It is safe to say there are particular issues around health care for people living with a disability that are more acute and compounded for rural, regional and remote communities. The demand for disability services under the NDIS, tyranny of distance, social isolation, a lack of transport rendering people reliant on others to get to medical appointments, are just a few.
With these issues in mind, LiveBetter, in partnership with Philips Healthcare, is piloting an innovative remote health monitoring system (RHMS) to support and improve the quality of life of people living with disabilities and chronic illness in rural, regional and remote communities.
The system uses technology and daily health monitoring for early detection and illness prevention, resulting in better health outcomes for the individual, along with a reduction in hospital presentations, reduced visits to a GP and peace of mind particularly for carers. A similar pilot in Queensland resulted in a 53% reduction in Emergency Department presentations over a two-year period, creating huge savings for the economy.
LiveBetter’s Remote Health Services lead Ben Chiarella said one of the main goals of the service is to give people back control of their health and wellbeing.
“The impact of this is that it allows people to live longer independently in their own homes,” he said.
Daily results, including blood sugar level, heart rate, blood pressure, weight, temperature and more, are securely transmitted and reviewed by a Registered Nurse located in LiveBetter’s clinical hub which tracks and monitors to determine if there is any variation in a customer’s health. A follow up call for further assessment is then made if a change is noted.
A Registered Nurse is also able to communicate via a video call providing health coaching, guidance, links to a customer’s General Practitioner, specialists and carers, with another advantage of the system being it is a portable health record, allowing people to travel and take the system with them.
“The service has no boundaries, allowing people with a disability to go on holidays knowing they have their registered nurse and GP supporting them wherever they are in Australia,” said Mr Chiarella.
LiveBetter Pilot participant Ron has multiple chronic conditions including congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and anxiety that impact on one another resulting in frequent hospitalisation and GP visits.
After six months using RHMS daily, he has seen a significant improvement in self-management and health literacy, and a subsequent reduction in anxiety, social isolation and hospital presentations. The impact on his quality of life has been significant and he now can travel to visit family knowing he can manage his conditions while away.
LiveBetter has developed three different service offerings depending on a person’s needs and journey through the disability and ageing process. The service will be invaluable to those living in the country, and could be used in supported accommodation, community groups and independently from wherever you live.
The RHMS will allow people to have more control over when and how services are delivered to them and for carers to make more informed caring decisions. For more information about LiveBetter’s RHMS please contact Ben Chiarella on 1800 580 580.