Hugh McCaughey, South Eastern HSC Trust Chief Executive (pictured far left) with Jon Lowe, Managing Director of Tunstall Healthcare (seated right), the Minister for Health, Michael McGimpsey and Dr. Eddie Rooney, Public Health Agency, at the contract signing with the Trust and Tunstall, bringing remote monitoring technology to patients in their own homes.
PATIENTS with heart and respiratory conditions, diabetes and those who have suffered a stroke will soon be able to have their vital signs such as pulse, blood pressure and body weigh, tested at home on a daily basis and monitored centrally rather than go to a clinic or hospital.
It has been made possible after the South Eastern Trust signed up with TF3 to provide a regional 'Connected Health Remote Telemonitoring (RTM) System'.
This contract represents an investment of £18 million over six years and means patients can be tested at home each day.
The Trust says it will give the patient more control and knowledge about their condition and how it affects them so they can tailor their daily activities to suit. It will also ensure an earlier response and allow chronically ill patients to be cared for at home and prevent hospital admissions.
The successful bidders, TF3, who will provide the service, will alert care providers to any change in their patients' daily readings that might mean a deterioration in their condition, so that they can decide whether an intervention is necessary.
Patients will continue to be supported by Triage Nurses who contact the patient when the reading has been outside the parameters set by the patient's specialist team. The Triage Nurse will then be able to manage the patient's care over the phone or send in a Specialist Key Worker from the Trust to ensure care when needed.
The signing of the contract marks the end of a long and complex procurement programme to ensure technology can be effectively deployed in the community and the start of real innovation and change in the way the Trust delivers services for those with particular chronic diseases. This contract represents an investment of £18 million over six years in the management of long-term conditions.
Hugh McCaughey, the Chief Executive of the South Eastern Trust said: "With demands increasing on healthcare and community care systems for the community, in particular older people, there is an increasing consensus that home based technologies could improve the effectiveness of services and enable independent living for a greater number of clients for an extended period which will enable health care to be delivered at home rather than in hospital."