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We hypothesize that home monitoring and telehealth utilizing data from a mobile healthcare application in conjunction with laboratory values and chest imaging, can replace an outpatient appointment.
Our study is comprised of patients who have received a single or bilateral lung transplant or a heart/lung transplant.Before our patients are discharged from their inpatient stay after Transplantation, the application for home monitoring is installed on their smart phone. This application was specifically designed for Lung Transplant Patients. A blood pressure cuff and spirometer are provided and linked to their mobile device using Bluetooth. A weighing scale is also provided which uses a cellular connection to a secure cloud relaying data to the patient's phone and to EPIC. Additional data including (e.g. temperature, pulse oximetry) are manually entered into the application. Physical fitness (steps) is also monitored. The team who created the application enabled the data to flow from the application to our electronic medical record. Alerts are set for each piece of data and any abnormal value is sent to our team's EPIC in-basket for further action.Patients who are compliant with their home monitoring are offered telehealth. Patients are sent for laboratory testing and imaging the week of the appointment close to their home.
As of October 1, 2019, we have enrolled fifty patients in our home monitoring program. Fourteen patients are now one - year post transplant. Twelve of these patients are compliant with home monitoring. Eight of them have had telehealth visits throughout the year with five receiving the majority of their care utilizing home monitoring and telehealth. These visits occur bimonthly for the first three months after transplant and then monthly for the first year.
Home monitoring and telehealth visits can replace outpatient visits in the first year following lung transplantation. Patients find the devices easy to use and are satisfied with the care they receive during their telehealth visits. Additionally, telehealth improves patient quality of life by reducing visits to the medical center and avoiding additional costs such as parking and time off work. It also limits pathogen exposure. Long term use may enable early detection of rejection or infection.
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