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NEW DIGITAL HEALTHCARE SERVICE IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE

 

New digital healthcare service improves patient quality of life

Harrogate, UK, July 19 2013 - UK-based digital health service provider, Inhealthcare, has teamed up with County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust to pilot a new remote monitoring technology, designed to improve the clinical outcomes and quality of life of patients on long-term anticoagulation therapy.

Patients who have suffered from stroke or pulmonary embolism, or who have recently undergone surgery, are often prescribed the anticoagulant warfarin, which requires regular blood tests at clinics to monitor their International Normalised Ratio (INR). The new service removes the need for these weekly or monthly visits by allowing them to self-monitor their INR from home.

 
  UK-based digital health service provider, Inhealthcare, has teamed up with County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
Inhealthcare’s digital health platform connects patients who are self-testing at home with the nurses in the warfarin clinic, also providing them with access to legacy data about the patient’s condition. The Inhealthcare service calls the patient at home or on their mobile, at a time of their choosing. They are then required to enter their INR result using the keypad and answer other questions about their condition. The results are sent immediately to the warfarin clinic, where staff will review the patient’s warfarin dosage. The patient then receives a second phone call, informing them of any required changes.

Jeannie Hardy, Programme Manager for Telehealth at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, explained, “Previously patients would need to attend weekly or monthly clinics for tests, but the pilot means they can do it from home using an automated phone system. We want to give patients more lifestyle choices, whilst ensuring they receive the medical help and support they need.”

Bryn Sage, Managing Director for Inhealthcare, explained Inhealthcare’s service, which is driven by the improvement of patient outcomes:
 
Bryn Sage
Managing Director

Inhealthcare
Our system is underpinned by our unique digital health platform, the Patient Record in the Cloud (PRiC). Before taking part, patients are fully-trained, taught how to test their blood accurately, and an automatic phone system is set up to collect their INR results at a time that is convenient for them. Once medical staff have assessed the information, and the recommended warfarin dosages have been sent back, the system has a checking procedure in place to assure clinicians that patients have correctly understood the instructions. All of this affords patients with a freedom simply not attainable with weekly visits to clinics, empowering them to take control of their condition and improving their quality of life.  


The pilot has been a great success, prompting the rollout of the service to an additional 100 patients, taking the number from 98 to around 200. Kay Dover, 50, from Durham, was diagnosed with lupus in 2009 and has been involved in the pilot for a number of months: “When I was asked if I would like to be part of the pilot scheme, I jumped at the chance, because I wanted the freedom of not needing to go to the clinic every week…without it I don’t know how I would have coped the last few months. The system enables me to take more control over my health, to feel a bit more in charge – more human I suppose.”

As Managing Director, Bryn also offered further insight into the plan for the pilot going forward, as well as digital health’s ability to radically improve standard care pathways: “The feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive. The greater level of freedom afforded to patients has significantly improved their quality of life; a large proportion of the patients in our pilot work full time, and this service means they no longer have to take regular time off work to attend appointments, saving time and money along the way. Warfarin clinics are struggling to cope with patient demand; perfecting this service, which provides a current, holistic view of a patient’s condition, could lead to the scalable model for digital health that is so desperately needed within the NHS.”

The success of the pilot highlights digital health’s potential as a solution for the current public health time bomb; integrating standard care pathways with digital health solutions could alleviate the strain on clinical teams, allowing patients to be more involved with their own care while also improving their clinical outcomes.

More information on Inhealthcare’s managed digital health services can be found at: www.inhealthcare.co.uk
 

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 Learn more about Inhealthcare's digital healthcare services
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