German health insurers AOK Plus has commissioned InterComponentWare to implement a telemedicine system to care for patients with serious chronic heart failure.
The service will be offered to patients living in the German state of Saxony.
The ICW Care and Disease Manager will be used as the basis of the system. The system has already proved successful in a chronic heart failure project called "Partnership for the Heart" conducted at Charité University Medicine Berlin and Robert-Bosch Hospital, Stuttgart.
Working with project partners Sanvartis and Saxonia Systems, ICW say they will ensure comprehensive telemedical 24-hour care is available to members of AOK Plus in Saxony.
AOK Plus’ insured members in Saxony, who are registered with Cardio Integral scheme, are eligible to receive a blood pressure meter and a digital scale for improved monitoring of their disease.
The telemedicine devices will transfer the patient’s readings using a wireless and encoded system to a base station in his home, which will then transmit the encoded data via a regular telephone line to a telemedical center where medical professionals will monitor the data and intervene if required, recommending that the patient visit his physician.
In cases of an emergency, rescue coordination centers, which are directly integrated into the system, will be notified.
ICW say “This telemedical system contributes to increased patient safety and reduces unnecessary hospitalizations – an important step to increased independence and quality of life.”
The patients can choose to receive 12 months of telemedical care. Before the end of this period, they receive additional training to enable them to keep their disease under control without telemedical support.
AOK Plus say will also have the telemedical project scientifically evaluated to publish its benefits.
AOK Plus (German only)
Saxonia Systems (German only)