New Technology From TELUS Health Lets Saskatchewan Health Authority Remotely Monitor Lung Transplant Patients

TELUS Health today announced the expansion of its Home Health Monitoring (HHM) solution to digitally monitor the recovery of lung transplant patients across Saskatchewan. Launched in partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and eHealth Saskatchewan, this digital health dashboard enables a virtual healthcare team to provide medical support remotely, for patients in real-time as they recover in their own homes.

Easily accessible through a mobile device, tablet or desktop computer, the TELUS Health HHM solution sends daily prompts to patients to report their biometrics such as spirometry (i.e. lung function), blood pressure and overall health condition. If patients do not have their own digital health tools, they are provided with biometric devices such as bluetooth-connected weight scales and blood pressure cuffs in order to monitor their vitals and enter them into their daily report. This data then is sent electronically to the care team so it can be viewed on the digital dashboard, allowing regular and remote monitoring of a patient’s well-being. This gives clinicians the ability to review crucial patient data in real-time, allowing them to identify any urgent care needs and mitigate risks such as possible infection, incision issues, and/or neurocognitive impairment.

Transplant patients have compromised immune systems, particularly during the first month following the transplant operation due to the use of immunosuppressant medication to help prevent the body’s rejection of a donor organ. Monitoring vitals is crucial to a healthy recovery as is ensuring patients can recover in the safety of their own homes amidst the current pandemic so there is no increased risk of exposure to the virus. HHM helps give patients peace of mind knowing they are still connected to their healthcare team for monitoring without having to physically remain in hospital.

It is estimated that the TELUS Health HHM solution and lung transplant monitoring program will support 60 to 70 Saskatchewanians for the lifetime of their transplant. Ongoing discussions are underway to expand the use of HHM for the remote monitoring of individuals with heart conditions and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

The launch of the HHM solution for transplant patients is another collaboration between TELUS Health and Saskatchewan’s public health system. In October 2019, the Saskatchewan government launched MySaskHealthRecord, a website that enables Saskatchewan residents to easily access their personal health information, including medical imaging results, laboratory tests and clinical visit history.

The TELUS Health HHM solution has been used in British Columbia since 2013 to remotely monitor thousands of patients living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart failure and respiratory diseases. Of those with heart or respiratory issues, 81 per cent reported fewer emergency room visits and 92 per cent reported fewer hospital admissions. The solution is currently being used in B.C. and other provinces to support those with or at a high risk of contracting COVID-19.  Over 1400 BC Citizens have been monitored for COVID-19 to date. 

Building off of these successful initiatives in B.C. and Saskatchewan, discussions with other provincial health authorities are underway to provide HHM technology to even more Canadians in various areas of care.

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