The National Health Service head of its ongoing major IT overhaul has suggested remote technology extended into patients’ homes may be on the agenda.

Richard Granger, NHS director general of IT this week said ‘tele-health’ systems might be added to the new scope of the NHS Programme for IT (NPfIT) he oversees.

Granger told delegates at a health technology conference in London that the £6bn project would look to link remote health monitoring technology to the NHS backbone systems currently under development to provide extra efficiencies on top of its centralised patient record, appointment and treatment database infrastructure.

But the programme is currently dogged with supplier troubles, expert criticism and user dissatisfaction – not to mention the major financial debts and staff shortages being experienced by health trusts.

Granger acknowledged the tele-health plans were outside the scope of the original project and would add to costs, as well as require work with vendors to standardise interfaces.