Objectives of the service
SatNav E@syCare is a telemonitoring system, including mobile Apps and a web-based application that enables medical staff to monitor at distance chronic and frail patients, according to personalized healthcare plans. This solution meets the requirements of the Chronic Care Model, allowing also to optimize and make easier the monitoring of patients by multi-disciplinary care teams. The aim of the system is to support the medical staff with updated data about heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc., thus moving from a medicine of emergency to a scalable and proactive healthcare model. Moreover, positioning information allows a fine tracking of physical activity, and violation detection of movement restrictions (e.g. during lockdown situations) and reconstruction of visited places during virus outbreaks.
The system allows to manage a large number of patients per doctor, enabling a frequent assessment of the clinical status, mainly based on patients’ self-measurements. This results in the possibility to detect early signs of aggravation and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and related costs. Moreover, it provides an empowerment of the patient, allowing him/her to actively participate in the care process, with also benefit in the perceived quality of life. In a pandemic scenario, this also minimizes the risk of infection for medical staff.
Users and their needs
The out-of-hospital management of chronic/frail patients requires a lot of resources and is often facing overload conditions that leads to ineffective services: avoidable hospitalization and related costs, worsening of patients’ quality of life, etc. Moreover, patients have often problems to reach the medical facilities, especially due to illness or age. Indeed, considering a pandemic, medical personnel is at high risk of contagious, while medical visits should be delayed thus increasing the ineffectiveness of the service. Moreover, the position tracking of patients at risk/infected is an important countermeasure for administrators to contrast the pandemic and isolate outbreaks.
The SatNav E@syCare solution answers the needs of three categories of users:
- Healthcare authorities have the possibility to optimize resources and personnel allocation for territory services. Additionally, they have a tool to detect movement restriction violations and track visited places.
- Medical personnel can monitor at distance patients assignee of Home kits, reducing risk of contagious and allowing to detect and treat early signs of aggravation before they require hospitalization. They also can exploit Professional kits for non-delayable visits on the territory.
- Patients can receive more efficient healthcare services staying at home.
Targeted users for the pilot-demonstration belong to Northern-Western area of Tuscany region.
Service/ system concept
SatNav E@syCare product suite allows to easily acquire patients’ vital parameters and signs through a large set of Bluetooth medical-qualified sensors, wearable and mobile devices, and to share all relevant data in secure way, without time and distance barriers, among medical personnel involved in the patients’ care. Besides vital signs, also lifestyle information and questionnaire are supported. The wide degree of flexibility makes this solution suitable to monitor patients affected by cardiovascular, pulmonary and metabolic diseases.
The Home monitoring kit is for patients’ self-measurement and automatic transmission of vital parameters and lifestyle information, according to the personalized activity plan.
The Professional kit supports the healthcare operator during home visits to the patients in charge, or allows to manage multiple patients within the same healthcare facility.
Each monitoring kit consists of a tablet with dedicated App and a set of biomedical sensors (i.e. blood pressure monitor, thermometer and pulsoximeter in the pilot-demonstration). Furthermore, Home kits include a smartwatch to track position and outdoor activities.
The Cloud application is a multi-profile and multi-access web platform, with repository functionality, for the management of the enrolment, the definition of activity plans and the remote monitoring of patients by medical personnel.
Space Added Value
SatNav E@syCare uses the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to provide an important added value both to face COVID-19 outbreak challenges but also in the mid/long term to allow a monitoring of a patient at 360 degrees including his/her physical outdoor activity besides the traditional vital signs (e.g. heart rate, blood pressure, body mass, temperature, etc.).
In particular, the integration of geo-localization information in a medical certified telemonitoring suite enhances its current monitoring and detection functionalities with:
- Position Tracking of people which have been prescribed with restrictive measures because infected by COVID-19 or because came in contact with people with COVID-19
- Cross-Validation of position where measurements have been acquired vs residence address of the patient
- Data analysis to find correlation between the spread of a particular disease or virus and a specific geographical areas
- Fine tracking of outdoor exercise and physical activity, often prescribed as a complement to the standard vital signals monitoring and drug therapy
Kicked-off in June 2020, the SatNav E@syCare demonstration project was successfully concluded in December 2021, following a 10-month pilot demonstration campaign. During the pilot trials, the service demonstrated its added value facing COVID 19 pandemics through the support to the work of doctors. After an initial period of low use of the system due to technical reasons, a number of new features were developed based on inputs from the doctors’ groups to fit the new deployment model. This resulted in an extensive use of the system during the pilot. 2329 patients were monitored through the SatNav E@syCare system, with a total of 16734 visits and 42382 measurements acquired. Moreover, a really positive feedback was collected from the users groups. Health professionals indeed stated that the features of the service significantly simplified their work in various aspects, from patient monitoring to the organizational point of view, also producing a saving of time of at least 1 to 3 hours daily. Based on these results, the local health authority, Azienda USL Toscana Nord Ovest, who was involved in the pilot demonstration, is considering the possibility to integrate the service on a permanent basis.