Patients with serious health conditions, who are at greatest risk if exposed to COVID-19, will benefit from a new charitable initiative which will provide them with remote monitoring technology, reducing their need to visit hospital.
The pilot programme could see up to 100 patients with long-term health issues such as diabetes, respiratory and heart conditions, and will allow specialist hospital staff to monitor their condition remotely.
The new initiative will see the purchase of hundreds of remote monitoring devices which record biometric information including; heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and blood oxygen level. Patients are taught how to use the equipment and enter their data into mobile devices, allowing it to be shared with, and monitored remotely by their hospital care team.
Well Foundation CEO Tim Edmonds explained that the project, led by Waitemata DHB’s Institute for Innovation and Improvement as part of the local COVID-19 response, has gone from conception to reality within a week and will help demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach ahead of future expansion across the region.
“We are working closely with a range of specialist services to rapidly identify the most appropriate patients for this pilot phase. Our ability to make this happen quickly is a result of matching the remote monitoring expertise available within the DHB, with the generosity of donors within our community.”
Waitemata DHB is the largest District Health Board in New Zealand with a population of 630,000. Approximately 70,000 of those people are over the age of 70. In addition to operating North Shore and Waitakere hospitals, the DHB is responsible for primary healthcare and other community services that run across more than 30 sites throughout the region.
“An important priority is to ensure that our health services can continue to provide care for those in our community that need it the most,” noted Edmonds. “This project was identified as a practical way to help patients feel safer in their homes, and for hospital staff to provide a level of in-home monitoring and care that wouldn't be possible otherwise.”
“This project is an example of how organisations can coordinate rapidly to identify and support the most vulnerable in our community during an incredibly challenging time for all,” said Matt Williams, acting CEO of The Trusts, which helped fund the equipment.
“It has been a privilege to be able to support local patients and help our health services respond urgently to this need.”
Those looking for more information or to support the expansion of the programme should visit covid19.wellfoundation.org.nz