The Department of Health has announced that it has launched the largest remote caring trial ever at a cost of £31m over the next two years and covering 6000 people, that's roughly £210 per month, per patient.
The Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) which has already begun in Kent, Newham and Cornwall was announced by the Health secretary, Alan Johnson, and will look into the potential of telecare and telehealth and how they can help in supporting care for those with complex health and social care needs.
Over the next 20 years, a quarter of the UK population will be aged 65 and over while the number of old age pensioners over 85 will have doubled by 2028.
The launch comes after warnings that the cost of caring for the old and the incapacitated will increase by more than 50 percent, putting immense pressure on the welfare state, both financially and in terms of human resources.
The Department of Health expects that, should the trial scheme be successful, it will help reducing emergency admissions and the use of hospital sector, thereby leading to significant savings which could potentially offset the cost of the initial investment in the technology
Other countries like Japan, are already testing innovative methods to help the aged and the old, including using Robots and telecare/teleassistance.
Earlier this month, a report compiled Ofcom showed that intelligent pill boxes and real-time health monitors could be deployed to provide with a better caring service to old persons.