Remote gateways and Device Cloud enable secure visibility to patient health warning signs.
Digi International (NASDAQ: DGII) today announced that Almerys, a subsidiary of Orange Business Services, uses the ConnectPort® X3, Digi TransPort® WR41 and Device Cloud by Etherios™ to add wireless functionality to its cardiology telehealth pilot project in the Auvergne region of France.
Dr. Jean Cassagnes M.D., cardiologist and medical director at Cardiauvergne, said:
“The early warning and resulting swift responses associated in monitoring weight loss in patients have helped us avert 600 health crises, and in some critical cases, helped us save lives.”
For patients suffering from heart disease, changes in body weight are a crucial indicator of their health and response to treatment. While remote monitoring for patient weight warning signs to avert emergency hospitalization is a simple solution, it improves patient outcomes and has massive cost-saving implications for health care systems worldwide.
Since the Cardiauvergne project began in September 2011, 315 patients have been monitored and Cardiauvergne has responded to 600 alarms. Patient information is sent to a Central Coordination Unit, which liaises with pharmacies, emergency services, and to the patient’s designated mobile nurse who can access data via a smartphone. Response actions facilitated by the project have ranged from calling the patient, sending in a nurse or doctor, or in critical cases, arranging emergency hospitalization.
The core solution uses a weighing scale connected to a ConnectPort X3 wireless gateway to record and transmit patient data to the Central Coordination Unit. Many of the pilot’s patients reside in rural areas with limited Internet infrastructure and no 3G or RTT network, in which case the Digi TransPort WR41 router is also used to transfer the weight data via the fixed line network. The gateway and router form a communication link via cellular networks that allows the solution to operate “out-of-the-box” wherever it is placed. Because the communication protocol used does not depend on an Internet connection, the solution can easily be scaled.
Almerys uses Device Cloud to manage the gateways and routers as part of the project. Robert Boualit, project manager of Almerys Health Division explains:
“A cloud solution was ideal for our pilot project as there were no associated infrastructure costs and the platform is easily scalable as we expand to other regions. Using the cloud to manage our devices kept our development costs low.”
“By combining Almerys’ health care technology expertise and Digi’s M2M technology proficiency, we have created a solution that enables machines to transmit information in order to facilitate health care decision-making,” said Joel Young, senior vice president of research and development and CTO of Digi International.
“The project is a great example of how M2M technology can help hospitals collect, share and use patient data to reduce cost and improve quality of care.”