Technology helps keep COVID-19 patients at home under close monitoring

COVID-19 at home

You can get just about anything delivered these days, including nearly everything you might need to treat yourself for COVID-19 from home.

Technology is making that possible for Mayo Clinic’s coronavirus patients.

Dr. Tufia Haddad is the medical director for the Center for Connected Care’s Remote Patient Monitoring.

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“It’s a very unsettling diagnosis, so when patients know that they are being monitored by a team of nurses and physicians, and they’re being digitally connected, that takes away some of the fears,” said Haddad.

If you’re a high-risk patient, meaning you have underlying health conditions, you would get a cellular-enabled tablet plus devices like a blood pressure cuff, thermometer, weigh scale and a pulse oximeter.

Plus, you would need to log your symptoms two to four times a day.

“Anytime that a patient is reporting new or worsening symptoms, or if any of their vital sign parameters are out of range or trending adversely, that will prompt an automated alert to our remote patient monitoring nurses,” said Haddad.

And in some cases, you can video chat with a nurse.

Low-risk patients don’t get as much equipment. Instead, they get their care through the Mayo Clinic app, which sends them notifications when it’s time to check-in.

Some see this as the future of medicine. But during a pandemic, the program also works twofold. It helps keep COVID-19 patients at home isolating while still being closely monitored.

“As one patient described it, ‘an angel on her shoulders,’ just having that care team monitoring so closely.”

Mayo Clinic said every case is evaluated to see if the patient qualifies for the remote patient monitoring program.