BT launches virtual ward programme

BT has announced the launch of a new virtual wards programme which will see them partner with health tech specialists offering solutions for virtual wards and virtual care.

A range of suppliers will be partnering with BT, from suppliers of smart devices that monitor health conditions such as COPD and heart disease, to suppliers of solutions to support virtual wards, with the solutions to be made available to BT’s customers.

Tech suppliers Freebis, who provide a virtual care platform, and my mhealth, a digital therapeutic platform, have joined the programme.

In addition, BT is developing a virtual ward solution to be released later this year, said to be “designed to enhance and accelerate the impact of these types of service for health providers”.

Recent research by the company suggested that 74 percent of NHS staff agree that technology helps to deliver better quality care, while the current standard of technology at work is a source of stress for 49 percent.

Commenting on the launch, Professor Sultan Mahmud, BT’s director of healthcare, said: “With health services facing exceptional demand – as thousands of patients await discharge and pressure on clinicians grows – we are launching our virtual ward and virtual care programme at a critical time for the NHS.

“These new virtual healthcare partnerships will help deliver a better service for everyone – enabling clinicians to safely monitor patients at home or via community care, freeing up hospital beds for those who really need them, and relieving the pressure on our frontline services.”

In February, HTN hosted a panel discussion on virtual wards and the future of remote patient care, with guests Tara Donnelly (director of digital care models at NHS England at the time), Sam Jackson (clinical services manager for the Virtual Health Hub at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and Jamie Innes (product director at Inhealthcare). The session discussed virtual ward programmes, lessons learned, approaches, technical aspects to consider, and asked the question what does good look like for virtual care?

You can watch the panel discussion here.