Using technology to remotely monitor chronic disease patients

Using technology to remotely monitor chronic disease patients

Rural patients living with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure and lung disease, can better manage their health from home, with new wearable devices linked to a smart phone app.

Murray PHN has partnered with health technology company Propell, on a pilot study that uses technology to reduce avoidable hospital admissions and improve patient health outcomes for people living with chronic disease.

The trial is being delivered in collaboration with Upper Hume Primary Care Partnership, North East Health Wangaratta and Benalla Health. A number of health services including Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Services, Albury Wodonga Health, Beechworth Surgery, Beechworth Health Service and Mansfield District Hospital are also involved in the pilot.

To be eligible, patients must live in Albury, Wodonga, Alpine, Benalla, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong or Wangaratta local government areas, have a smart phone or electronic tablet device, a reliable internet connection and have been admitted to hospital or presented at an emergency department in the last six months for the relevant condition.

The trial is due to start in late August and treating clinicians and GPs will identify up to 200 people who they believe with likely benefit from enhanced self-management support. The people who participate in the trial will receive an individualised care plan available to them on their smart phone or tablet through the HealthBeats app.

Using Propell’s iHealth wireless devices, patients will take their own blood pressure, glucose levels, pulse rate and weight readings. Bluetooth technology then connects the iHealth device to the HealthBeats app and uploads the data. The HealthBeats app displays real-time health summary trends and more importantly, allows alerts to be set for missed and abnormal readings.

Over time, this technology will give patients far greater awareness of their condition, understanding what ‘normal’ looks like and what they can do to gain control - for example, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who have a high blood pressure reading, will be able to identify that they need to do their breathing exercises and potentially lower their next blood pressure reading.

People will be given the option to purchase the equipment, in order to help them to continue with self-monitoring their condition after the trial concludes. Supporting people to recognise and develop their own strategies to monitor their health conditions, will help them to live a more independent and fulfilling life.

Albury Wodonga GPs needed for this pilot

Upper Hume Primary Care Partnership is looking for Albury Wodonga GPs who are interested in participating in this pilot. The trial is due to start in late August and is designed to help prevent hospital admissions and enable people to have better control of their health conditions at home - enabling doctors, nurses and other health care providers to remotely monitor a participant’s health data as frequently as required.

For more information, contact UHPCP’s COPD Project Coordinator Glenda Chapman glenda.chapman@upperhumepcp.com.au or call 0439 751 591.

Further information for GPs is available here.

Page updated 15 July 2019

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