Alberta rural patients trial new home health technology
August 12, 2020
EDMONTON – Patients in central Alberta are participating in a home health monitoring technology trial. Wolf Creek, Drayton Valley, and Kalyna Country Primary Care Networks (PCNs) will be the first Central Zone PCNs to trial the technology for people with chronic health conditions, with potential to add more Central Zone PCNs in subsequent phases.
The initiative is a collaborative effort between Alberta Central Zone Primary Care Networks (PCNs), TELUS Health, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., Alberta Innovates, Health City, and Alberta Health Services (AHS).
The initiative aims to implement and rapidly scale proven digital technologies to alleviate stress on the health system, while serving as a national model for ongoing stability of care. The project will test the efficacy of virtual monitoring solutions to care for a large number of patients at one time while in their own homes, and the ability to provide care in rural locations.
Dr. Jordan La Rue (pictured), a family physician in Sylvan Lake who is also Central Zone PCN committee co-chair noted, “As innovation hubs for team-based family medical services, PCNs are an ideal place to try out technology that may enhance access to high quality healthcare.”
Andrea Thain Liptak, committee co-chair and executive director of Public Health, Primary Care, Chronic Disease Management, Children’s Rehab Services, Allied Health, and Community Admin Support with AHS Central Zone, added, “We are excited to explore this new model of care through the Central Zone PCN. Our partnership between all Central Zone PCNs and Alberta Health Services puts us in a unique position to spread and evaluate innovative practices such as Home Health Monitoring.”
“This collaboration is an opportunity to tangibly improve the lives of Albertans by using innovative approaches and technology to provide increased access to care in rural communities and addressing the challenges patients with chronic conditions face,” stated Reg Joseph, Health City’s CEO. “The Health City model supports early intervention in patient needs to drive better health outcomes and lower overall cost to the system, resulting in positive health impacts and economic impacts for our region. This project is the actualization of that model.”
“Boehringer Ingelheim’s collaboration with Health City & Central Zone PCNs highlights our dedication to delivering innovative solutions that serve current and future healthcare needs,” said Andrea Sambati, president and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. “The Central Zone PCN Home Health Monitoring Project will not only improve outcomes for those most at risk in primary care, but also provide significant benefits to the healthcare system, such as reducing hospitalizations and overall healthcare costs.”
The TELUS Home Health Monitoring (HHM) solution allows patients to upload, view and trend their daily biometric results, such as temperature and blood pressure, and interact with their clinicians from home. The patient’s physicians and clinical team use the dashboard to view and monitor large groups of patients and interact with them to provide any necessary support and resources.
“As a fellow Albertan, I’m proud that our province is the first to deploy Home Health Monitoring for chronic disease management and COVID-19 response in the primary care setting; enabling clinicians to remotely observe their patients with these conditions not only keep them safe from further exposure but also helps to alleviate some of the pressures on the healthcare system,” said Shane Sabatino, vice president, public sector, TELUS Health.
“This collaborative aligns strongly with our innovation priorities at Alberta Innovates – namely, empowering and enhancing patient-centered care and realizing efficiencies in care pathways, by leveraging digital health solutions. We are in the fortunate position to partner with all the players involved to accelerate a timely and valuable digital innovation into care,” said Tim Murphy, VP of health, Alberta Innovates.
About Health City
Health City is a Canadian Not-for-profit Corporation that works with clinicians, innovators, philanthropic organizations, and companies to develop new pathways of care that can drive better health outcomes and economic development in the health sector. For more information, visit www.edmontonhealthcity.ca.
About Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.
Making new and better medicines for humans and animals is at the heart of what we do. Our mission is to create breakthrough therapies that change lives. Since its founding in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is independent and family-owned. We have the freedom to pursue our long-term vision, looking ahead to identify the health challenges of the future and targeting those areas of need where we can do the most good. More than 51,000 employees create value through innovation daily for our three business areas: Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec and is now located in Burlington, Ontario. Boehringer Ingelheim employs approximately 600 people across Canada. For more information, visit http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.ca.
About TELUS Health and Payment Solutions
TELUS Health is a leader in digital health technology solutions such as home health monitoring, electronic medical and health records, virtual care, benefits and pharmacy management as well as personal emergency response services. TELUS Health is leveraging the power of technology to improve access to care and revolutionize the flow of health information to create better outcomes for Canadians while facilitating collaboration, efficiency and productivity for physicians, pharmacists, health authorities, allied healthcare professionals, insurers, employers and citizens. TELUS Payment Solutions complements our health solutions by delivering secure, industry-compliant payment and lending solutions that connect lenders, payors, insurers, extended healthcare providers and financial institutions to their customers across Canada. For more, please visit www.telushealth.com and www.telus.com/payment-solutions.
About Primary Care Networks
Primary Care Networks are a made-in-Alberta approach to improve and better coordinate patient access to primary care. Primary health care is the first point of contact most people have with the health system. In each PCN, a group of family doctors works with Alberta Health Services and other health providers such as pharmacists, nurses, mental health therapists, and dietitians to provide excellent health care. Each PCN designs programs and services to best meet local needs, which may vary from area to area. In the Central Zone, there are 12 PCNs that work together through the Central Zone PCN Committee to identify and coordinate opportunities for healthcare improvement throughout the Zone.
About Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates (AI) is a provincial agency working to address today’s challenges, create new opportunities and forge a healthy, sustainable, and prosperous future for Albertans today and for generations to come. AI is well positioned to advance digital health technologies to accelerate improvements in the quality and long-term sustainability of our health system and the health of Albertans. For more information, visit https://albertainnovates.ca.