£9.5m investment in new technology and telehealth to improve patient care
Health boards across Wales will benefit from a share of £9.5m to invest in new technology and telehealth to improve patient care, Health Minister Mark Drakeford has announced
Health boards made applications to the Welsh Government’s Health Technologies and Telehealth Fund, with the money being allocated in four key areas:
- Connecting primary care (£2.33m) – these projects support e-referrals, discharge and data sharing, covering pharmacy, dentistry and optometry.
- Hub and spoke models (£0.53m) – these projects will enable pre and post-operative care to be delivered without patients needing to visit a hospital in areas such as lymphoedema care.
- Telemedicine (£2.87m) – Investment in remote devices and connectivity to link clinicians and patients together.
- Enabling infrastructure (£3.92m) – these projects will provide core infrastructure on a once-for-Wales basis.
The NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) in partnership with the Wales Eye Health Care Steering Group has been awarded £1m, which will fund two projects - the Open Eyes initiative and the technology refresh for optometry practices and connectivity to NHS Wales Network.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford visited the School of Optometry & Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, to see the OpenEyes system in action in the Eye Clinic.
Speaking at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Mark Drakeford said:
“Thousands of patients across Wales have benefited from the Welsh Government’s Health Technologies Fund since its launch in 2013.
“Technology plays a key role in achieving the best outcomes for patients and reduces the need for patients to have to travel to hospital for their care.
“This new round of £9.5m of funding will cover four key areas and shows the Welsh Government’s ongoing commitment to improving health and delivering first class health services in Wales.”
The Health Technology Fund is a three-year funding package of £25m which was launched in January 2013. From the original funding package £5m was earmarked for primary care with an additional £4.5m for telehealth identified in the budget, leading to the creation of the one-year, £9.5m Health Technology and Telehealth Fund.
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