Can digital technologies help home care?

MONTREAL – A new project in Montreal will examine how advanced digital technologies can help healthcare professionals and patients with multiple co-morbidities to continue their home treatment plan, with the goal of reducing readmissions to patients. ‘hospital.
This project, whose details were first announced at The Canadian Press, will initially target patients who have heart failure and diabetes.

“The problem with these people is that the protocols of care related to each of these comorbidities sometimes collide, and there is even (overlap), said the project leader, Dr. Fran├žois Tournoux, who is a cardiologist and researcher at the Research Center of the University Hospital of Montreal.

“It creates great difficulties in their care, especially in the community because doctors and nurses on the front line have trouble navigating through all these protocols of care that are sometimes highly specialized. And right now, they do not have the tools to make it crystal clear. ”

The needs seem very real. At least one in five Quebecers over the age of 40 will experience heart failure once in their lifetime, said Dr. Tournoux, representing some 160,000 people in the province.

“It is a population that consumes a lot of care, has a lot of symptoms, has a poor quality of life and is often readmitted to hospital,” he said. We also know that it is a population that has multiple comorbidities: diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure, etc. ”

The goal of the new platform – which has been developed by CRCHUM and partners like Greybox, MEDTEQ and Boehringer Ingelheim – is to enable the patient to play a more active role in the management of their health.

A patient who suffers from diabetes, kidney failure and heart failure, for example, would never be able to navigate through three different care platforms on their cell phone.

“We want to launch a platform that will take the patient in charge in its entirety,” said Dr. Tournoux. We will allow the patient to monitor himself (…) at home, not only for his heart failure, but also for his other comorbidities, in this case in this project, diabetes. ”

The platform will be launched in early 2020 with about fifty CHUM patients. It will then be the subject of a multicentric study in 300 patients.

Two facets

It will consist of two facets, one for patients and one for health professionals.

“The platform has a facet dedicated to patients,” said Dr. Tournoux. The patient will have the opportunity to report (…) his blood pressure measurements, his weight, how he feels today, his blood sugar, etc., and he will have access to a whole arsenal of educational products to learn how to to better understand his illness, and therefore to better manage it and to become autonomous in his follow-up. He will also have the opportunity to receive information directly from his care team, and possibly to interact with his nurse or doctor. ”

Healthcare professionals will be able to monitor the patient’s condition, for example, by monitoring the patient’s vital parameters.

“The platform will also support health professionals to offer patient-adjusted care protocols,” said Dr. Tournoux. We are really talking about medicine that personalizes itself. As the patient evolves, the platform evolves as well. ”

So we try to limit all these visits that are sometimes achievable remotely and easily, and thus reduce the economic and social burden for the patient.

“The goal is for the patient to be as observant as possible, both in terms of medication and changes in lifestyle,” concluded Dr. Tournoux. Ultimately, we want the patient to switch from a follow-up to a self-monitoring. We really want the patient to become involved in the management of his illness, no longer simply a spectator, but an actor in his care. “

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