Technology bring new lease of life for heart patients

BT TelehealthPatients in the Wakefield district suffering from chronic heart failure are taking part in an innovative trial that allows them to manage their condition from home.

The trial - being run by BT and Wakefield District Community Healthcare Services - uses an interactive personal health system called the Intel Health Guide to monitor patients remotely.

This device allows patients to record important information about their health including vital signs such as blood pressure, oxygen levels and weight. These can then be sent over the patient’s broadband line for analysis by their community nurse without them having to visit a clinic.

The benefit of the system is that nurses can more easily monitor early warning signs that a patient’s health may be deteriorating and proactively respond to their patients’ needs.

Wakefield patient David Ward, aged 69, had a heart bypass 12 years ago and says the interactive health system has given him a new lease of life.

Mr Ward said: “Obviously I owe my life to the cardiology team at Dewsbury and District Hospital who fitted a defibrillator with pacemaker last year. But this system has given me the confidence to lead as normal life as possible with my heart condition.”

BT Health’s chief clinical officer, Dr Justin Whatling, said: “The remote monitoring of patients, or telehealth, is of strategic importance to the health sector as chronic conditions place increasing pressure on its resources. There is a pressing need to shift the emphasis to self-care and lower the cost of health care. The Wakefield trial demonstrates how the patient can benefit in terms of quality of life and the community nurse can work more effectively. "

“For BT and Intel this is particularly exciting. We are both major players in the health IT market and are working together to deliver telehealth solutions to the market."