Telecom Italia and the San Giovanni Battista University Hospital of Turin (Molinette Hospital) have signed a year-long agreement to run trials of Telecom Italia’s MyDoctor@Home distance monitoring system. The trial, which is being run with patients suffering from chronic conditions, will assess benefits in terms of improving patient quality of life and optimizing hospital healthcare costs. The new service, that for the first time in Italy enables distance monitoring automatically via mobile phone, uses a technology platform developed by Telecom Italia. The system is user-friendly, and may be used anywhere in Italy over the mobile network.
Under the agreement, the Molinette Home Hospital unit - run by Doctor Nicoletta Aimonino Ricauda - and the Oncological and Biomedical Techniques Surgery Department - run by Doctor Claudio Zanon - will be able to monitor constantly the physiological parameters of their patients at home reducing the number of home visits carried out by specialist personnel. Patients will be able to measure a number of parameters (bodyweight, blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, glycemia, spirometry and electrocardiogram tests) using portable devices and, for the first time, automatically send the results to their hospital department via their mobile phone.
The system leverages a technology platform developed by Telecom Italia that is configured on the patient’s and dedicated nursing staff’s mobile phone. In accordance with their doctor’s treatment plan, patients receive reminders on their phone to take measurements, they take them using portable devices equipped with Bluetooth interfaces and automatically dispatch the results to the platform over the mobile phone network. Clinicians can access the platform from networked personal computers, control how treatment is going remotely, and at any moment take corrective action giving immediately communication to the patient. Similarly, during home visits, nursing personnel can send clinical information to the ward doctor from the patient’s home, and instantly receive medical records and instructions, speeding up both diagnosis and treatment.
The trial, which is also being run in partnership with the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella, is initially restricted to a small number of geriatric patients over a two-month period, before being gradually rolled out to a larger number of patients over an eight-month period. The aim of the trial is to reduce the incidence of rehospitalization, improve patient quality of life, and optimize healthcare spending.
Turin, 21 November, 2008