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Remote Monitoring News

Children’s of Alabama to Use mHealth to Help Families After Discharge

The nation's third largest children's hospital is launching a remote patient monitoring program that will use an mHealth app to manage care for children with complex medical issues after they've been discharged.

Source: ThinkStock

By Eric Wicklund

- The nation’s third largest children’s hospital is launching an mHealth program to monitor infants with complex heart defects after they’ve been discharged.

Children’s of Alabama is partnering with Locus Health on the remote patient monitoring program, aimed at improving care management during those high-risk days after a hospital discharge and giving stressed parents a round-the-clock connection to their care team through a mobile health app.

“Families will have a tool that strengthens the connection between their child and healthcare providers, all from the comfort and convenience of their home,” Sarah Blair, RN, MSN, CRNP, director of the Hearts at Home program at the Birmingham-based health system, said in a press release. “Families will take an active role in their child’s care by electronically documenting vital data, such as heart rate, oxygen saturation and weight. Tools within the app empower them to recognize changes in their child before they become a life-threatening concern.”

The Hearts at Home program offers home-based care and support for babies treated at the health system’s Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center. Some of those infants are born with one ventricle and require three open-heart surgeries within the first two or three years. The mHealth app will be integrated into this program.

Locus Health was developed out of the University of Virginia Health System in 2012, when Broad Axe Technology Partners saw success in a remote monitoring pilot program for some 1,000 patients with multiple chronic conditions. UVA invested in the company and signed a five-year contract, and in 2015 the company changed its name to Locus Health.

Along with UVA Health, the company’s connected care platform is being used in several pediatric health systems, including Dallas Children’s, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, SickKids in Toronto, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and the Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Fla.

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