Washington-based Providence St. Joseph Health is currently treating some of the largest numbers of patients diagnosed with or at risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. This is largely due to its presence in Seattle, which is one of the epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak.
To manage the 700-plus COVID-19-positive or presumptive positive patients, Providence St. Joseph enlisted the aid of remote patient monitoring service Twistle and digital prescribing platform Xealth. Xealth provides the underlying platform for automation and integration into electronic health records and medical record workflows, while Twistle provided the care automation and remote monitoring tools. The health system was able to roll out the tool in just four days.
Patients who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms but who are well enough to stay home are given a thermometer and a pulse oximeter, and the feedback from these devices is monitored from home by the health system’s remote patient monitoring team using the Xealth-Twistle technology.
“In the current environment, we have a large population of patients who are concerned and experiencing symptoms that may or may not be indicative of COVID-19,” Todd Czartoski, MD, Providence’s chief medical technology officer, told Fierce Healthcare. “Incorporating Xealth and Twistle into our clinical operations extends the reach of our front-line caregivers—enabling us to give them leverage to monitor patients effectively and efficiently—while keeping patients safe at home.”
COVID-19 is becoming a tipping point that is bringing digital health care into the public eye. Up until now, health systems have used connected devices, wearables, and sensors for small pilot projects focused on chronic conditions. But now, 200 front-line health care workers in San Francisco have been given Oura smart rings in hopes of detecting COVID-19 symptoms. Scripps Research Translational Institute recently launched a research study analyzing data from smartwatches or activity trackers to determine whether data from these devices can quickly detect the emergence of fast-spreading viral illnesses like influenza or coronavirus.
“We’re seeing [the use of remote patient monitoring] ramp up pretty quickly,” said Arielle Trzcinski, senior analyst, application development and delivery professionals, at Forrester. “This is driving institutions to quickly scale up these programs and look at how to build a connected health experience for a much broader population.”
The partnership between Providence St. Joseph, Xealth, and Twistle has the potential to become an important use case for remote patient monitoring in the age of coronavirus.
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