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Using technology to remotely monitor chronic disease patients

Posted By Media Release - phn murray  
22:00 PM

Rural patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure and lung disease can better manage their health from home, with new wearable devices linked to a smart phone app.

Murray PHN has partnered with health technology company Propell, on a pilot study that uses technology to reduce avoidable hospital admissions and improve patient health outcomes for people living with chronic disease.

The trial is being conducted in partnership with Upper Hume Primary Care Partnership and North East Health Wangaratta.

Eligible patients living between Benalla in Victoria and Albury in New South Wales, will be given an individualised care plan - available to them on their smart phone or tablet through the HealthBeats app. Eligibility includes patients who have been admitted to hospital or presented at an Emergency Department in the last six months for the relevant condition.

Using Propell’s iHealth wireless devices, patients will take their own blood pressure, glucose levels, pulse rate and weight readings. Bluetooth technology then connects the iHealth device to the HealthBeats app and uploads the data. The HealthBeats app displays real-time health summary trends and more importantly, allows alerts to be set for missed and abnormal readings.

Over time, this technology will give patients far greater awareness of their condition, understanding what ‘normal’ looks like and what they can do to gain control - for example, patients with chronic pulmonary obstructive disease who have a high blood pressure reading, will be able to identify that they need to do their breathing exercises and potentially lower their next blood pressure reading.

Craig Simmonds, Propell CEO says, “we want to empower patients to take control of their health. People are often accepting of new technology once they see how easy it is and how they benefit. Providing a patient with better understanding of their condition and reducing their anxiety as to their readings, is the value of patient-centred care.”

Murray PHN CEO Matt Jones noted that evidence shows when people are actively involved and supported in their care, it leads to improved outcomes for both the patient and the health system. “We are excited to be trialling this technology, particularly in our rural and regional areas. By identifying and addressing any potential health problems early, we hope that people will remain healthier for longer, avoiding unnecessary travel and costs,” he said.”