Andover, Mass.– Patients with chronic illnesses often require close monitoring, although access to a doctor is not always available. Recognizing this, Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) today announced an agreement with Project HOPE, an international health education and humanitarian assistance organization, to place telemonitoring devices in select homes in rural areas of New Mexico.
“Some residents of New Mexico face a significant challenge in access to care due to a lack of healthcare professionals to meet the needs of the population,” said John P. Howe III, M.D., president and CEO of Project HOPE, who revealed the unique program during his keynote address at the American Telemedicine Association Conference in San Antonio. “This partnership brings together the global technical expertise of Philips and the worldwide healthcare knowledge of Project HOPE in chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory ailments to help meet the healthcare needs of community members.”
Philips telemonitoring devices support remote patient education and enable healthcare providers to remotely monitor patients with chronic illnesses in their homes. Clinicians can monitor vital signs and symptoms to make more timely care decisions and help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.
The Philips-HOPE partnership will provide training to local health workers who will assist in the installation of monitoring devices and teach patients how to use the technology. Training of local health workers will be provided through a traveling health unit operated by Project HOPE. When the HOPE mobile unit is in the patient’s community, the telemonitoring data will be used to help clinicians assess the patient’s condition and manage their care.
“Philips Healthcare is honored to support Project HOPE’s efforts to improve rural Americans’ access to healthcare,” said Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Philips Healthcare. “We can leverage our leadership in home healthcare solutions to help improve care for people with chronic illnesses in this area of the U.S.”
Telemonitoring is increasingly being applied to improve access to healthcare in an effort to improve health outcomes and reduce total healthcare costs. The home health industry and hospitals leverage telemonitoring to help prevent hospital readmissions for patients with heart failure. Disease management organizations and health plans also employ telehealth to help ensure members comply with their treatments and to prevent hospitalizations.
Philips is an established partner of Project HOPE. In 2009, Philips China and Project HOPE announced a unique partnership that created a new chronic disease management model linking major hospitals and community healthcare centers in a collaborative approach. The goals of this program are to improve patient care outcomes and reduce the burden on the overall healthcare system of China.