The impact of telehealth technology on user perception of wellbeing and social functioning, and the implications for service providers

Oliver Kisalay Burmeister, David Ritchie, Alison Devitt, Eevon Chia, Gregory Dresser, Russell Roberts


The aim of the project was to evaluate the use of telehealth equipment in the homes of older community-dwelling people, and to review its social and economic impact. A mixed methods approach was adopted, involving interviews, observation and Depression Anxiety Stress Scales. Overall, the greatest benefit was apparent in those participants with a low familiarity with technology and low digital literacy, where changes in behaviours to prevent an exacerbation of their condition was possible. The user interface design reduced concern about using the technology. Changes achieved were through better compliance with medication and associated understanding of the impact on their vital signs and hence daily activities. This represented an improved health literacy and the economic benefits appear to be linked to that. Less benefit was observed by those who had been self-monitoring previously. A greater focus on specific conditions and improved self-management could strengthen the evidence for targeted economic benefits.


Older people; disability; rural; regional

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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