Apps, News, Secondary Care

Smartphone app for COVID patients piloted in West Mids

A smartphone app with remote monitoring technology is being piloted for COVID-19 patients by NHS Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The app – called MyDignio – aims to help relieve pressure on hospitals and potentially reduce unnecessary admissions by allowing patients to report symptoms from home.

Developed by the Birmingham-based medical software company Dignio, the app’s system is monitoring Dudley CCG COVID-19 patients that also have existing clinical conditions and could be at risk of deterioration.

Patients with mild symptoms download the app to smartphones and can be instantly connected to Bluetooth-enabled medical devices in hospitals, such as thermometers and oximeters.

Data such as pulse, temperature and oxygen levels can then be checked regularly, displayed via smartphone and automatically sent to the clinician platform.

Originally developed in Norway, the app can also be used for monitoring patients with long-term health conditions.

As well as vital signs, stats including blood glucose, weight, spirometry, haemoglobin, sleep and activity can also be measured.

The solution at Dudley CCG is intended to make patient triage on the ‘virtual ward’ quick and simple. Alerts are sent out to staff at the first sign of deterioration, allowing for prioritisation.

While patients can also report their symptoms through additional questionnaires and communicate with staff via the chat and video call functions.

Dr Jonathan Darby, Clinical Lead, Dudley at CCG, said: “We’ve been using the MyDignio solution as a pilot in monitoring Category-2 COVID patients at home. We have found the software easy to use as well as enormously reassuring for patients.

“It’s helping to keep hospital admissions to a minimum, meaning that there’s more capacity for COVID patients who are in a more serious condition.”

Ewa Truchanowicz, Managing Director of MyDignio added: “This technology has already been used by Mastercall Healthcare, which provides out of hours care in the Greater Manchester area.”