by Wayne Aston, Program Manager (Digital Health) at Emyria
Remote monitoring and telehealth have been increasingly in-demand services ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Being able to care for patients in a safe way, while also collecting the required clinical information needed to provide high quality care, has been a challenge the health industry was largely unprepared for.
As the worst of the pandemic has subsided, the high demand for those remote services has eased, but the impact they can have on the operation and efficiency of our healthcare system has not – and making sure they are prepared for any similar events in the future.
What is remote monitoring?
In simple terms, remote monitoring is the collection of clinically meaningful data by remote means (i.e. telephone call or video chat), to monitor the patient’s condition and be able to identify if intervention is necessary.
But to be truly effective, a successful system must be more than just a symptom tracker (and there are many of those on the market).
By incorporating physiological measurements into the remotely monitored data, we can greatly increase both the clinical data received by doctors, and the quality of care received by patients, as well as benefiting the health care system more broadly.
It can do so in these two major ways:
Patients can be monitored and receive care at home: In many places around Australia, hospitals and healthcare providers are under immense pressure. Anything that can alleviate that pressure and ensure people who have urgent needs can receive the care they require as promptly as possible is essential – and many patients much prefer being able to receive care and recuperate at home rather than via hospital.
Alerting people that they need to stay home when infectious: By helping to identify when someone is infectious, we not only protect their community from possibly contracting the virus, but also protect the health system from the resulting influx of patients and additional pressure on resources.
How is Emyria leading the way on remote monitoring technology?
That’s why Emyria has developed Openly, a multi-modal health and wellness screening platform, which is powered by your smartphone and backed by a team of clinicians.
It can support daily health reviews conducted at home, which provide clinical data back to a healthcare provider and incorporates a TGA-registered, Class IIa Software as a Medical Device component, which is the only one of its kind in Australia.
This software, which comes from our partners Happitech in the EU, allows for the recording of validated vital signs, including heart rate, heart rate variability and atrial fibrillation detection. As a result of receiving this data, clinicians can provide higher quality telehealth services and reduce the number of patients needing to present at a clinic in person.
Where is Openly Being Used?
Currently, Openly is being used within the Early Digital Intervention for COVID Therapy (EDICT) research program. This program is a collaboration between the University of Western Australia, Emyria, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and other industry partners to investigate the use of remote monitoring technologies in several key at risk areas related to COVID-19:
- Chronic respiratory patients
- Aged Care residents
- Positive COVID-19 inpatients
What is the Future of Openly?
Openly continues to be updated, with new features added to expand the scope of its capabilities. In the future, Openly can be a tool not only for remote monitoring of patients, but also as a companion platform to clinical trials, allowing for higher quality remote data to be collected and reducing the need for in person visits.