The Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust has launched a remote monitoring platform for heart failure patients.
The service uses Spirit Digital’s cloud-based CliniTouch Vie setup and is designed to enable individuals to monitor their condition at home, circumventing the need to keep them under observation in hospital.
The telehealth system allows patients to input biometric readings on a 3G tablet and send them directly to clinicians for review.
Health staff can access the data from a clinician-facing web portal, allowing them to identify when a patient displays a deterioration in health.
The Digital Heart Failure service will be used by 50 patients at Leicestershire Partnership Trust.
Dr Sudip Ghosh, the trust’s research clinical director, labelled it “a very user-friendly system that both patients and clinicians have welcomed.”
Dr Ghosh added: “Maximising clinical resource is increasingly critical to both the healthcare economy and patient outcomes.
“We were particularly interested in digital health to achieve this because when you look at the literature, the research based around digital health solutions for chronic disease indicates that telehealth and telemonitoring are one of the solutions shown to be effective, especially in heart disease and heart failure.”
The platform will be manned by specialist clinical staff, who will remotely connect with patients on a daily basis to provide health and wellbeing advice.
The system automatically assesses data input by patients to triage the severity of their conditions so that clinicians can prioritise their response time.
For patients, the Digital Heart Failure service provides “empowerment services” in the form of education modules, which patients can work through to better understand and control their condition.
All data generated by the system is stored securely in the cloud and hosted on the NHS’s N3 Network.
Emma-Jane Roberts, managing director of Spirit Digital, said: “We are proud to be working with the Leicestershire Partnership Trust to offer this new Digital Heart Failure service.
“Our vision is for digital technology to be part of clinical pathways to facilitate earlier discharge, prevent re-admissions, reduce risk of future exacerbations and improve self-management, whilst maximising clinical capacity.”
Telehealth is increasingly being used to free up hospital beds by enabling patients with long-term conditions to self-manage at home.
In May, Hull’s City Health Care Partnership (CHCP) deployed a telehealth service with InHealthcare to support people with heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
A large-scale project run by NHS Calderdale CCG between 2013 and 2018 concluded that the NHS could free up to some £1bn and cut admissions by a third by using telehealth in care homes.