As COVID-19 (Coronavirus) progresses and states in the U.S. reach new mortality and case peaks, health IT is rapidly delivering new solutions to help keep people safe, healthy, and alive.
To support providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, Validic created a standalone home monitoring solution specifically designed to continuously monitor vulnerable populations for the emergence of COVID-19 symptoms. Validic’s COVID-19 Home Monitoring solution enables patients to enter their symptoms, potential exposure, body temperature, heart rate, and SPO2 readings from their home devices into a secure, web-hosted portal.
The patients’ home health data are made accessible to clinicians and treatment professionals via a simple triage dashboard. The dashboard allows care teams to quickly enroll new patients, set custom alerts and triggers, identify trends in data, and search people based on status and their latest readings.
A few weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, a regional health system needed a way to monitor high-risk patients, particularly those with chronic conditions, for the emergence of COVID-19 symptoms. The group rapidly deployed a remote monitoring program using Validic’s standalone RPM solution – managed by a virtual group of three to four physicians.
It’s important to recognize that this was a smaller regional deployment managed by a few physicians, serving a large, hard-hit area on the East Coast. With a handful of physicians, they were able to enroll thousands of patients in a couple of months and save the lives of people who contracted coronavirus every week through the program. The key was early interventions.
Patients enrolled were sent a pulse oximeter and asked to submit their body temperature, oxygen saturation, difficulty breathing, heart rate, exposure to anyone with COVID-19, and cough frequency – twice per daily. Text messages were sent to the patient in the morning and evening to remind them to input their data. Alerts notified the physicians when a patient’s reading fell outside the set thresholds.
The physicians began to notice a trend based on SPO2 readings and used that data to design earlier and critical interventions before patients began to decompose, or even in some cases before they began to experience other symptoms. The team was able to get patients into the hospital early in their fight against the virus. On average, these patients were discharged within two to three days, with oxygen, and didn’t require a ventilator during their hospitalization. Over 2,400 patients have been enrolled in the program; and weekly, patients continue to be directed to medical care or testing – saving dozens of lives throughout the program.
In one instance, a physician received an alert notifying him that a patient’s SPO2 was 85%. Looking through the patient’s historic data, he saw a continuous decline in readings over several days – from the mid-nineties to the low nineties and now in the mid-eighties. He directed the patient to a nearby clinic where the patient was quickly admitted and placed on oxygen. The patient spent two days in the hospital before being discharged with oxygen and continued monitoring at home through the program to ensure his upward progress continued.
Because the physician caught the decline in health from COVID-19 early, the patient did not need to be intubated and placed on a ventilator like so many others who receive medical treatment at a later stage of the virus progression.
Physicians using the COVID-19 solution stated had the alerts not been in place to catch patients on their decline, high-risk patients would have been admitted to the ER and immediately placed on a ventilator – generally, in more life-threatening states. Instead, patients were discharged within one to two days and asked to continue monitoring at home. Physicians utilizing the solution credit the program with saving lives and said oxygen saturation (SPO2) was the most important metric to track. The program taught physicians about SPO2 trends related to COVID-19 – offering insight on the natural progression of the virus and how to better intervene.
Case Study: COVID-19 Program Using Validic Inform
Shortly after COVID-19 hit the U.S., Validic worked with a large treatment and research health center to help integrate pulse oximeter data into their system and RPM program. Validic integrated the device into its marketplace and leveraged its partnership with Trapollo to quickly get patients a pulse oximeter; this was especially important at the time, given most of these devices were sold-out through online retail options. The pulse ox device became the organization’s second most-used data source within a week and a half of the program launching – as they quickly scaled their RPM program.
Since launching their program, the center is looking at new ways to expand their device and data usage with new use cases including checking historical activity data pre- and post-COVID-19, continuous heart rate monitoring for transplant patients, continuous temperature monitoring, and expanding their pulse ox RPM program.
As we prepare for the second wave of COVID-19, implementing remote patient monitoring solutions for populations like those with chronic conditions, comorbidities, seniors, front-line healthcare workers, and mission-critical employees are crucial.
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