Philips telehealth solution supports self-isolating COVID-19 patients in Australia
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With an enormous number of potential COVID-19 patients self-isolating at home, triaging them to identify those whose condition is worsening and therefore need treatment represents a major challenge for healthcare systems worldwide. Philips’ telehealth solutions are already helping healthcare systems around the world to cope with the large amount of self-isolating COVID-19 patients requiring advice and identify those that need medical assistance, while at the same time helping hospitals to optimize the use of resources to cope with the pandemic.
West Moreton Health and Health Service
In Australia, some of these solutions are now being deployed by West Moreton Health and Health Service (WMHHS) to support COVID-19 patients in the West Moreton community through an expansion of the region’s MeCare Virtual Hospital program that is enabled by Philips’ enterprise remote patient monitoring platform (eCareCompanion & eCareCoordinator). Depending on their acuity and care needs, COVID-19 patients can be cared for at home under either the moderate or ‘lite’ model. Moderate model patients are given tablets and health devices so they can measure their temperature, blood pressure and oxygen saturation levels and respond to regular health surveys to track their health progress. Others who require less supervision can use their own mobile device to receive remote support via Philips’ enterprise remote patient monitoring platform.
West Moreton Health has expanded its hospital capacity as part of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, but we have also considered how we can use existing technology and innovation to provide safe care within the community setting.
Executive director West Moreton Health’s Community and Rural Services
West Moreton Health’s Community and Rural Services executive director Melinda Parcell said the MeCare model of care had been adapted for COVID-19 patients with milder symptoms. “West Moreton Health has expanded its hospital capacity as part of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, but we have also considered how we can use existing technology and innovation to provide safe care within the community setting. It means people can receive the care they need in the comfort of their own homes and we are also eliminating the risk of transmission in the hospital setting, where other vulnerable people may be receiving care.”
For patients in the lower risk group, and to reduce the number of unnecessary visits to general practitioners and hospitals, Philips recently announced a remote screening and monitoring solution with COVID-19 specific features that facilitate the use of online screening, follow-up questionnaires, remote monitoring, and external call center collaboration to help triage potential COVID-19 cases. While explicitly not a substitute for regular or emergency care, it allows people experiencing symptoms of the disease to complete an online questionnaire at home so they can be automatically placed in a particular risk group. These patients in lower risk groups can then be monitored via automated follow-up surveys, while patients at higher risk can be called by a call center for additional information, and if necessary referred to a general practitioner or hospital.