Activity 1

Evidence Synthesis and Horizon Scanning

The aim of this activity was to review and synthesise evidence about telehealth interventions designed to improve healthcare for patients with LTCs in order to develop a theory about which types of intervention potentially delivered by NHS Direct are most likely to be effective.  Qualitative-quantitative and realist synthesis techniques were  employed to summarise and interpret the findings of existing literature. 

International horizon scanning was also be incorporated into this activity, to facilitate the inclusion of evidence from sources other than the published academic literature.  This included contacting researchers involved in large ongoing telehealth projects such as The Whole System Demonstrator sites evaluation as well as searching the Internet and using stakeholder contacts to explore telehealth service deployment which has only been evaluated internally or as part of mainstream service delivery in countries outside the UK. In particular this activity was used to gain understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of different service delivery models, and deployment contexts.

This activity provided recommendations to inform the development of the intervention in Activity 4.

This activity was conducted by researchers at the Universities of Southampton and Sheffield.