Tag Archives: covid-19

Monitoring COVID-19 Patients at Home During Recovery

Over 85% of COVID patients (diagnosed and presumptive or symptomatic) will be directed to recover at home.   Recovering at home is scary for patients and their families, given the potential severity of the disease and its varied course in different patients. In some patients the path is more mild, in others more severe, and difficult to predict. 

Telehealth solutions like Trusted Patient Coach™ (TPC) enable patients to report their symptoms and progress daily.  TPC reduces the burden on clinics and call centers, and enables objective triaging for intervention if a patient’s recovery deteriorates.  Patients self-report daily, using Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMs) questionnaires, using CDC or other protocols designated by the public health organization or provider.   These questionnaires can be reconfigured rapidly, in most cases in a day, as symptoms tracking and contact tracing evolve.

“The precise line between a mild versus a moderate case of COVID-19 is uncertain, and the terms themselves are nonspecific,” says Dr. Richard Martinello, Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Pediatrics and Medical Director, Infection Prevention, Yale New Haven Hospital (ref.  https://health.usnews.com/conditions/articles/coronavirus-recovery-what-to-know  ).

Patients can begin reporting daily from the onset of symptoms using TPC. They continue reporting during the course of those symptoms, and for another 3-5 days following the end of symptoms. Additionally, they can connect with and be cleared by a health provider before discontinuing home isolation. 

As Contact Tracing grows to mitigate and ultimately contain the further spread of COVID-19 , TPC is a weapon in the arsenal of public health [and military organizations]. Contact tracers need to quickly locate and talk with the patients, assist in arranging for patients to isolate themselves, and work with patients to identify people with whom the patients have been in close contact so the contact tracer can locate them, gather data on activities, symptoms and potential for spread. TPC can rapidly remotely register and capture patient consent, provide patient education to patients on their own mobile devices – and do so securely, assuring patient privacy and mitigating scam risks.  TPC sends standardized questionnaires at registration, enabling rapid initial baseline data collection and direct electronic capture, for follow up by tracers on TPC’s web-based dashboard and with reporting extracts for tracer follow up and public health analyses.  TPC augments the specialized interviewing by tracers, speeding the patient and disease mitigation follow up.

The benefits TPC provides Public Health Agencies and providers in support of remote monitoring of patients recovering at home and in contact tracing are:

  • High patient compliance, clinicians can rely on.
  • Easy to configure for clinician monitoring of COVID, rapidly adaptable as protocols evolve. At discharge, complex recovery protocols can easily be implemented for close monitoring.
  • Clinically validated in post-surgery and substance use recovery contexts.
  • HIPAA compliant, TPC enables secure data collection to better manage each patient’s recovery and gather important pandemic public health data.
  • Ready to deploy now: 2 hours for configuration and 2 days for platform set-up. TPC is operational today supporting patients and clinicians.

Trusted Patient Coach provides patients and families peace of mind by staying connected, is easy to use and remotely install from the App Store on a patient’s (or family caregiver’s) mobile device. TPC is ready to deploy now in Canada and the US.

mobile health

Telehealth has been around for years – seriously gaining steam as the internet has grown and with major advances driven by the FDA.  As the Agency required patient reported outcomes in the development of new drugs, for example, large, clunky paper patient diaries were replaced with mobile e-PRO, eCOA, and PROMs*.   Advances in sensing devices, data analytics, video conferencing, and a wide range of mobile apps and technologies have broadened the possibilities for telehealth. 

Yet barriers to adoption have remained, among them:

  • Limited or no payments to healthcare providers for mobile and telehealth tasks
  • Barriers to interoperability, most notably with some Electronic Medical Record systems
  • EMR overload distracting clinicians from quality patient time and solving patient needs

It has taken the COVID-19 pandemic to demonstrate what the broader impact and value of telehealth and mobile remote patient tools can be.  Had US healthcare embraced these new technologies more rapidly and extensively, the system may have been better prepared to deploy remote patient care and to achieve more meaningful patient-clinician connections.    

Our team has been involved in scalable mobile e-PRO and PROMs over the last 19 years, successfully deploying these programs to patients, clinicians and clinical investigator teams globally. Our solutions have achieved high, sustained compliance among patients by engaging them in daily routines critical to their recovery and disease management:

  • Getting patients prepared for surgery, a medical procedure or doctor’s visit
  • Reporting their clinical status, symptoms and recovery progress after such events
  • Keeping them connected in meaningful ways to their clinical team – enabling rapid, easy-to-use, secure messaging back and forth; answers to concerns; patient education or videos; or simply a check-in and kind word showing caring and concern

Lessons learned are many, foremost among them:  remote patient management must be simple, easy and quick to use, reliable, actionable and timely, keeping patients and their clinicians connected in meaningful ways when it counts. 

Engaged patients connected with their clinicians, particularly during challenging, stressful recoveries, can overcome what our clinicians call the “zone of darkness” while unsupervised at home – and stay on track for a successful recovery.

Our Health Helm Team is supporting patients, clinicians, public health and family caregivers in this battle.  

*Notes:  e-PRO – electronic patient reported outcomes, e-COA – electronic clinical outcome assessment, and PROMs – Patient Reported Outcomes Measures