A new telehealth service for COPD and heart failure receives positive feedback from patients
In March 2018 Inhealthcare launched a telehealth service in Hull for COPD and heart failure patients. The telehealth service empowers people to monitor and manage their conditions and offers different levels of support based on individual needs.
Ruth Bean, a 62-year-old retired office worker with emphysema, had to give up her job after suffering from breathing difficulties and chest infections. Now, instead of taking regular trips out to see a GP she has been trained to take routine blood pressure and oxygen readings at home and sends these by automated telephone call service for analysis within NHS systems.
If readings fall out of range, a member of the nursing team is alerted and gets in touch to take the appropriate action.
Ms Bean said: “This has made a considerable difference to my life. I feel that I’m in control of my illness now, rather than my illness being in control of me.
“It’s a brilliant service because I know I have my medical team in the background. If anything goes wrong, they are there to support me and I trust them completely.
“I wish more people with long-term heart and lung diseases knew about this service. My condition is more stable and I am more active than I used to be.”
The telehealth service is delivered by City Health Care Partnership CIC and according to personal requirements, patients are equipped with a variety of devices such as a set of scales, blood pressure monitor, oxygen sensor and forehead thermometer.
Patients test themselves during their daily activities and relay the results via the communication channel of their choice – automated phone call, smartphone app or online portal – for assessment. Clinicians are alerted in the event that readings fall out of range.
The service offers a 3-6 month educational programme to enable people with long-term conditions to become more independent and recognise their symptoms by enhancing their knowledge of their condition, avoiding hospital admission and improving their quality of life.
The Telehealth Service went live in spring with more than 100 patients with heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Wendy Cuddihy, clinical lead for CHCP CIC’s Telehealth service, said: “We would like more people living with long-term heart and lung disease in Hull to join the free service and benefit from the opportunities to improve quality of life. “We also encourage doctors in Hull to refer suitable patients to the service and help create capacity in the wider healthcare system.”