Innovations from Australia

Community care provider integratedliving has begun a roll out of telehealth services to 13 different regions in four states following the success of its Staying Strong telehealth pilot project, which trialled in-home and hub-based monitoring of vital signs for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Model

The $2.1 million Staying Strong trial project, originally funded under the NBN Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program, addressed chronic disease management in rural and remote communities.

The pilot project helped to deliver a new model of care through telehealth monitoring of vital health signs for 136 older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across New South Wales and Queensland.

The Staying Strong pilot project involved four NBN-enabled sites - Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Toowoomba and Goodna.

The project monitored participants with varying conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high blood cholesterol, with integratedliving registered nurses working with participants and their GP to develop individual health and monitoring plans based on these health needs.

Using the Tunstall myclinic telehealth solution, including a touchscreen tablet, Integrated Care Platform (ICP) monitoring software, and vital sign peripherals, participants self monitored their vital signs.

Health data was transmitted to the ICP triage manager patient management system which prioritised readings for clinical triage. If a reading was outside of the monitoring plan range, ICP triage manager raised an alert, allowing a nurse to coordinate the appropriate response, in consultation with the participant and their GP or Health Service.

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Clinical outcomes

integratedliving Project Manager, Indra Arunachalam said the project reported an increase in timely and accurate diagnosis, as well as a notable increase in patient awareness and self-management.

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Economic outcomes

Throughout the Staying Strong project, the cost for remote telehealth monitoring for five days a week was £70 per participant. This is a significantly more affordable option compared to the estimated £178 it would usually cost for a RN to travel to a participant’s home for face-to-face vital health sign monitoring.

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Innovations from Australia