Writing up this morning's appearance at the London Telemedicine Symposium by the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, I left out a couple of choice quotes (we try to keep our stories focused, you see).
Aside from claiming that people are comfortable with the Internet (er, not the elderly folks for whom telemedicine is supposedly designed) and suggesting that it's the tech industry's responsibility to get kids fired up about science (who exactly sets the curriculum these days?), Hodge also complained that "using new technology can expose unmet demand", leading to resource implications.
What could you mean, Margaret? "Fixing one problem can often lead to another," she continued, going on to say that if "assisted living" keeps people out of A&E departments, the hospitals might then have trouble meeting their "performance targets". In other words, unburdening the hospitals (surely the whole point of telemedicine?) will mean they don't treat enough patients to satisfy the government's own, somewhat whimsical target system. Eh?
She also had something to say about the idea, now being kicked around by the EC, that health information (genomic, phenomic - a shift "from preventative to predictive medicine" according to one EC gonk excitedly babbling about "biochips") should be shared across European member states: "Issues around patient confidentiality are very difficult and have to be set against the advantages that we get if we share information between agencies." So that's all right then.
Think we've got an uproar going on against the idea of a centralised database of medical histories just here in the UK? Wait.