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Collaboration between industry and clinic behind new app for home monitoring

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Using a new iPhone app, patients in the Region of Southern Denmark with high blood pressure (hypertension) can avoid having to attend the outpatient clinic at Odense University Hospital and take their own mandatory blood pressure readings at home or work.

By Jacob Ernstved-Rasmussen, Communication Advisor, Region of Southern Denmark 

Greater efficiency at work and more quality time with the family. These are the benefits for a number of patients with hypertension in the Region of Southern Denmark taking part in a new project, ‘My case’, a test of home monitoring via an iPhone. 

The test started in the spring of 2016 using technology developed by local IT specialists MedWare in collaboration with Apple and CoLab Odense (a partnership between Odense University Hospital (OUH) and the City of Odense). The solution developed makes it possible for the patient to use Apple’s ‘Health’ app (standard on all recent Apple products), to transfer regular blood pressure readings to their ‘My case’ folder.

The patient can take the readings at home or during a break at work, saving those in employment and those who have to travel some distance both time and money to make the trip to the outpatient clinic at Odense University Hospital. 

Rapid access to patients 

- ‘My case’ is an excellent example of user-driven innovation. We have a number of ideas on how many problems facing healthcare in the future can be solved by innovation and the use of modern technology. That makes partnering with CoLab Odense a major benefit for us, as it means rapid access to our market – the patient – for whom our products are designed to make life easier at the end of the day, says Jacob Glasdam, Partner in MedWare. 

Much of the development process has focused on secure access from Apple’s Health app to the ‘My case’ app. The link between them gives healthcare professionals access to the readings the patients take themselves. During the test, Apple products will be used, but the technology behind ‘My case’ is designed for the future, and to be used with non-Apple products and for other patient groups as well. 

Issued with an iPhone 

Patients taking part in ‘My case’ are all issued with an Apple iPhone (if they do not already have one of their own) and the equipment needed to measure their blood pressure. The blood pressure monitor is connected to their iPhone, and when blood pressure has been measured, the data is saved in the Apple Health app. The patient then determines which readings doctors and nurses will have access to. They can download the data via ‘My case’ to the patient’s electronic patient journal, EPJ. 

- Given the future scenario with fewer beds and an ageing population, we need new welfare technology and innovative products able to let the patient be treated to a greater degree at home to the extent they can manage themselves. In many instances, quality of life will be improved, as they will be able to manage part of their treatment at home or during a break at work, explains Peder Jest, Medical Director at Odense University Hospital.

He adds that the basic approach to the project has always been that self-monitoring, when the patient collects and reports data, should be considered to a greater degree, as it can often be beneficial during contact with medical personnel before, during and after treatment. 

CoLab Odense paves the way

To realise a project like ‘My case’ with home monitoring, the kind of partnership ensured by CoLab Odense is essential.

- We can work across and between hospital and municipal health service sectors. That’s a major advantage for all concerned, not least private enterprises, where in this instance we can help bring technology from MedWare out to the end-user and patient, whilst ensuring that the data needed is circulated between medical personnel, the local authority and patient, says Mette Damkjær Syse, Managing Director of CoLab Odense. 

The project is expected to run for six months and is intended to cut the treatment time for hypertension patients in half, whilst helping them live a normal life with work and family without having to attend hospital or visit their doctor for regular checkups. 

Facts on CoLab 

CoLab Denmark is a partnership model designed to act as a bridge between the private and public sectors (in the form of local authorities, hospitals and general practice) to develop solutions to the problems faced by the health services.

CoLab Denmark consists of six local units spread around the Region of Southern Denmark: five research teams and a technical test environment set up according to national standards. The five research teams are based in the region’s five hospital units and the surrounding local authorities. They each work on their own theme and specialise within their own area. CoLab Denmark brings private enterprise into direct contact with healthcare provision and a shorter route to market. 

More details on CoLab Denmark at www.colab-denmark.dk.

Supported by

Welfare Tech is funded by The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation under the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Syddansk Vækstforum (regional development fund) and The European Regional Development Fund.

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