A SPANISH health authority is cutting costs by doing consultations via Xbox.

IT services giant Accenture has been working with the health authorities in the Basque Country to reduce the costs associated with caring for people with chronic illnesses through technology created for Microsoft´s Xbox games console.

The Teki telehealth system enabling consultations to be carried out with the patient at their own home when the system, via the Xbox, is connected to the patient´s TV.

It also enables medical staff to remotely monitor the patient´s health, give dietary advice, and prescribe medicine.

Patients with chronic diseases, which include arthritis, asthma and diabetes, account for 80% of patient interactions and 77% of the region´s total healthcare budget.

Since its implementation, the health authority has reported fewer hospital visits for patients suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis, and a reduction in expensive, unplanned hospital stays.

Forty percent of patients said they were very satisfied with the new system, compared to just five percent that were not.

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