L0CAL patients with a chronic lung conditions are taking part in
a new pilot scheme which will allow them to lead independent
lives at home.
Sufferers of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary
Disease (COPD) are now using latest telehealth technology to
help them manage their condition at home
The Telehealth pilot project, operated by the
Community Respiratory team at the Lagan Valley Hospital and
Belfast telehealth company, Quality Healthcare at Home, is
proving very popular with patients.
Selected patients receive a health monitor in their homes
which allows them to measure and record their own signs each
day. The Community Respiratory team reviews the medical history
of each patient and their medications, and sets the normal
limits for vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature and
the level of oxygen in their blood.
The monitor gathers daily information on each
person's condition, which is sent down the patient's standard
phone line to the Telehealth Care Centre in Belfast. Information
is then reviewed by a telehealth nurse and if a noticeable
change is detected an escalation call is then raised to the
hospital's Community Respiratory team.
Respiratory nurse Barbara Hanna and respiratory
physiotherapist Gail McKeown run the service at Lagan Valley
Barbara spoke of the benefits: "The real
benefits are in people becoming far more informed and confident
about their own condition. They can clearly see for themselves
when their condition is worsening and we have that early warning
that allows us to act quickly to stop it in its tracks and avoid
unnecessary hospital admissions."
Paul Murphy, Director Telehealth for Quality
Healthcare at Home, said, "We are looking, along with the Trust,
at the clinical outcomes and patient benefits of Telehealth for
COPD patients. The results so far have been excellent, showing a
dramatic reduction in the need for unnecessary visits by the
Respiratory Support Team."