New self-care device to boost treatment of hundreds of heart and lung patients

The new medical device that will monitor patients' vital organs while they are at home.

The new medical device that will monitor patients' vital organs while they are at home. - Credit: Archant

Patients with heart and lung diseases are set for a boost after a community trust launched a new self-testing service designed to reduce preventable hospital admissions.

Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) has teamed up with digital health company Inhealthcare to give patients a medical device which monitors their body at home.

Up to 240 patients can use the device in its first year and should allow some to be discharged from hospital sooner.

It is hoped this will free up hospital beds and sugery time, and cut travel costs for patients in rural areas - who will no longer need to visit clinics or ring doctors for a telephone consultation.

The device will be given to patients who have recently experienced heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and need to be monitored to ensure their vital signs are within acceptable range.

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The self-testing service is being used by heart failure nurses and community matrons in Norwich, South Norfolk, and North Norfolk.

Rhona Macpherson, of NCH&C, said: 'Clinicians can monitor trends and intervene if readings move outside expected parameters.

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'This allows for timely intervention and also assists patients in recognising changing symptoms and promotes self-management.'

The machine measures a patient's blood pressure, temperature, weight, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation.

NCH&C has invested in 30 machines which will be swapped between patients who use them for between one to six weeks.

It has been designed as part of Inhealthcare's work with the NHS to digitise care services across the UK.

Inhealthcare chief executive Bryn Sage said: 'Our technology provides patients with the opportunity to take greater control over their own care, which leads to greater independence and freedom.

'It also helps the NHS to use its resources more productively by reducing unnecessary clinic visits so it can concentrate on what it does best, which is caring for people.'

NCH&C will measure and evaluate the reduction in preventable hospital admissions as well as patient perception of the service.

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