Overcoming the barriers to Mainstreaming Assisted Living Technologies (MALT): Methodological and practical issues in observing and effecting change in telehealth services

Lizzie Coates, Jo Nicholson, Mark Hawley
2013 International Journal of Integrated Care  
The successful mainstreaming of assisted living technologies remains an important policy and commercial concern within the UK. Despite this, local telehealth services have not developed at the pace and scale anticipated. This project, funded by the Technology Strategy Board through the Assisted Living Innovation Platform, aims to understand and seeks ways to overcome the financial, organisational and operational barriers to mainstreaming telehealth. Aim: To highlight and reflect on the
more » ... gical and practical issues in conducting participatory research in collaboration with telehealth services. to drive forward adoption and upscaling. This makes for complex, yet interesting, case studies within a context of wider structural and commissioning changes for NHS primary care, and equivocal evidence on the effectiveness of telehealth. Conclusion: The MALT study highlights the complexity of telehealth service re-design and the importance of the shifting policy emphasis and technological advancements. Crucially, as local services respond to these developments, the changes can be reactive and organic, and difficult to capture as the research moves forward. It is therefore crucial for the research team to maintain close and regular contact with participants to ensure the ongoing relevance of data collection, analysis and recommendations, and to manage the sometimes competing expectations for the research among different stakeholders. Maintaining this relationship is an integral aspect of the research, however the blurring of researcher roles requires careful reflection on both the extent of and limits to the role played in service development.
doi:10.5334/ijic.1375 fatcat:4otzg37cr5gijfq5pvzvnl432u