad I have been given, which then goes straight through to the heart clinic.

"It’s so easy! You can do everything from your own armchair no problem at all.”

Clare Marshall, heart failure specialist nurse for Hywel Dda Local Health Board, added: “Telehealth equipment allows me to manage medication changes from a distance, which patients really like.

“I have been able to prevent hospital admission and more complex care interventions for a patient whose heart rate had decreased following a change of medication."

To find out more about the technology used in this programme, see www.tunstall.co.uk/hyweldda