Home Hospital or Virtual Ward
A home hospital or virtual ward is like a physical hospital ward but the patient is monitored at home, supported by hospital and community healthcare professionals and sleeps in their own bed. Patients can be referred to a home hospital or virtual ward by their consultant or GP if they need monitoring. The patient is set up with medical grade wearable biometric sensors for their condition. The patient data is transmitted from the sensors to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The app then relays the patient data via Wi-Fi or 4G to the medical team monitoring the patient.
What types of patient cohorts are suitable for home hospital?
Chronic Illness Management Patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be managed at home. Remote monitoring of vital signs and regular virtual check-ins allow healthcare providers to intervene early if issues arise.
The types of biometric sensors that would typically be given to a COPD patient might include a Blood Pressure Monitor, Pulse Oximeter (BP, HR, O2 saturation), Lung Monitor, Thermometer. The patient would be shown how to wear and connect these devices to the smartphone app and data would be automatically transmitted to the app from the sensor.
Respiratory Conditions Patients with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic bronchitis, can be monitored at home. Home hospital solutions can track respiratory parameters and provide early alerts for any deterioration in the patient’s condition.
The types of biometric sensors given to a respiratory patient might include a Blood Pressure Monitor, Pulse Oximeter and Lung Monitor. The home hospital can enable the monitoring of the patient’s respiration, oxygen saturation and heart rate and any parameter settings exceeded will give an alarm which can then be investigated.
Cardiac Care Individuals with cardiac issues, such as heart failure or post-heart surgery patients, can benefit from home hospital solutions. Monitoring vital signs and cardiac parameters remotely allows for early detection of potential issues.
The types of biometric sensors that would typically be given to a cardiac patient might include a Blood Pressure Monitor, Pulse Oximeter, Wearable ECG, Heart Rate and Weighing Scales. Apart from blood pressure and heart rate monitoring, daily weighing is a common practice in cardiac care, especially for patients with heart failure. It can help in assessing diuretic responses as weight changes reflect fluid status – this can provides an early warning system for fluid accumulation through the home hospital.
Frail/Elderly Patients Home hospital solutions are well-suited for elderly patients who may have multiple chronic conditions or mobility issues. Continuous monitoring and virtual check-ins enhance their ability to age in place while receiving necessary healthcare support.
The types of biometric sensors that would typically be given to a frail patient might include a Blood Pressure Monitor, Pulse Oximeter, Falls/Motion Detector and Thermometer.
Community Care In a Community Virtual Ward, healthcare services are designed to be delivered in a decentralized manner, reaching patients within their local communities. This model emphasizes proactive, community-based care and aims to improve health outcomes, prevent hospital admissions, and enhance the overall well-being of individuals.
Some biometric sensors might include a Blood Pressure Monitor, Pulse Oximeter, Glucose Monitor (Diabetes), Thermometer, Lung Monitor, CoaguChek (Blood Clotting) depending on the issues involved.
Maternity Care Expectant mothers and postpartum women can benefit from home hospital solutions for remote monitoring during pregnancy, as well as for postpartum care. Monitoring vital signs, fetal movements, and providing postpartum support can be done effectively at home.
The types of biometric sensors for remote pregnancy monitoring might include a Blood Pressure Monitor, Foetal Monitoring, Glucose Monitor (Diabetes), Pulse Oximeter and Thermometer.
How are patients managed in a Virtual Ward?
Typically, a virtual ward includes following steps for patient management
Patient Identification and onboarding Healthcare providers assess patients based on criteria such as medical history, risk of readmission, and ongoing medical needs. Identified patients are referred and onboarded to the virtual ward. During onboarding, patients receive relevant sensors and training.
Care Planning and Coordination A multidisciplinary healthcare team, including physicians, nurses, social workers, and other professionals, collaborates to create a personalized care plan for each patient. The care plan is tailored to address the specific health needs and goals of the individual.
Remote Monitoring and Telehealth Healthcare professionals utilize a web-based software platform to remotely monitor patients’ vital signs and health metrics. The platform allows the healthcare professionals to engage with patients via video calls, chat, questionnaires etc.
Medication Management and Medical Notes The healthcare team makes adjustments to care plans and medications based on the patient’s progress. Medical notes are regularly added to the patient’s profile, ensuring a comprehensive record of their healthcare journey.
Home Visits, Community Support and Emergency response In some cases, healthcare professionals may conduct home visits to assess the patient’s living conditions, provide education on managing health at home, and offer additional support. Virtual Wards also develop plans for emergency situations, outlining steps to be taken in case of a health crisis.
Discharge or escalation Patients are discharged from the Virtual Ward and, if applicable, sensors are collected when they are deemed well by the healthcare team. In some cases, patients may be escalated to a specialist for further evaluation and care.
What are the general benefits of a home hospital?
The Virtual Ward model emphasises proactive, patient-centred care with continuous monitoring, telehealth engagement, and timely interventions. This approach ensures that patients receive comprehensive support tailored to their unique health requirements, promoting overall well-being and reducing the likelihood of hospital readmissions.
RedZinc’s BlueEye Virtual Ward is an integrated platform for the efficient delivery of home hospital services. BlueEye Virtual Ward consists of various types of wearable sensors, each tailored to support specific virtual wards, a mobile app for patient engagement, and a software platform for patient management and remote monitoring by the healthcare team.
Contact us today at email@example.com to discuss BlueEye virtual ward.