Integrated remote patient monitoring solution provides safe and efficient treatment of COVID-19 patients at a time when healthcare sector needs support the most.
Sydney, Australia – 21 January 2022 - Coviu, Australia’s leading telehealth solution, has partnered with Propell Health, distributor of iHealth medical devices, to launch an integrated telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) solution for the management of COVID-19 patients. The solution equips GPs and practice nurses with the ability to remotely monitor patients during virtual consultations using the hospital-at-home care model.
The health-tech platforms have partnered to develop an app, allowing bluetooth enabled iHealth devices, such as pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors and digital thermometers, to be displayed in a video telehealth call so the clinician can read the measurements.
Using the platform, clinicians can collect key vitals such as temperature, blood pressure and oxygen saturation levels. The combined integration with Coviu’s telehealth services enables a GP or practice nurse to not only hold a video call with a patient, but to also receive accurate real-time measurements from patient monitoring devices.
This technology is designed to support GPs and practice nurses with the new challenges presented by COVID-19, and not only enable them to do their jobs in a time-efficient manner but also keep healthcare workers safe from infection where possible. By remotely caring for patients in their homes, this technology will help slow the spread within the community.
The future of remote patient monitoring
With more than 530,000 weekly new cases, the number of people in hospital and ICU is continuing to rise, The Australian Medical Association says the peak of the current wave is still weeks away, so clinicians are leaning on RPM to assess and manage patients.
RPM is supported at the federal level, as late last year, the government announced a $180m primary health package to support COVID-19 cases at home. Additionally, pulse oximeters are being acquired by the Federal Health Department to support GPs monitor and treat COVID-19 patients at home, with the tender closing late last year for fulfillment in early 2022.
However, with demand for primary care at extraordinarily high levels and the healthcare sector already on its knees, the expectations for GPs to undertake home visits or manually monitor COVID-19 patients, on top of their regular duties, is neither feasible nor realistic.
“As we open up our borders, new strains of COVID-19, like Omicron, will continue to reach our shores and an expected 8-10% of our population will be sensitive to an infection despite being vaccinated. For the most part, patients will have minor symptoms, but it’s important that we maintain a high level of RPM to ascertain and capture serious cases early to prevent home deaths,” says Dr. Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO and Founder of Coviu.
To make all this work, the final missing piece from the government is the payment of nurses to monitor patients via RPM and telehealth. This will create more streamlined and efficient RPM processes and alleviate the pressure placed on GPs, particularly in remote and rural areas of Australia.
Leveraging technology to unlock new methods of COVID-19 care
With this solution from Coviu and Propell Health, GPs and practice nurses have access to monitoring technology that will enable clinicians to read and respond to the patient's vital signs. By accessing this data, medical practitioners can more easily identify and prioritise the most at-risk patients, enabling urgent and personalised interventions.
“With new strains of COVID-19 emerging, we’ll need new approaches to dealing with the healthcare crisis. The ability to use telehealth with access to integrated medical devices and technology in the patient’s hands has amazing potential to alleviate the pressure placed on hospitals and the healthcare system while ensuring patients are adequately monitored and supported in real-time,” adds Craig Simmonds, CEO and Founder of Propell Health whose iHealth pulse oximeter devices have seen a huge boost in sales since the onset of Omicron.
This solution can be further elevated if the GP practice shares a mobile app with COVID-19 patients to encourage them to self-monitor symptoms, with data connected to a centralised dashboard for clinicians to more seamlessly monitor patients. Coviu recently partnered with AI-driven health monitoring platform, The Clinician, to support this use case and is launching an integrated RPM dashboard for the management of patients.
Using the platform, clinicians can enrol their patients into a purpose-built COVID-19 digital solution that uses patient self-reporting to help clinicians manage more patients. By enabling the collection of critical vital signs, as well as subjective patient-reported outcomes like chills, coughing, muscle aches and other symptoms, the solution takes away a lot of manual effort from the practices.
The solution displays all monitored patients on a dashboard and alerts medical practitioners when a patient’s vital signs are outside the normal parameters so they can get involved when necessary.
“It’s critical that we support our GPs and practice nurses with the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19 through technology, not only to enable them to do their jobs but to keep them safe from infection as well,” says Ron Tenenbaum, CEO of The Clinician.
By using integrated RPM solutions, patients can feel comforted knowing that their health is constantly being monitored by the relevant healthcare practitioners, who have up-to-date intel on their condition and can make informed decisions on when to escalate their care.
“By taking a holistic approach to healthcare using RPM technology, the healthcare sector can activate timely interventions, reduce readmissions and better allocate resources according to a patient’s risk. By leaning on integrated solutions, a patient can feel as continuously monitored in the comfort of their home as they would be if they were admitted to hospital,” concludes Dr. Pfeiffer.
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Coviu is Australia’s most trusted video telehealth solution, powering secure and feature-rich video consultations. In 2020, 60,000+ Coviu users offered over 3 million healthcare video consultations across the country. To date, Coviu has delivered over 5.5 million healthcare video consultations to 65,000+ users, partly via the Healthdirect video call platform which is a Coviu customer.
Coviu aims to improve healthcare accessibility for all, and allow both patients and providers to discover the benefits of video consultations such as cost and time savings, reduced no-shows, improved patient satisfaction and greater flexibility.
About Propell Health
Propell Health is the Australian and New Zealand distributor of iHealth and is on a mission to help people and organisations better monitor illness and chronic disease. iHealth is the global leader in consumer-friendly, mobile health devices that enable individuals to take an active role in managing their personal health and was the first company in the world to produce an iOS connected blood pressure monitor. Through Propell Health, iHealth devices are listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
By automatically connecting data through the cloud, consumers are able to see a more comprehensive view of their vitals and easily share information with healthcare professionals or loved ones.
About The Clinician
The Clinician is a digital health leader, redefining how healthcare is measured and delivered. The Clinician’s cloud-based platform, ZEDOC, enables healthcare providers to manage patient- reported health data outside traditional clinical settings and transform slow, inefficient care processes through digitalisation.
Tightly integrated with health information systems, ZEDOC supports timely exchange of health data and information between providers and patients, including subjective patient-reported measures (PROMs and PREMs), objective wearable / device data, and important communication or educational materials.