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Newfoundland to test remote patient monitoring

David DiamondST. JOHN’S, Nfld & Labrador – A pilot project to remotely monitor patients with select chronic diseases will help these individuals better manage their health and reduce the need for medical interventions. The project is being led by Eastern Health and will involve up to 700 patients over the course of a year.

The Remote Patient Monitoring project will provide patients with tablets, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs and weigh scales that will be remotely monitored by a nursing team.

The project, expected to begin this summer, will initially involve the monitoring of up to 700 individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Congestive Heart Failure over the course of a year. At the end of one year the project will be evaluated and its ongoing continuation will be determined based on the results.

“At Eastern Health, we aim to improve access to healthcare by providing the right intervention, for the right client, at the right time and in the right place,” said David Diamond (pictured), President and CEO, Eastern Health. “In this case, the ‘right place’ may be in a client’s own home as the Remote Patient Monitoring project will allow individuals living throughout Newfoundland and Labrador to be observed remotely via innovative technology.

“By monitoring these clients,” he added, “we hope to identify changes in health status earlier to prevent complications that cause patients to have to seek medical attention.”

Nurses will staff monitoring stations Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will monitor biometric information and symptoms, such as fatigue and shortness of breath. They will then be able to provide feedback to the patient to help improve behavior so that the patient learns how best to manage their symptoms.

The project will allow for the patients to be assessed remotely rather than having to frequent health centres or emergency departments for a regular check-up.

The Provincial Government will provide approximately $1 million for the one year project which covers eligible costs and nursing salaries. In addition, Canada Health Infoway will provide approximately $1.65 million to support project implementation.

“Innovative digital health solutions are helping transform healthcare in Canada,” said Michael Green, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. “Remote Patient Monitoring is an excellent example of innovation at work. We are excited about the potential of Remote Patient Monitoring and look forward to working with Eastern Health on this project.”

About Canada Health Infoway
Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through our investments, we help deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinicians. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government.

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