Healthcare Technology Featured Article

April 05, 2021

During the Pandemic, Remote Patient Monitoring Took on New Meaning for Doctors


When the COVID-19 pandemic began, no industry was hit more drastically than the healthcare industry. Experts and organizations across the industry had to manage both the enormous volume of COVID patients, while also having to make sure patients with other medical issues could be treated and monitored in a socially distant fashion.

As the pandemic continued, the adoption of telehealth by the industry quickly became the solution healthcare experts were looking for, leading to an increased use of devices that specialize in remote patient monitoring that allow patients and physicians to be more connected than ever.

Now, even with an end to the pandemic in sight, telehealth isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, with devices such as the Link+ from LiveCare becoming more commonly used across the healthcare industry every day.

The Link+ is the very first Smart Home Medical Gateway. It is uniquely designed to connect the elderly population with their HealthCare providers. The Link+ collects vital data automatically from all the home medical devices & other home sensors. 

A 34G-enabled smart home gateway that integrates key medical devices in a patient’s home through a proprietary, touch-free device, the Link+ overcomes the challenges of remote patient monitoring deployment through a simple, user-friendly interface that allows chronic care patients and their providers to easily and safely exchange information.

The Link+ does not need to be connected to a WiFi network to fully operate, as it is always connected to the cellular network. Once the patient or physician activates the Link+, it will automatically start to transmit data to the LiveCare’s HIPAA-compliant cloud, where physicians can access the data whenever necessary.

The Link+ can also automatically send an alert or start a video call to a provider or healthcare center in the case of a decline in a patient's health.

 LiveCare Founder&CEO, Peri Avitan, who has spent 18 years in the remote patient monitoring industry, developed the Link+ when he recognized the shortcomings of current telehealth technology, and wanted to ease some of the burden carried by healthcare professionals.

“Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, specialist, healthcare navigator, a visiting nurse, or a professional caregiver, having this data at your fingertips saves an enormous amount of time,” Peri said. “Ultimately this is a productivity tool that also collects incredibly valuable data that the healthcare technology industry can use to analyze and understand trends in the aggregate.”

While the Link+ has a vast amount of potential for the future of healthcare, many experts already found the device extremely effective, adopting the technology during the COVID-19 pandemic to monitor patients safely and remotely.

“Our patients love the fact that we are now continuously monitoring their vital signs as opposed to episodic, in-person evaluations,” said Dr. Ilyayev, CEO and founder of MyHouseVisit, a healthcare organization that specializes in House-call for elderly home-bound patients. “They also love the fact that we use the Link+ device to talk to them via video when needed. If we see an abnormal value from one of our patients, it is so easy to dial out, speak to the patient through the Link+ video interface, and provide them with instructions on what they need to do.”

Ilyayev also stated that Link+, specifically the pulse oximeter, has been extra valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some research has found that a drop in blood oxygen levels is an early marker of potential COVID-19 infection, so Ilyayev and the MyHouseVisit.com team has been more closely monitoring its patients’ blood oxygen levels to proactively identify those patients who require immediate check-ins and potentially be tested for COVID-19.

“The data that we get from the Link+ is extremely well organized and presented clearly,” noted Ilyayev. “This saves us time in trying to figure out the trends in a patient’s blood pressure, weight, or oxygen saturation levels, all of which are normally crucial, and even more so during the pandemic.”

Dr. Charles Saha, who is board-certified and licensed in the State of New York in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopies, and the American Gastroenterological Association and the American College of Physicians, also made use of the Link+ during the pandemic.
 

“Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Link+ has been extremely valuable for our practice,” said Saha when asked if using the Link+ has had a positive impact on his practice. “Our patients feel like they are still a part of our practice. Even though they may not be able to physically come into our office, they know that we are watching and monitoring their health in case a serious issue arises. It’s been a real sense of comfort for our patients.”

Dr. Saha has noted how the data collected by the Link+ gives him access to health trends he may have never been able to notice before.

“One interesting thing we’ve found is that we’ve had some patients whose blood pressure may be high during their visit to our office when they are nervous or tense, but it becomes normal when they get back home and stays that way when they are more relaxed in their own setting. That has allowed us to pull back on some medications.”

Today, even as vaccines start to roll out and become available to larger portions of the population, LiveCare is leading the way for remote patient monitoring into the 21st century with the Link+.

Having made such a positive, lasting impact in such a quick time, the Link+ will continue to be used by healthcare experts even once the pandemic officially comes to a close.

“With a remote monitoring process in place, our expectation is that some of our frail, elderly, Medicare patients won’t need to come into our office as frequently as they used to,” Saha said. “The Covid-19 pandemic has made things a little more challenging in figuring out how we’re going to incorporate the data we collect during the course of a normal week, but based upon our current experience, we certainly plan to expand the use of the system to include all of our Medicare patients in the near future.”




Edited by Maurice Nagle






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