The Telehealth Quality Group (TQG) is pleased to announce that its work, from April 2019, is being taken forward within the frame of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH www.isfteh.org).

The change is a natural move to make in view of the clear and shared objectives of the two bodies – around the promotion of appropriate and often innovative technologies and the support for quality standards around health service provision. It is prompted, in addition, by changed legal requirements for UK-registered European Economic Interest Groups (EEIGs) like the TQG. 

In the five years since its foundation, TQG has had a number of successes. Notable are

  • Platforms and presentations at events as widely spread as Edinburgh, London, Brussels, Luxembourg, Oslo, Brisbane and Sydney;
  • The major conference at Manchester University on ‘New Routes to Integrated Care: The Challenge of Assistive Technologies, Telehealth and Telecare’;
  • Establishing mutually supportive working relationships with DNVGL providing certification services and Global Community Resourcing  (Australia) promoting innovation in community health and care;
  • Developing and supporting a membership base of sixteen service provider, technology and research organisations;
  • Undertaking the review and helping to shape policy and practice for social alarms and telecare in the Republic of Ireland;
  • Being a key partner for the European Commission funded PROGRESSIVE project on standards around active and healthy ageing; and, crucially
  • Developing and maintaining the International Code of Practice for Telehealth Services (now the 2018/19 issue) that increasingly guides service provision.   

Under the umbrella of the ISfTeH the work of the TQG, including the International Code, will continue. Linked with this, the TQG Special Interest Group (SIG) that is developing protocols for on-line consultations will move ahead with new timescales for completion. Such work will be helped by ISfTeH’s knowledge-base and worldwide reach – with over 100 members in six continents. TQG members will be invited to transfer their membership to the ISfTeH and can look forward, therefore, to involvement in their working groups, conferences, webinars and more.

The TQG Directors, Malcolm Fisk, Frederic Lievens, Drago Rudel and Kevin Doughty would like to thank all those who have supported the TQG and its work. Given our global challenges, that work will, of course, carry on!