'TeleHealth is really great for a person with an illness. Someone is always looking out for me and that is a big support.' Ahmed Rizwan

The need

Ahmed was diagnosed with diabetes 18 years ago and has been battling with his condition for the past ten. At the end of 2008, his health deteriorated so much that he lost all feeling in his body from the neck down and was hospitalised. Ahmed’s health has since stabilised but he is concerned about his health deteriorating again.

The answer

Ahmed was the first person to start the TeleHealth trial and has been on the trial since November 2008. The TeleHealth system is aimed at giving her the tools he needs to help manage his own health at home with the supervision of health professionals.

The method

Using TeleHealth, Ahmed is able to take his own blood pressure, weight, pulse and blood sugar readings each day. The readings are taken with special equipment which is linked to a set-top box connected to his television. The results, which Ahmed can view on his television, are automatically uploaded to a team of healthcare professionals who view them daily.

The Equipment

  • Set-Top Box - small, unobtrusive unit connected via the TV. The unit stores vital signs data
  • Blood Pressure Monitor - daily blood pressure readings are updated into the set-top box
  • Body Weight Scales - fluctuations in daily weight readings can indicate health problems
  • Pulse Oximeter - measures blood oxygen levels and heart rate
  • Blood Glucometer - Measures blood sugar levels

The outcome

Ahmed is now playing a much more active role in the management of his own health and is more conscious of any changes in his readings.

In one instance, he noticed his blood pressure readings were not right and as he was feeling dizzy as well, he called his GP. He was told his symptoms sounded like he may have had a stroke and that he should call an ambulance. One arrival at the hospital he found out that he’d had a minor stroke. Getting the advanced warning may have saved him from something more major.

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