We were approached back in October by the team at South Tees Hospital Trust and Tees Valley CCG to help them develop a remote monitoring solution for COVID patients.

The trust knew they needed to manage the flow of COVID patients and work smartly to ensure that the surge of patients expected in the winter could be cared for safely. By setting up a virtual ward, more patients can be cared for beyond the hospital’s physical capability.

Many hospitals were looking at developing remote solutions to cope with the demand on hospital services, by providing some basic training to suitable patients so that they could take a number of readings at home.

The trust is one of our shareholder partners and look to us to help them develop this type of remote monitoring. The advantage of them coming to us is that we can help them develop the product, and then share that across our region under our licence agreement, and beyond to the rest of the country. Initially our business analyst, Caroline worked with the trust to develop the product specification. Once the project kicked off, I stepped in and worked with the trust on a day-to-day basis to take it from idea to implementation.

The questions and resulting workflow were designed by the trust. Once the patient is added to the system, their team add that patient’s normal oxygen levels. The patient then receives SMS reminders twice a day for them to take their readings via the app.

They are asked to check their breathing rate, heart rate, oxygen saturation (using the device the hospital provide) and various other measures. Depending on the results input, the system sends the patient advice back via the app advising of the next steps.

Their results are also accessed by the clinical teams supporting the patient so they can monitor the results. Since we provided South Tees with the tool we have also been approached by other organisations in our region. We have been able to quickly roll the Oximetry @ Home out to them too. We have provided training to their teams and made minor tweaks to the phone numbers and logos on the system and it’s been good to roll out elsewhere really quickly.