Telecare describes any service that brings health and social care directly to a user, generally in their homes, supported by information and communication technology.

New forms of telecare now provide ‘smart homes’, offering independence to people who want to stay in their own home, but who may need some assistance to do so safely. All equipment can be individually programmed to suit the lifestyle and day to day living habits of the person. There is an increasing trend towards offering telecare services that can be delivered in existing mainstreamed technologies (i.e digital tv, mobile phones).

Telemedicine (the transfer of medical information via telephone, internet or other networks for consultation and remote treatment) uses technology to collect medical data which can be collected and sent to a control centre for example body temperature, blood pressure, and telehealth (the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunication channels) is the most rapidly expanding area of self management of conditions.


  • Reduced demand for primary health care such as hospital admissions
  • Increased independence and ability for older people to stay at home
  • Potential reduction of the numbers of older people in institutional care
  • Organisations can provide more effective care packages by exploiting telecare solutions
  • Potential reduced need for floating support and help at home
  • Potential sense of isolation as human contact is reduced and the need for carers reduced

Moving forward

As Telecare technology develops it will enable increased independence via the possibility of staying safely at home for longer.

  • How might your organisation aim to use the staff time freed up by telecare for more staff and carer contact time?
  • Are there are opportunities for your organisation to have the resources to offer referrals, information, and support around telecare services for older people?
  • How can your organisation influence the use of Individual Budgets to purchase some types of technologies?

Want to know more?

Telemedicine, telehealth and the consumer

Published by:Telemedicine information exchange

Date: 2005

Format: Web

What is this? Article on telemedicine

How useful is it? The article defines telehealth and telemedicine, offers examples of the types of technology used, and examines the barriers and enablers to using it for different people.

Other comments?


Real choice, real voice : older people in control

Published by: Counsel and Care

Date: 2007

Format: PDF 

What is it? Policy discussion paper addressing the White Paper ‘Our health, our care, our say’ 

How useful is this? A discussion paper that examines the Government White paper on care and health for older people, offers recommendations on how to implement it, and discusses the role of the voluntary and community sector in delivering its outcomes.  The final section of this focuses on telecare. 

Other comments?

Last updated at 16:10 Wed 23/Feb/11.


How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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