Telehealth technologies has been considered by some to be the wave of the future, at least as it pertains to in-home care. In Colorado, for high risk patients, Delta County Memorial Hospital is now taking advantage of these telehealth technologies.
The hospital is part of Delta — Montrose Home Health Services, part of the Western Slope providers of these in-home care services, and has recently partnered with Health Recovery Solutions on a new telehealth technology. This is a remote monitoring system that is specifically designed for patients who recover at home.
A prime target market for these technologies are rural patients, those who may not live near a major metropolitan area and who might not have the same level of access to direct nursing care at home. This new device is commonly described as similar to an iPad or other tablet and is preloaded with a number of apps the patient will utilize to monitor vital stats and even speak to a health care provider via video teleconference.
According to The Daily Sentinel news article, Patients gain from in-home care link, written by Joe Vaccarelli:
“This differs from many other forms of telehealth, in which a patient drives to a regional clinic and is connected virtually with a doctor who is at another location. Other telehealth sends a provider out to a home with equipment to connect with a doctor virtually.
This new service allows the patient to send the information personally without anyone coming to the home outside of the initial training.
Patients can qualify for the program to receive devices. To qualify, patients need to be high-risk, chronic-care patients. Some possible ailments include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and diabetes. Some post-surgical patients can also qualify. The patient keeps the device as long as needed, and there is no extra cost to be in the program.”
An in-home health care nurse will bring this device to the client and provide a training session which usually lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. They will learn how to send information, reach out and connect with a health care provider, and properly monitor heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, blood viscosity, and even their weight.
The patient will also be able to use this type of device to inform their health care provider when they take prescription medications. If they don’t check in and let their health care provider know they’ve taken a prescription medication within 15 minutes of the time they were supposed to, a nurse or other practitioner can reach out to check on them and make sure everything is okay.
This type of technology is providing inroads that allow more people an opportunity to remain home, even as they deal with significant health challenges.