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Innovation in remote patient monitoring

The device, produced by startup Current, analyzes real-time health data. It has been used in a pilot to assess the health of patients who have been discharged from hospital.

Some patients, based on their health at the time of discharge, require home visits by healthcare staff in order to monitor for any relapse and to determine of any additional health services are required. These services are often called ‘Hospital at Home. Such visits take time and resources, requiring healthcare professionals to travel around cities, towns and rural areas to make assessments.

The idea behind the new device from Current is to collect ‘vital signs’ data and to send this remotely to a health facility. Based on the information collected, it should be possible for health authorities to determine which patients are healthy and therefore do no need visits, and conversely which patients require a home visit.

This was what became possible with the Current project. By using the collected data Dartford and Gravesham clinicians were able to reprioritize home visits to patients based on criticality. The effect of the pilot led to a 22 percent reduction in home visits. This helped to free up skilled nursing time and resources.

The device is worn on upper arm and a signal is sent wirelessly, sending data about the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The data is analysed by an artificial intelligence platform, which indicates whether a patient requires a medical assessment.

With the pilot, each patient was sent home with two Current devices, a hub and charger, with the hub providing the WiFi service. The typical set-up time was two minutes.

Commenting on the project, Dartford and Gravesham Chief Information Officer Neil Perry stated: “The value of Current was demonstrated in our very first patient – a chronically unwell patient who suffered a decline in oxygen saturation, which Current detected sooner than standard care would have caught it, letting us intervene earlier and in the patient’s home.”

He added: “With Current, we’ve seen the ability to deliver intervention at a far earlier point and prevent hospital readmission.”

Current (formerly snap40) was founded in 2015 by software engineers, Christopher McCann and Stewart Whiting, with the goal of producing digital health technology to address preventable death. The company has raised over $10 million from investors ADV, MMC Ventures and others.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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