As part of the HTN #HealthTechToShoutAbout feature series, we spoke to Inhealthcare to hear more about their work in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Remote patient monitoring can extend a vital lifeline to the 1.5m Britons told to stay at home because they are extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus, according to Inhealthcare.
The company has rolled out more than 100 digital services in partnership with NHS and care home organisations across the UK to support patients living with long-term health conditions. It’s now seeing unprecedented demand for remote monitoring as NHS and care providers seek to create capacity in hospitals, deliver continuous care to people at home and protect staff from the risk of infection.
Last year, the NHS fulfilled more than 97m outpatient appointments, illustrating the scale of the challenge for the health service in maintaining “business as usual”.
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said “Before coronavirus, our partnerships helped people lead healthier lives for longer and kept them out of hospital when they did not need to be there. After the onset, we are doing all that and working hard to help protect staff as well.”
The Government has advised people with underlying conditions including cancers, respiratory illnesses, organ transplants or pregnancies to stay at home and avoid any face-to-face contact for 12 weeks.
Ordinarily these patients would be seen regularly at outpatient appointments or community nurse visits for routine checks and treatments but the threat of coronavirus has made this difficult and dangerous.
The threat also appears to have deterred people with underlying conditions from seeking emergency treatment, as suggested by a dramatic fall in A&E attendances.
Mr Sage said “Our message to NHS and care home organisations is we can help you care for your high-risk patients. Remote monitoring is a mature and inclusive technology and is trusted by a growing number of NHS and care home providers across the UK.”
The company said “Inhealthcare, which is part of the financially strong Intechnology plc, owns and operates the UK’s only dedicated platform for remote patient monitoring and digital health.
“The platform allows for the creation of new digital health services within 24 hours. For example, Inhealthcare last month rapidly developed and deployed a new Covid-19 symptom checker service to screen thousands of daily outpatient appointments.
“The Inhealthcare platform enables patients to communicate readings with health and care professionals through a choice of channels ranging from Amazon Alexa to the telephone landline.
“The fully inclusive approach, which includes video, SMS and apps, makes digital health services accessible to the vast majority of the population, regardless of age and ability.
“All alerts are automatically flagged up and shared with clinicians for review, allowing providers to focus their resources on those who need care the most.
“Patient information is fed into leading health and social care systems, overcoming any interoperability issues, and securely stored within the Government’s new Health and Social Care Network.”
Mr Sage said “We have been developing and delivering these services for a long time now and are proud to be stepping up at this time of great national need.”