Advancing Care Coordination and Telehealth Deployment programme to explore processes for bringing care into the home for the chronically ill, saving healthcare systems billions
London, UK – Philips and its consortium partners, including NHS 24, Scotland, today announced the launch of the Advancing Care Coordination and Telehealth Deployment (ACT) programme1. The Philips-led ACT programme is the first programme to explore the organizational and structural processes needed to successfully implement care coordination and telehealth (CC&TH) services on a large scale.
“The ACT programme is a key step towards the widespread use of care coordination and telehealth services. It takes research in this field to the next stage of implementation. The programme examines how best to deploy and integrate telehealth to improve outcomes for patients and healthcare systems, and ensure they are cost effective,” said Professor Stanton Newman of Health Psychology, School of Health Sciences, City University London, UK and Principal Investigator on the Whole System Demonstrator, the largest telehealth trial conducted to date.
The 5 regions involved in the scheme are Scotland, Groningen in the Netherlands, Lombardy in Italy and Catalonia and the Basque Country in Spain. NHS 24, Scotland, as part of the EU-funded programme, will help create a menu selection of best practices by monitoring CC & TH initiatives which will facilitate the deployment of telehealth solutions more widely.
Professor George Crooks, Medical Director, NHS 24, said: “There are potential widespread benefits for Scotland from the knowledge generated from the ACT programme as it allows results from smaller telehealth and telecare projects to be scaled up to the next level. NHS 24 has a proven track record in the scaling up of telehealth and telecare initiatives and their integration into routine care services across Scotland. As part of our involvement we will be examining other initiatives and enabling their deployment where appropriate.”
The ACT programme could potentially transform care for millions of chronically ill people and save healthcare systems billions each year. Chronic illness is growing to pandemic proportions. In the UK alone 15.42 million people are living with one or more long term conditions whilst 70% of the UK’s NHS budget is spent on treating long term diseases. Across the EU this problem is further intensified with 90 million people suffering from either heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or diabetes3. Each year, these three conditions cost EU healthcare systems around EUR 125 billion.
With CC&TH services, chronically ill people can be treated effectively in their own homes through remote management systems and integrated networks of caregivers. The ultimate goal of these services is to improve health and help patients help themselves by giving them more independence, freedom and control over their health and lifestyle. Clinical studies4-6 have shown these services can help reduce hospital admissions, days in hospital and mortality rates. However so far CC&TH has been mainly limited to pilot programmes due to the difficulty of translating such research into practice.
To do that, the ACT programme brings together healthcare authorities, companies, universities and hospitals. NHS 24, Scotland, as one of the five partner European regions, will deploy and operate its own CC&TH schemes for heart failure, COPD and diabetes patients. The systems will be monitored over a 24-month period to identify “best in class” processes, structures and ways of working. Data and experiences will be shared between regions and the resulting optimized structures and behaviours will be published, allowing other healthcare authorities to develop their own CC&TH systems.
“Philips aims to transform healthcare through meaningful, patient-centric innovation,” said Bas Verhoef, President Market Group EMEA, Philips Healthcare. “People increasingly want healthcare on their own terms, in ways that lets them get on with their normal lives. Moving care from the hospital to the home makes that possible while also helping healthcare systems cope with the increased pressures due to aging populations and the growth of chronic disease”.
“It is an essential evolution, but making it happen requires cooperation from across the healthcare value chain,” continues Verhoef. “The ACT programme shows there is a strong willingness to cooperate across Europe, and Philips is proud to lead such a strong consortium that is united in wanting to improve care and quality of life for millions.”
For more information, visit: http://www.act-program.eu.
 The ACT programme is part of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA). The EIP-AHA is an initiative from the European Commission under its Innovation Union strategy, and aims to increase the average healthy lifespan by two years by 2020
 i)The National Archives, Department of Health
i)Braunschweig F, Cowie MR, Auricchio A. What are the costs of heart failure? Europace. 2011;13:ii13–ii17 ii) http://www.copdcoalition.eu/about-copd/prevalence
 Inglis SC, Cark RA, McAlister FA, et al. Structured telephone support or telemonitoring programmes for patients with chronic heart failure. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;8:CD007228
 Inglis SC, Clark RA, McAlister FA, Stewart S, Cleland JG. Which components of heart failure programmes are effective? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the outcomes of structured telephone support or telemonitoring as the primary component of chronic heart failure management in 8323 patients: Abridged Cochrane Review. Eur J Heart Fail 2011. Sep;13(9):1028-1040.
 BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3874