People with COVID-19 are typically advised to self-isolate for two weeks, with some patients needing comprehensive home care. Mayo Clinic's Center for Connected Care originally designed its Remote Patient Monitoring Program to be used for patients with chronic conditions. Now it has adapted the model for patients with COVID-19.
Quarantined Mayo Clinic patients participating in the Remote Patient Monitoring Program receive medical devices they use to screen and electronically transmit their vital signs. A team of remote nurses regularly monitors the patients’ health assessment data and contacts the patients if their conditions worsen, or if they may require support.
How the Remote Patient Monitoring Program Works
Mayo’s Remote Patient Monitoring Program serves two categories of patients:
Patients who are at moderate to high risk for complications are given remote patient monitoring kits with blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, pulse oximeters, and a scale. Two to four times a day, patients use these devices to screen and process their vital signs to Mayo Clinic through the tablets they receive with their kits. Mayo’s Patient Monitoring nurses monitor these vital signs and call patients to ask if if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea.
Patients who are at low risk for complications monitor their conditions each day through the Mayo Clinic app. They receive a daily alert reminding them to provide their health assessments to their Mayo Patient Monitoring team.
What Is Remote Monitoring?
Remote patient monitoring allows physicians and healthcare facilities to track outpatient progress in real time. Caregivers also use this technology for geriatric wellness monitoring. Devices used for remote patient monitoring include wearable fitness trackers, smart watches, ECG monitors, blood pressure monitors, and glucose monitors for diabetes. Collected data is electronically transmitted to the patient’s doctors for assessment and recommendations.
Benefits of this technology include:
Remote care reduces burden for healthcare practitioners and healthcare organizations.
Hospitals and clinics save on operational costs by reducing readmissions, staff engagement, and in-person visits.
Remote patient devices enable early detection of deterioration and comorbidities, thereby reducing emergency visits, hospitalizations, and the duration of hospital stays.
According to the Financial Times, remote patient technology could save the U.S. a total of $6 billion per year. A more recent scientific report calculated $361 in savings per patient per day, or around $13,713 in total savings per patient per year.
Mayo Clinic’s Remote Patient Monitoring Program has reduced its caseload from 800 Covid patients to 350 patients with intensive needs. These patients were connected to 1-2 physicians per shift who monitored their symptoms and escalated care as needed.
One such patient reported:
“[This program] was our lifeline…. It just took some of that fear away, because we knew that there was somebody still there taking care of us with our vital signs. It motivated us to do better on getting well.”
The Impact of Google Cloud
Mayo Clinic uses Google Cloud and Google Health to positively transform patient and clinician experiences, improve diagnostics and patient outcomes, and conduct innovative clinical research. In addition to building its data platform on Google Cloud, Mayo uses Google Health to create machine-learning models for assessing symptoms of serious and complex diseases.