Care home residents in north east London are to be connected to their family doctors using the latest healthcare technology by DigitalHealth.London Alumni Inhealthcare.
The Inhealthcare remote patient monitoring service for the NHS will help clinicians to identify any patients at risk of developing health problems and intervene early with treatment. It aims to keep vulnerable residents safe and well in their homes and prevent avoidable hospital admissions during and after the pandemic. The new service will connect primary care networks with up to 215 care homes in Barking and Dagenham, City and Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said: “This new service bridges the gap between care home residents and doctors in a time of lockdowns and reduced face-to-face interactions.
“This simple and safe technology enables clinicians to spot the early warning signs of health deterioration and take the right steps to support the health and wellbeing of patients at home.
“Since being on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, we have continued to grow and support more patients with our remote patient monitoring technology. This opportunity, which further expands our reach across the capital is one we are particularly proud of.”
Osman Bhatti, a GP in Tower Hamlets and Chief Clinical Information Officer for the East London Health and Care Partnership, said: “The roll out of remote patient monitoring in care homes is a critical programme of work to connect our primary care networks with care home residents.
“It will empower care home staff and enable early intervention in the care of vulnerable residents – helping us to closely manage their health and reduce avoidable hospital admissions.”
Since the onset of coronavirus, GPs have been using remote consultations wherever possible to safely carry out care home ward rounds and assessments. In the new service, care home staff will gather vital signs readings from residents and submit these for automatic triage via the Inhealthcare Professional app. If any readings fall out of range, alerts are generated for clinicians to take action. The readings are integrated into GP clinical systems as fully structured data. Family doctors and care home managers use the Inhealthcare Dashboard to access an instant overview of the health status of patients and residents.
The Inhealthcare service uses the standardised National Early Warning Score (NEWS) 2 system for assessing and responding to acute illness. NEWS2 allocates a score to physiological measurements including respiration rate, oxygen saturation, systolic blood pressure, pulse rate, level of consciousness or new confusion and temperature.
Care homes are supplied with blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors and thermometers as necessary. Clinicians take the first step by deciding which patients are suitable for the service and can adjust thresholds for individuals according to need.
Inhealthcare is an alumni of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme.
The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is a collaborative programme funded by London’s three Academic Health Science Networks – UCL Partners, Imperial College Health Partners, and the Health Innovation Network, MedCity, CW+ and receives match funding from the European Regional Development Fund.