COVID-19: What’s happening on the front lines of remote monitoring?
The pandemic has impacted communities worldwide. For Qardio, recent events have presented both opportunities and challenges. Here’s our take on how remote patient monitoring will emerge stronger than before.
Impact on Qardio
Our business was initially impacted by COVID-19 in January, as a result of supply chain disruption. It was immediately clear that remote patient monitoring, Qardio’s primary service, could be critical to support the health system during a period of lockdown and reduced contact, so we immediately sought to support current partners.
Impact on Qardio’s partners
As the lockdown took hold in the US, we helped a private practice in the greater New York City area adapt their care model, so they could continue to monitor their most at-risk patients on a remote basis. Dr Tro, the medical director, said that having a solution in place prior to the global pandemic allowed his practice to pivot from 50% to 100% remote patient care, overnight. Essentially, Qardio enables care providers to remain engaged with patients, even when patients cannot visit the clinic – to sustain care without disruption.
A new COVID-19 Telehealth solution
Qardio also extended our capabilities to directly respond to the pandemic through partnership with OBS Medical to integrate the Visensia Safety Index within QardioMD. QardioMD+VSI scores the probability of patient deterioration, often in pre-symptomatic patients. As such, when Qardio’s remote monitoring capabilities are combined with the VSI algorithm, it’s possible to identify and triage patients at risk of deterioration on a remote basis. And earlier detection leads to earlier intervention. The VSI score can be calculated with three patient vitals – for example, QardioArm and a third party oximeter can track the heart rate, blood pressure, and SpO2 measurements needed to generate a VSI score. VSI is also FDA approved and carries the CE Mark, which enabled Qardio to deploy this new solution to partners in the UK, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, South Africa, Spain and Chile within 30 days of launch.
So, what’s next for Telehealth?
As adoption of treatment at-home continues to grow, it’s clear that remote patient monitoring is no longer an ‘alternative layer’ to care provision. Increasingly, remote monitoring is an integral part of continuing care. Our view is that remote patient monitoring can, and will, be integrated with everyday practices. We are already witnessing a shift in attitudes. In June, we surveyed nearly 6000 people to understand if the pandemic had changed their perspective on health at home. 93% said they felt safer with a blood pressure monitoring device at home, and 80% believed that remote monitoring would save doctors’ time in the future. To say nothing of patients’ time traveling to a clinic, or sitting in a waiting room.
How to prepare for the next pandemic
New care models focused on Telehealth and remote monitoring solutions have been commissioned and widely reported. In the US alone, $200 million in funding was appropriated by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, specifically for new Telehealth and remote patient monitoring deployments. Qardio has been proud to be able to quickly activate and support grant recipients, as well as to enable our current and prospective partners to build new capabilities. We continue to demonstrate how remote patient monitoring can ensure business continuity, as well as continuity of care.
No matter what new conditions may emerge as a result of restrictions associated with COVID-19, or with future pandemics, we will continue to deliver solutions that help to mitigate risk of infection, to expedite patient data capture, and to enable early triage and interventions – to drive better outcomes for all.