Intel-GE Care Innovations' telehealth monitoring device, Guide, has been found effective in an Italian pilot study conducted at Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione (ISMETT) hospital in post-liver transplant patients.
The telehealth monitoring device features an integrated camera, microphone and speakers for interactive video conferences to monitor patients from their homes and provide face-to-face support.
The Italian study was funded as part of a project called Piano Sanitario Nazionale 2010 (assistenza domiciliare), sponsored by the hospital planning service of the Region of Sicily's Department of Health.
The aim of the study is to improve the quality of life of patients, to provide physicians with the necessary information to monitor patients' conditions regularly and to minimise healthcare costs due to shorter hospital stays and continued monitoring.
To-date, 26 Sicilian liver transplant patients have received care using the Guide for at least three months during their post-transplant follow-up and found that telehealth monitoring enabled nurses and physicians to support patients from their homes, with the ability to check their general condition, collect biometric data and manage treatment.
ISMETT reported that the new model of care can be effective even for patients with particular and complex clinical conditions, such as liver transplant patients in the immediate post-operative period, when they need to be constantly connected to their healthcare team.
ISMETT Department of Medicine head Giovanni Vizzini said telehealth enables a two-way dialogue between patients and the healthcare staff, making patients feel better monitored and allowing them to ask for immediate support.
"Our preliminary results are very encouraging. As a whole, the study will involve 100 liver transplant patients and we hope that in the near future we'll be able to extend this service to lung transplant patients and VAD patients," Vizzini added.
Image: The Guide telehealth monitoring device will help physicians screen post-liver transplant patients from their homes, minimising healthcare costs. Photo courtesy of: Intel-GE Care Innovations.