Pilot program to provide innovative healthcare solutions to SLMHC patients
Tim Brody - Associate Editor
The Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) is taking part in a first of its kind in Ontario, automated remote patient monitoring pilot program.
Partnering with iUGO Care by Reliq Health Technologies, the program will allow 20 Sioux Lookout Diabetes Program patients living in remote First Nation communities to be monitored by their circle of care team without having to leave their homes.
In many cases, it could be as easy as the touch of a button.
Giancarlo De Lio, Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) for iUGO Care, explained the program will use the existing cellular network, along with either smart devices or Bluetooth enabled biometric devices, such as blood pressure and blood glucose monitors, to transmit patient’s data.
De Lio said an App, available for both Apple and Android devices, will allow patients to receive audible reminders to take their medications and measure their vitals.
He said data collected in their home is automatically uploaded to the secure iUGO Care cloud where it is available to all members of the patient’s circle of care.
He added patients and families can use iUGO Care to access educational videos, review self-care instructions and contact care team members through secure messaging or virtual visits.
Chris Young, SLMHC clinical informatics specialist, said he came across the idea of serving patients in this manner in April of 2016 while attending a telehealth conference in the United States, where he came across the iUGO booth and discovered they were an Ontario company.
After returning to Sioux Lookout, he spoke with SLMHC president and CEO Heather Lee about the possibilities for the technology.
A funding proposal was submitted and SLHMC was awarded the pilot.
The funding for the program is coming from the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist (OCHIS) and is being administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).
Lee commented, “I think from a hospital perspective, one of the four priorities in our strategic plan is innovation and partnerships. This is a really good example of both.
“It’s important that as a hospital we reach out to our partners to try and find innovative solutions that help improve care for patients. We know that access for a lot of our clients to the healthcare system can be quite difficult and not easily accessed from home. This is a really good example of how we can access care from home for our patients and still be able to support them through our diabetes program, so I think it’s a really courageous and innovative opportunity and we’re really quite pleased to be partnered with the ministry and Reliq and OCE.”
The pilot program will start in January and run for six months.