More and more doctors and nurses are using the Luscii app to monitor their patients remotely. Today, we talked to Monique van de Kragt, a physician assistant in the pulmonary department of Zuyderland Hospital.
Have you been involved in healthcare for a long time?
“I started training to become a lung function analyst in Maastricht in 1998. A great profession. Using all kinds of examinations, you can help the pulmonologist make a sound diagnosis. What is the patient’s lung capacity? And their strength of exhalation? Do they have an allergy? In 2001, I joined Zuyderland Hospital in Sittard. When the chance came up to become a physician assistant there, I grabbed it with both hands”.
What does a physician assistant’s day look like?
“Very varied. I mainly work with people who suffer from COPD. I see some of them at the outpatient clinic in the afternoon. I spend a lot of time explaining the influence of lifestyle choices. In the morning, I visit patients who have been admitted with an acute lung attack. I try to take the time and delve deeper into nutrition, exercise and anxiety”.
Are people with COPD often anxious?
“During a lung attack, people are really terrified, which is very unpleasant. That is why I always try to visit on the second day of admission. Then the treatment has often already had some effect. I try to make everything open for discussion, even the end of life. About future wishes; what patients still want and don’t want. Sometimes, they are shocked by this, but afterwards almost everyone is happy that I started talking about it. One patient still wanted to visit Indonesia. I said; if that’s what you really want, then you have to do it now. He went right away and had a great time”.
It’s great that you take the time for that.
“Taking the time is so important. I hear that from patients and I also notice that I am achieving more. That people, for example, stop smoking or take up exercise again. Sometimes, it’s a struggle to find enough time for a conversation, but I really believe it pays off. Doctors only have ten minutes per patient. What can you do in such a short period of time? They are far too busy in my opinion, and the real wave of the aging population is yet to come”.
Do these lung attacks always occur so suddenly?
“We are constantly preaching that patients have to exercise more, but before an admission, we often find that people do less and less. For example, they have already stopped physiotherapy for a while and their condition has slowly deteriorated. Then it would only take a virus or urine infection for the COPD to start playing up again”.
Does remote monitoring help to prevent a lung attack?
“We have not been working with Luscii for very long, but I think it does help to see decline earlier. I had a patient who was in the hospital six times in six months. Now that he uses telemonitoring from Luscii, he has become more stable. Once, when his condition began to deteriorate, we saw it early and could treat him with prednisone at home. He was really happy with that. In a way, it provided confirmation that he is being closely monitored from a distance”.
More and more hospitals are using telemonitoring to support patients at home. Heart Guide, a digital care concept from the Netherlands’ Cardiology Centra (CCN), is an inspiring example within this field. Patients measure their own blood pressure, weight or heart rhythm at home. An app coaches the patient and alerts the right healthcare professional if necessary. Visits to the emergency care department have fallen dramatically among users.
HartGuide is currently used by people with heart failure, high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation. Amsterdam UMC and CCN are now investigating whether people with congenital heart defects are also better off with telemonitoring. This year, a Randomised Controlled Trial will start under the supervision of cardiologist, Michiel Winter. Luscii talked to him about the setup of the study and the future of telemonitoring.
A congenital heart defect, is that common?
‘Around 50,000 people suffer from the defect across the Netherlands. Thankfully, most disorders are mild. But there are also those born with a complex condition, such as patients with only one functioning heart chamber. Surgical techniques have improved in recent decades. The number of people living with congenital heart disease is therefore increasing. Babies who died shortly after birth in the 1980s now have much greater chances of survival’.
Can you grow old then, as a patient?
‘With a mild defect, your chances these days of growing old are almost equal to those of healthy people. Yet, this isn’t the case for serious problems. Some people undergo multiple operations in their childhood. Things may go well for many years, but at around 40, they inevitably develop heart failure. In any case, a birth defect always has an impact, for example in the form of atrial fibrillation’.
Do you expect telemonitoring to make a difference?
‘Absolutely. Normally, these people go to a hospital with specific expertise. But that is expensive for society and the journey is stressful for the patient. With HartGuide, we can reassure patients remotely when everything is fine. If there is a serious problem, such as heart failure, then we see it arising sooner, as we monitor the patient’s weight, blood pressure and well-being at home. And we can therefore intervene earlier. The research will show whether it works that way in practice, but I am confident it will’.
What are your most important research questions?
‘We will look specifically at people who visit the outpatient clinic at least twice a year with complaints. Is it possible to prevent acute moments by guiding them remotely? We do not immediately expect visit clinics to decrease, as it is all so ingrained, instead we hope to really focus on preventing acute situations’.
And what will the research look like in practice?
‘We will assemble two groups. One group will be supervised at home via HartGuide. The other group will receive regular care. And in two years, we will compare the differences between the two. It is actually a nationwide research study. We are talking to a number of hospitals about including their patients. At least two hundred patients are needed to form a clear picture’.
What did the medical ethics committee think of the setup?
‘The handling of patient data in particular raised questions. Normally, this information remains secure within the hospital’s walls. With the e-health design, the data is sent from home via Luscii’s digital platform to the Medical Service Centre of HartGuide. There it is interpreted by doctors and nurses, and afterwards, I receive a call to discuss the findings. Questions were asked about that. Who exactly does the patient’s data belong to? And where is the information stored? In the end, we worked everything out and developed a clear protocol of how to deal with such concerns’.
How do you see the future of telemonitoring?
‘I actually expected digital development to go faster. Everyone nowadays has Netflix and Google Maps, but we are still a bit behind in the hospital. Collaboration with businesses, such as Luscii, is in my opinion the key to success. I am a cardiologist. I was not made to set up a company or deal with logistics. Moving care from the hospital to the home is such an adjustment. We definitely need the businesses, but with our own ideas, too. If we work well together, I believe that the entire cardio clinic can eventually switch over to remote guidance at home. Provided that an effective system of expert supervision has been built around it. Then patients only have to come to the hospital if something is really wrong’.
Are patients ready for that too?
‘I have eighty-year-old patients who Skype with their grandchildren. That is not the problem. Healthcare professionals are the ones who must make the switch correctly. But don’t underestimate that task. As a doctor, I am used to seeing patients. I trust my clinical view. Letting that go is complicated, although I believe video calling offers plenty of opportunities in that regard’.
More and more doctors and nurses are using the Luscii app to guide patients remotely. Who are these healthcare professionals? And what exactly do they do with Luscii? Today, we offer a portrait of Mark Schuuring, cardiologist in training.
Are you personally interested in technology?
‘I have always found IT fascinating. Building websites, playing around with server settings; I love it. I even attended lessons at the Atheneum, but I learned the most from a friend who is a professional. Later, I tried to set up a kind of online marketplace for DIY jobs with another friend. We put a lot of energy into it and even travelled to India to see if we could outsource parts of the site. And then the huge Werkspot suddenly came online, which was certainly a setback’.
Then why choose medicine?
‘In the past, healthcare was a common topic at home. My mother is a nurse and my father works in the purchasing department of a hospital. Which explains a little bit why I finally chose medicine instead of a career in IT. I find the human body and the effect of therapies equally as interesting as a computer’.
Was cardiology the right choice?
‘Absolutely! Cardiology is so challenging and varied. It has the contemplative side of internal medicine and the invasiveness of surgery. Doing the rounds with nurses at the CCU, discussing echocardiograms, discharging patients or admitting them; it all happens in one day. Sometimes, I provide acute care. This mainly involves acting quickly and in accordance with protocols. But I can really add something to the support of chronically ill patients, too. In that respect, I am grateful that I worked for a period in the pulmonary medicine department. It was there especially that I learned to develop an eye for quality of life. For cardiology as a discipline, that is still a bit of a concern. We should perhaps sometimes ask a little less about blood pressure and a little more about the feelings of the patient’.
What is it like to work with Luscii?
‘We use Luscii technology in the HartGuide care concept. Through HartGuide, we monitor patients with congenital heart defects remotely. Considering my IT background, I naturally find it very interesting. I can see many opportunities for digital technology. But in the beginning, it took some getting used to for everyone. Since then, we have gained experience and developed clear protocols. As a result, patients, doctors and nurses are becoming more enthusiastic. We expect that the use of HartWacht will lead to less outpatient visits and a decrease in hospital admissions. But we don’t know that yet for sure. We are currently investigating this theory in a randomised controlled trial’.
But you do have faith in the technology?
‘When it comes to diagnostics, I am already completely convinced of the added value of telemonitoring. I had a patient who suffered frequently from heart palpitations. She received a Holter ECG four times from the outpatient clinic, but she never succeeded in catching a rhythm deviation that caused the symptoms. With HartGuide, we were able to monitor her heart rhythm at home for much longer and we eventually found atrial fibrillation. That’s great for her: she now knows exactly what is going on and we were able to start her on appropriate medication straightaway’.
Luscii’s Amsterdam office is home to no fewer than ten different nationalities. What motivates people to emigrate and to choose a career at Luscii? Today, front-end developer Cem Ekici, tells us about his choice.
A brief introduction?
‘I’m Cem and I’m from Eskisehir. Eskisehir is a relatively small city by Turkish standards, but it is probably about the same size as Amsterdam. I didn’t hang around for long. As a front-end developer, I soon moved to Istanbul. That is where the most innovative companies are located, so all IT people are naturally drawn there.
The company I worked for in Turkey supports start-ups with their software. The work itself was quite interesting and the business successful, but the work culture was disappointing. It was rather hierarchical and the balance between work and private life was not well respected.’
So you thought of Amsterdam?
‘Amsterdam had been on my mind for some time. Friends of mine already lived there and the city made an impression on me during a visit. The lifestyle and culture appeal to me. It’s all a bit more informal and relaxed here. When I heard that a job was available at Luscii, I applied immediately. Then it all went quickly and Luscii engineered a smooth transition to the Netherlands. Paperwork, temporary accommodation; everything was arranged. Even my airline ticket was paid for by the company. I now live in the great Old-West neighbourhood and have really built up a life for myself here in Amsterdam.’
Do you like it at Luscii?
‘As a front-end developer, it is really special to work for Luscii. The users of the digital platform are healthcare professionals and chronically ill seniors. Doctors and nurses are busy. They want their dashboard to be as simple as possible and find it important that all the information within the file is linked. Every click that can be removed is significant.
For the elderly, the interface must be very clear and accessible. With everything you do, you have to keep in mind that the user may not be experienced with apps and websites. As a front-end developer, I am very happy that I can contribute to the well-being of the elderly. One day, I will be old myself. I hope then that young people use innovative technologies to make my life more pleasant.’
Patients with a severe form of the pulmonary disease COPD have been using home monitoring since February. By completing a questionnaire twice a week via the Luscii app, they are monitored remotely and are immediately assisted in the event of deterioration. Pulmonary nurse Iris Huisman explains the benefits.
Fewer trips to the hospital
More and more people are suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a chronic lung disease, in which the damaged lungs lead to shortness of breath, coughing and fatigue. In patients with a severe form of COPD, the symptoms are often so bad that they become less mobile or may need extra oxygen. For them, a mild cold can lead to a dramatic increase in symptoms. We call this a lung attack, resulting in hospitalisation and further damage to the lungs. Iris: “Now that we are monitoring this group of patients remotely, we are able to guide them more effectively and hope to prevent such attacks and hospital admissions. In addition, patients no longer need to come to the hospital for standard checks, which they often find tiring because of their limited mobility”.
Contact at the right time
For the home monitoring of patients, Tergooi is working together with the medical service centre, NAAST. The nurses at NAAST already have experience with this method of monitoring at Slingeland Hospital and know the procedure at Tergooi. They keep an eye on everything 24/7 and if they see a deterioration, they immediately contact the patient via a video consultation, calling through the Luscii video connection. “If NAAST are unable to respond, we become involved. Coincidentally, this afternoon I had a video consultation with a patient whose symptoms we had noticed had suddenly worsened. He admitted that he did not realise that things were going so badly and would not have called himself, but he was very pleased that there was direct contact and that action had been taken”.
Telemonitoring can also be a solution for COPD patients who need more intensive support. Iris: “Because NAAST is available 24 hours a day, a patient who is very anxious and scared at night can make contact very easily. A video consultation at such a moment is exceptionally reassuring and supportive. Patients’ voices are therefore heard if necessary and they can ask for care at any time. At the same time, they also gain more insight into their illness by completing the questionnaires twice a week”.
Since the introduction of telemonitoring for patients with chronic heart problems (in 2016), more than 500 Zilveren Kruis policyholders have been using HartWacht (translated HeartGuard, a remote monitoring service powered by Luscii, red.). 128 patients (25% of the participants) have been using HartWacht for more than a year. Comparisons have been made between their healthcare usage for the 12 months prior to telemonitoring and the 12 months following use. The results are impressive.
The first research results show a large decrease in the use of care. Olivier Gerrits, Director of Zilveren Kruis Healthcare Purchasing: “We were already convinced that telemonitoring contributes to more control and better quality of life. Now it appears that for our policyholders, there are also fewer admissions, emergency visits and ambulance trips”.
Major decrease in emergency first aid visits on A&E
Patients guided by HartWacht for a year have experienced a decrease in the number of nursing days, the number of emergency trips and the number of emergency room visits. This reduction has been compared to the year prior to the supervision of HartWacht. The number of nursing days has dropped by more than 40% and the number of emergency trips with the ambulance has been reduced by 30% in one year. The largest decrease occurred in the number of emergency room visits: In the group of patients that began with HartWacht, the number of emergency room visits (A&E) fell by 70%, compared to the year before.
VBHC Prize 2019
HartWacht is a joint initiative of Zilveren Kruis, the Netherlands’ Cardiology Centre (CCN) and the Dutch healthcare innovation company Luscii. The number of participants is growing steadily. This breakthrough in eHealth was an international first for the Netherlands in 2016. Last month, HartWacht received the VBHC Prize for its collaboration. Igor Tulevski, cardiologist and co-founder of CCN: “A wonderful reward for increasing the quality of life for patients and reducing healthcare costs on a daily basis”.
There is a growing demand across the UK for telemonitoring provided by Luscii. To steer expansion on the British side of the Channel in the right direction, Rob Brougham will be joining the team. He will begin his role as Managing Director for the United Kingdom on the 1st of May.
Impact on healthcare
Rob is a successful entrepreneur, and has also worked for large companies including British Telecom (BT) where he became CEO of the e-health division. The division built on the Whole Systems Demonstrator; a global, randomised controlled trial studying various tele-health systems. The positive impact of modern technology on the lives of patients with a chronic illness made a big impression on Rob. The number of hospital admissions (14-20%) and visits to emergency care (15%) were reduced significantly within the study population.
“Selling networks and systems to businesses is challenging”, Rob explains his decision, “but it doesn’t provide the same satisfaction that telemonitoring offers. Making a difference to people in a difficult situation is an important incentive for me”.
When BT shifted its strategic course and ventured away from tele-health, Rob decided to switch definitively to the e-health industry. First, as an advisor to various English e-health companies. Later, as UK Managing Director of Ieso Digital Health, which is one of the top 50 fastest growing e-health companies in the country. And, from the 1st of May onwards, as Managing Director for Luscii UK.
Rob sees plenty of opportunities for Luscii in the UK. “There are some players on the market, but we haven’t seen the levels of quality and accessibility of Luscii here, as yet”.
At any rate, Rob is set for a busy summer ahead. A number of British hospitals are about to start working with Luscii, while others are eager to discuss the possibilities that Luscii offers. The ambitions of Luscii are therefore perfectly in line with the “Long term plan”, presented in the past quarter by the NHS. Just like the Netherlands, the United Kingdom is struggling with increasing demand and staff shortages within the healthcare sector.
Now that Rob Brougham has been brought in to strengthen the UK division, many British patients and healthcare professionals will experience Luscii’s telemonitoring in the near future. We have faith that Rob will keep enough time free for his wife and daughters. Likewise, his five a side football team and waterskiing club won’t accept too many absences either!
Doctors and nurses are gaining valuable experience through home measurement and video calling in numerous locations across the Netherlands. They are learning something new every day; how to introduce digital care to patients, how to make video calls, when to adjust thresholds. How useful would it be to bring all those caregivers together and learn from each other’s knowledge during a Sharing Session?
“Very useful”, says a nurse from Dijklander Hospital. Pulmonologist, Erik Kapteijns, begins the afternoon with his lessons learnt from 1.5 years of telemonitoring COPD patients. For example, it was not a good idea to start during flu season due to the increased workload. But since then, the results achieved have been really impressive. One quarter fewer admissions of the research population! The upscaling is therefore in full swing.
Sharing Tables exchanges tips and tricks about inclusion, the monitoring protocol and, of course, the expansion from a few patients to larger populations. Knowledge is multiplied by sharing experiences!
On behalf of Luscii, Daan Dohmen offered a sneak peek of upcoming developments. Luscii’s vision was received with wide eyes and enthusiastic nods. We make the magic of healthcare innovation possible with a little technological help, but mainly thanks to the smart collaboration between pioneering healthcare providers.
Were you unable to attend? No worries! Later this year, we will organise yet another Sharing Session. Whether another magician will be present, we will keep under wraps…for now.
HartWacht, the innovative healthcare concept that was set up through a collaboration of Cardiology Centers the Netherlands, Luscii and insurer Zilveren Kruis, was awarded by the Professor Porter Value Based Healthcare Collaboration Award 2019. For Luscii, this means that one of its projects wins this prestigious award the second year in a row. Last year the COPDInSight-service of NAAST, insurer Menzis and Luscii was the winner of the Professor Porter Value Based Primary Care Award 2018.
HartWacht telecardiology service
HartWacht is a revolutionary telecardiology service offered by the Cardiology Centers The Netherlands to their patients in 15 centers across the Netherlands. Patients with heart failure, hypertension and atrial fibrillation don’t need to go to the clinic anymore, unless it is needed. The eHealth service was announced in 2016 and is currently available all across the Netherlands with full reimbursement from five of the biggest Dutch insurers.
HartWacht telecardiology service
Globally, the demand for cardiovascular care is rising due to the ageing populations, increased cardiovascular risk and the quest for personalized care. However, resources are limited.
The “classic” healthcare system cannot meet these requirements. Therefore, an affordable and scalable solution is needed. The aim of HartWacht is to increase population health, improve the quality of care and lower the per capita costs by making use of new health technologies such as Luscii vitals.
Heart failure, hypertension and atrial fibrillation
Patients are selected for HartWacht by their cardiologist based on their diagnosis and protocolized inclusion and exclusion criteria. Patients can then share their data with their healthcare provider using the app and the results will be integrated in their electronic patient file. By making both the home measurements and the other relevant medical data online available to the patients, they are encouraged to participate actively in their healthcare processes. In addition, therapy and policy are focused around patient data and adapted continuously if needed. Interventions include lifestyle advice if appropriate, change in medication, education about disease and/or additional diagnostics, thereby forming an IPU.
Patients with severe hypertension and heart failure are guided by the Luscii app to do home measurements with connected measurement devices for blood pressure, heart rate and weight. Also patients with atrial fibrillation are enrolled using Kardia with EKG-monitor. All the data of patients is analyzed and securely transmitted to the the electronic patient file and is interpreted by a dedicated team supported by smart algorithms and a nationwide network of outpatient clinics which can be visited by the patients if needed. The concept is financed through bundled payment schemes. Patient value is measured through standardized questionnaires.
To continuously monitor quality and safety and patient outcome, research projects have been initiated. First results are published in scientific peer reviewed journals and demonstrate a positive effect on safety of the program and patient experience and outcome. Research shows that HartWacht results in less visits to outpatient clinics and emergency departments, thereby adding value to our healthcare system by improved health outcome with less costs. Also patients and treating physicians are satisfied: with less effort they experience faster results of success of their therapy.
For every patient that is registered for home measurement in the coming Heart Week, we will donate to the Hartstichting
It is collection week at the Hartstichting! More than 50,000 collectors are raising money for solutions to keep everyone’s heart as healthy as possible. Luscii wants to contribute too. And our professional users help us during this Heart Week!
They determine the Luscii donation
We have decided to donate a fee to the Hartstichting for every new patient that is registered for home measurement this week. In doing so, we can combine the start of modern care for patients with a contribution to a good cause.
At Luscii, we like to keep things simple. Therefore doctors and patients can just register patients in the same way as usual. In the upcoming Heart Week (15th to the 19th of April), we will keep a record of how many patients have been registered. We will not distinguish between different groups (for example, we will also count patients in other Luscii programs, such as COPD). Once the week is over, we will transfer our contribution to the Hartstichting. There is no limit, so the amount raised lies entirely in the hands of our users.
The collection is of vital importance
Living with a heart disease is tough, for the patient and their surroundings. The number of patients is growing rapidly. Therefore, the proceeds from the Hartstichting’s collection will be used to create solutions for keeping every heart as healthy as possible. The Hartstichting is working towards 3 goals:
- The prevention of developing heart problems
- Faster assistance in an emergency situation
- Better treatments, so that patients suffer less
All help is welcome, so that the Hartstichting can find solutions earlier. At Luscii, we think this is important. That is why we are happy to support this goal.
The next charity?
At Luscii, we believe that companies have a responsibility to add something positive to society. And that is something we are very conscious of. This time, we chose the Hartstichting. And with success, we will gladly support another goal next time.
We welcome any ideas for that!
Tergooi Hospital (Gooi and Vechtstreek), in partnership with health insurer Zilveren Kruis, are set to bring 20 percent of their current hospital care closer to home. Both organisations have signed a declaration of intent for the new proposal. In doing so, they hope to respond to patients’ needs to receive the right care in the right place.
Subsequently, optimal use must be made of innovative technological options, such as telemonitoring for COPD and heart patients. The Zorg Dichterbij program aims to realise this possibility. In addition, Tergooi and Zilveren Kruis are starting projects focused on prevention. The goal is to avoid repeat trips to the hospital for treatment and/or admittance for patients with a specific condition.
Accelerated relocation of care to the home, an appropriate IT infrastructure and the prevention of care are central to the transition plan that Tergooi and Zilveren Kruis have agreed upon. As is now common knowledge, this is desperately needed to combat challenges such as cost increases, an aging society and the associated growth in the number of chronic disorders, but it is also necessary to help alleviate increasing pressures on the shrinking number of healthcare professionals.
Tergooi has a main location in Hilversum and two regional medical centres. By offering safe care at home, the hospital will organise its healthcare in a different way. Acute, intensive and complex care will remain within the hospital. Good cooperation between healthcare institutions and caregivers within the region is also essential to achieve the desired care in the right place.
Compact New Build
The new construction of Tergooi, which will begin at the end of this year, will be smaller. With the use of online consultations, closer cooperation with care partners, and standardised nursing departments and outpatient clinics, the hospital expects to be able to cope with a more compact building.
Hans den Hollander, Chairman of the Tergooi Executive Board, explains: “As we are starting our new building this year, this is the perfect time for us to implement the change to deliver care in the right place. In doing so, we can continue to improve the quality of our care and respond to the needs of patients, whilst keeping hospital care affordable”.
Care Close By
Tergooi and Zilveren Kruis have already begun with the Zorg Dichterbij program. Part of this includes telemonitoring for chronic heart failure and chronic lung diseases (COPD). More and more doctors from the hospital are also providing consultations via video. Furthermore, treatments are being moved towards the home, for example, with kidney dialysis.
The precondition remains that home treatment is only an option if it is medically justified, says Olivier Gerrits, Director of Healthcare Purchasing at Zilveren Kruis: “Our policyholders prefer to have healthcare as near as possible. We attach great importance to stimulating the movement of care to the home, together with caregivers. So that illness has as little impact as possible on the lives of our policyholders. For us, Tergooi is an example of how we can implement that vision in a sustainable and modern way”.
Right Care, Right Place
In September 2018, the health insurance company announced that it would be investing more in applications that could move healthcare from the hospital to the home environment. In October, Zilveren Kruis announced that it would link its healthcare procurement policy and its focus on “the right care in the right place” to the Medical Specialist Care Outline Agreement 2019-2022.
The Outline Agreement for the hospital sector states that the growth in hospital expenditure must be reduced (via digital care applications, amongst others) in order to reach 0 by 2022. Purchasing Director Gerrits stated at the time that relocation of care to the home (the right care in the right place is also a spearhead of the NVZ and a cabinet ambition) will result in the greatest savings. Even more than just moving care from the second to the first line.
At the beginning of August, the health insurer reported that following a successful pilot with Hartwacht at the Dutch Cardiology Centre, they would also make agreements with hospitals across the Netherlands for telemonitoring heart patients. In accordance, Zilveren Kruis offers hospitals three-year contracts.
In February 2019, Zilveren Kruis signed a multi-year agreement with the Isala Hospital in Zwolle, to further improve the content of healthcare and meet the rising demand for care through the use of e-health, such as telemonitoring. Gelre Hospital followed in March. In addition, just like CZ, the insurer encourages the use of online treatments in mental health care to reduce waiting lists.
Press Release – Queen Maxima Visits Sensire and NAAST
VARSSEVELD – Clients and employees of Sensire and NAAST were surprised this morning with a visit from Queen Maxima. She visited the organisation to get acquainted with Remote Care, a unique collaboration of digital healthcare in the Achterhoek.
“Thanks to the iPad, I have my freedom back!” This surprising admission was shared with Queen Maxima by 72-year-old Mrs. Mijnten-Schoolderman, during an informal work visit to healthcare organisations Sensire and NAAST. Sensire provides remote care via digital healthcare organisation NAAST to patients with, for example, the lung disease COPD or heart failure. “At first, I didn’t want anything to do with the iPad, but that soon changed”, she says. “I can now decide for myself how my life should be”. Thanks to remote care, patients can decide for themselves when to have contact with care workers. Patients are given an iPad with special software from Luscii, a start-up that develops smart software for remote care. Via video calling, they can make contact with nurses and other specialists who provide care from a distance. “Do you know what the real beauty of it is? The people at NAAST know me and my situation. So I don’t have to tell my story over and over again”.
“The visit of Queen Maxima demonstrates that something really special is happening with healthcare in the Achterhoek”, says Maarten van Rixtel, Director of Sensire. Digital resources and techniques are being implemented into healthcare in more places across the Netherlands. “What makes our commitment special is the scope and the fact that we, as different organisations, work together”, says Van Rixtel. An intensive collaboration exists between Slingeland Hospital and health insurer Menzis in the area of remote care.
Sensire has been a pioneer of digital care since 2009 and has remained closely involved with Luscii since 2014, who specialise in healthcare innovation. “Giving people an iPad is not that difficult”, says Daan Dohmen of Luscii. “The point is to build and deploy the technology in such a way that customers regain control”.
Slingeland Hospital sees remote digital care as an important means of getting closer to the patient. “As a hospital, you are actually always too late”, says Erwin Bomers, Director of Healthcare Policy at Santiz Hospitals. “With remote care, you get very close to your patients: in their own home environment. As a result, you have a better picture of the situation, and our people are able to ask other questions”.
For Menzis, collaboration with healthcare organisations, such as Sensire and Slingeland Hospital, is a special step. Olivier van Noort, Senior Healthcare Purchaser at Menzis: “The exceptional thing is that we really entered into this together: we share the risks and the benefits”. Remote digital care not only gives customers more control, it also offers an important means to continue to make healthcare possible in the future.