Hills to launch patient monitoring, M2M and RTLS devices

Hills Health Solutions has signed an agreement with Canadian telehealth and home care monitoring vendor Telus Health Solutions to bring its remote patient monitoring system to Australia and New Zealand.

Due to officially launch on March 31, the solution is aimed at both the acute and community care sectors, allowing hospitals to remotely monitor patients with chronic conditions and help to prevent readmissions as well as discharge patients earlier.

Currently being used in Canada to monitor thousands of patients at home as part of the Ontario Telemedicine Network, the Telus solution also provides for medications reminders and patient alerts, is device agnostic and has video conferencing capabilities.

Hills representatives said the system was being used by Barwon Health in Victoria but it was also being aimed at community aged care providers as a potential part of consumer-directed care (CDC) packages.

The software can be used with Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled peripherals, and allows clinicians to monitor patients in real time. It can also be used to provide education and rehabilitation to the patient at home.

One point of difference is that clinicians can configure the software using their own clinical protocols based on the individual patient, allowing them to adjust care and treatment plans.

Hills has also signed an agreement with US-based M2M solutions provider Essence Group to bring its Care@Home independent living system to the region. Care@Home is a range of sensor devices that 'learns' the normal behaviour of an elderly person at home and can send alerts to a carer or the family if something happens out of the ordinary.

Specific sensors can be used in different rooms such as the kitchen, living, dining, bedroom and bathroom as well as attached to the fridge and the front door.

Also due for release on March 31, the system includes an emergency call system that only requires the older person to press one button for two-way communication.

Head of Hills Health Solutions Peta Jurd said the Care@Home package was the next level up from Hills' Lively range of home monitors, as the personalised alerts can help monitor the possible deterioration of an older person.

The two solutions are being showcased at a Hills Tech Expo in Sydney this week, along with technology from Hills' other divisions, including security systems. One of these, from US start-up Xandem, uses tomographic motion detection (TMD) technology as part of a mesh network that can trace human activity through doors and walls.

While predominantly aimed at home and facility security, the system is also being adapted for elder care, particularly residential aged care, as it can pinpoint a person without them having to wear a tag.

Hills has also added the Sonitor range of real time locating system (RTLS) devices, which can use high-definition ultrasound technology working with WiFi and low-frequency RFID. The devices can be used to monitor patients, staff and equipment and are suitable for use in hospitals, residential aged care and at home.

Ms Jurd said the new product ranges, when added to its existing range of Merlon and Questek IP and WiFi nurse call systems, along with its range of Lincor patient engagement and infotainment solutions, were part of Hills' strategy to provide a wide portfolio of integrated solutions to the hospital and aged care sectors.

She said the Lincor range has been installed at the $120.4 million Busselton Health Campus redevelopment, which opened its doors last week.

The company has also won a contract with the Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD) as part of 10-year upgrade pathway of patient engagement systems at Auburn, Mt Druitt, Westmead and Blacktown hospitals, representing more than 1200 beds.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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