Using technology to reduce chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and asthma readmissions

Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s Surgical Medical Acute Response Team (SMART) programme enables increased flow and efficiency of patient discharge from across the hospital, including the respiratory unit.

Situation

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in hospitalisations. This presented an increased demand for Medway’s service to prevent hospital capacity from becoming overwhelmed.

Aspiration

The SMART team required a solution that would allow them to safely manage more respiratory patients at home, without compromising the quality of care they provided.

Solution

Medway used Current Health’s care at home platform to increase the team’s capacity and reduce hospital readmissions.

The technology was initially integrated into a virtual care pathway for COPD and asthma patients.

Impact

  • Current Health’s continuous vitals capture and video call capabilities enabled 37% of home visits to be replaced with virtual visits. This reduced the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission.
  • Time savings also allowed the team to increase their capacity using the same number of staff.
  • Detection and alerts to the early signs of health deterioration by Current Health’s analytics software enabled the team to proactively deliver at-home treatment. This reduced COPD and asthma readmissions by 26%.
  • Patients reported how reassured and comforted they felt by continuous monitoring and liked the convenience of video calls with their care team.
  • 85% of patients are extremely likely to recommend the service to others requiring similar care.

Functionality

  • Following treatment for an acute exacerbation of COPD or asthma, patients are discharged with Current Health’s kit (including connectivity). It enables patients to be monitored at home and makes it a solution built for equal access to healthcare.
  • A biosensor worn on the patient's upper arm continuously measures vital signs. This means clinical-grade monitoring can take place at home.
  • A tablet device is supplied which integrates with a blood pressure cuff and provides reminders to the patient to submit readings.
  • Built-in patient engagement tools like video functionality on the patient’s tablet device can be used by the team to complete patient assessments virtually.
  • The team can visualise both real-time and trend health data through a centralised dashboard available on an online clinical portal.
  • Disease-specific alarm notifications are built in to alert the team to the early signs of health deterioration. This enables them to intervene sooner to prevent hospitalisation.

Capabilities

  • Continuous capture of patients’ respiration rate, oxygen saturation, heart rate, body temperature and movement data through a single wearable device.
  • Intermittent measurements of blood pressure via an integrated cuff.
  • Video consultations with patients using a provided tablet device.
  • Trend and real-time vitals data, customisable health alerts and video calling available to care teams within a secure online portal.

Scope

Healthcare providers use Current Health’s platform to deliver clinical care to patients at home.

Key quotes

“Automated and continuous vital sign capture and video calling has helped us to reduce the number and frequency of home visits without compromising the quality of care we provide.

As we refine and grow this technology enabled programme, we aim to replace 50% of in-person interactions with virtual visits. This will enable us to extend our service to other clinical areas and manage more patients safely at home.”

Jackie Hammond, SMART Manager, Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Find out more

Meeting the demand for virtual ward services full case study

Key contact

Jackie Hammond, SMART Manager, Medway NHS Foundation Trust
jacqueline.hammond1@nhs.net