Digital technology can help care home?

Les technologies numériques peuvent-elles aider à soigner à domicile?

Cardiologist and researcher at the CHUM research Centre, Dr. François Tournoux is responsible for the project which aims to use digital technologies in order to reduce readmissions to the hospital.

December 9, 2019 13h59

Updated at 14: 52

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Digital technology can help care home?

Jean-Benoit Legault

The canadian Press

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MONTREAL – A new project carried out in Montreal, will explore how the latest digital technologies can help health professionals and patients with comorbidities multiple to continue their treatment plan at home, and this, with the aim of reducing readmissions to the hospital.

This project will target in a first-time patients who suffer from congestive heart failure and diabetes.

“The problem with these people is that the protocols of care related to each of these co-morbidities sometimes collide, and there is even the (overlap), said the project manager, dr. François Tournoux, who is a cardiologist and researcher at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal.

“It creates great difficulties with respect to their support, in particular in the community because the doctors and nurses first-line have a hard time navigating through all of these protocols of care that are sometimes very specialized. And at the present time, they do not have the tools necessary to see perfectly clear.”

The needs appear real. At least one Quebecer in five over the age of 40 years will be faced with the heart failure once in his life, said dr Tournoux, representing about 160 000 people in the province.

“This is a population that consumes a lot of care, which has a lot of symptoms, which has a quality of life degraded, and that is often réhospitalisée, he said. We also know that this is a population that is suffering from multiple co-morbidities: diabetes, chronic lung disease, renal failure, etc”

The purpose of the new platform – which has been developed by the CRCHUM and partners like Greybox, MEDTEQ, and Boehringer Ingelheim – is to allow the patient to play a more active role in the care of his health.

A patient who suffers with both diabetes and renal failure and heart failure, for example, could never navigate through the three different platforms of care on his cell phone.

“We want to launch a platform that will take the patient load in its entirety, the doctor explained Tournoux. It will allow the patient to monitor (…) at home, not only for its heart failure, but also for its other co-morbidities, in the case in this project, the diabetes.”

The platform will be launched in early 2020 with a fifty patients of the CHUM. It will then be subject to a multicentre study with 300 patients.

Two facets

It will be composed of two facets, one for patients and one for health professionals.

“The platform has a facet dedicated to patients, said dr. Tournoux. The patient will have the opportunity to take (…) measures blood pressure, weight, how it feels today, her blood glucose level, etc, and it will have access to an arsenal of educational products to learn how to better understand his illness, and therefore to manage it better and to empower them in its follow-up. It will also have the opportunity to receive information directly from her health care team, and possibly share with their nurse or doctor.”

The health professionals will on their side to follow the evolution of the state of the patient, for example by monitoring the vital parameters that the patient will be enrolled.

“The platform will also support health professionals to offer care protocols adjusted to the profile of the patient, said the doctor Tournoux. We’re really talking about of medicine that is personalized. As the patient evolves, the platform is also evolving.”

It therefore seeks to limit all of these visits, which are sometimes achievable remotely, and easily, and thus reduce the economic and social burden for the patient.

“The goal is that the patient is the more observing possible, as well as their medication as in the change of his habits of life, concluded dr. Tournoux. Ultimately, one wants that the patient is of a tele-monitoring to self-monitoring. We really want to that the patient undertakes in support of his illness, that it is no longer just a spectator but an actor of his support.”

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