Good news for more than 600,000 COPD patients in the Netherlands: more hospitals across the country are introducing the measurement of vital COPD values at home. This means that COPD patients no longer have to go to the hospital to get these values measured. “It also prevents hospitalisations, which is a great development”, says Emiel Rolink, director of Long Alliantie Nederland (LAN, the Dutch Lung Alliance).
Fewer hospital visits, with continuous supervision
A visit to the hospital is not only taxing on COPD patients who already have reduced energy because of their disease, but because the nature of the disease also causes stress. Patients can feel insecure and worry about ‘lung attacks’. Mr. Bremer, a COPD patient, explains: “I no longer have to go to the hospital as often as I used to, which really was an intense exertion for me. Now I have my values measured twice a week, which really gives me and my family peace of mind”.
Health measurements at home
Measuring the values of COPD patients at home is made possible by Luscii Vitals (formerly cVitals), an eHealth solution designed by the Dutch health care innovation company Luscii, a spin-out brand of FocusCura. Patients submit their measurements twice a week, which are then monitored at a distance. If the system detects an increased risk or if the patient has questions of their own regarding certain measurements, they can contact a healthcare professional immediately by video chat. In doing so, the care provider can give instant medical attention and prevent hospitalisations.
“We need to reduce hospitalisations by 25%”
In the Netherlands, COPD attacks equate to 30,000 hospitalisations every year, half of which are re-admissions. Rolink notes that, “The LAN wants to reduce the number of hospitalisations by 25% across the Netherlands in the context of the Nationaal Actieprogramma Chronische Longziekten (National action programme for chronic lung disease patients), while maintaining or improving the quality of life of patients. Finland and pilot areas in the Netherlands have shown that it is possible, provided you use a systematic approach that monitors the patient closely”.
Hospitals across the Netherlands
“We are working with Luscii to make this kind of modern COPD care available to patients across the Netherlands”, states Joris van Eijck, director of Health Care for Menzis. “This follows multiple successful projects in Slingeland Hospital, Isala, and MC Slotervaart”. To help hospitals achieve this ambition, they will be receiving a book from Erik Gerritsen, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, during the national e-health week. This book contains lessons learned, experiences, and a plan of action to make digital COPD care available.
This press release was published by Menzis during the Dutch eHealth week in 2018.
Slingeland Ziekenhuis (Slingeland Hospital), Sensire, and Menzis have optimised how they work together, so that they can provide even better remote care to people suffering from heart failure. Patients can now send information about their heart rate, blood pressure, and weight every two weeks using an iPad, improving how their health is monitored and reducing the frequency of in-hospital check-ups. Health insurer Menzis now fully covers the cost of this new style of digital care.
The hospital, healthcare provider, and health insurer teamed up some time ago as part of the project ‘InBeeld’ (‘bringing into vision’), to provide remote care to people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This enables patients, nursing staff, and doctors to use the ‘Vitals’ app (formerly cVitals) – a product designed by the Dutch company Luscii – on their iPad and other digital devices in order to exchange information and video-call via a secure connection. If required, patients can contact the nurse directly or schedule an appointment at the hospital.
This application seamlessly brings together the cardiologist’s specialist knowledge at Slingeland Hospital, Sensire’s nursing expertise, and Menzis’ financial support. This has boosted the quality of life of patients living in more rural areas of the Netherlands: The control they have over their health means they no longer need to go to the hospital as often. It’s a step towards a healthier life.
John Diederik from Hengelo is one of the enthusiastic users of this remote care. The time that John and his girlfriend would have spent at the hospital can now be used for their hobbies and leisure. He tells us about his experiences: “Today’s technology really has no limits. I stay in contact with friends and family via Facebook, and I also use Maps. It’s great to see how many solutions we now have for day-to-day things. Now we can add health care to that list”.
This press release was published by our partners Sensire, Slingeland and NAAST Medical Center.