Ellis Medicine is partnering with the city of Schenectady and AION Biosystems to monitor the temperatures of oncology patients for between 30 days and 60 months.
A Schenectady, New York health system is launching a remote patient monitoring program to track the temperatures of oncology patients at home.
Ellis Medicine is partnering with AOIN Biosystems and the city on the Stay Well program, which will equip selected patients with AION's iTempShield wearable patch to measure body temperature for 30 days to six months. Patients undergoing cancer treatment are much more susceptible to infections like sepsis, which can be deadly if not detected and treated quickly.
“In many oncology patients, infection detection is the key,” AION Biosystems CEO Samara Barend told the Daily Gazette after a Thursday press conference at Ellis Hospital announcing the program. “Being able to stay ahead of it [is crucial] because a low-grade fever, even around 100, can be dangerous for these patients. Many of them don’t even realize they have an infection or that they’re on the verge of an infection, so being able to track it early and continuously is critical.”
The RPM program is part of the Smart City project launched earlier this year by the city with $2.6 million in federal Community Development Block Grants. As part of that project, the city is expanding free Wi-Fi services to bolster connectivity in underserved parts of the community.
As healthcare organizations across the country shift services out of the hospital and into the home, RPM programs are becoming a popular method for staying in continuous or regular contact with patients at risk of health complications or hospitalization. Along with patients undergoing chemotherapy, programs have been established to monitor those with chronic conditions like COPD, diabetes, and congestive heart failure, patients recovering from surgery, and new mothers and their babies.
Ellis Medicine officials said 250 patients would be monitoring through the RPM program, with plans to expand at a later date to include other patient populations.
“We wanted to start somewhere where it made a lot of sense and when you’re a cancer patient you’re immunocompromised and if your temperature starts to go up, the technology jumps on it,” Ellis Medicine President and CEO Paul Milton told the Daily Gazette.
Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, Telehealth, Supply Chain and Pharma for HealthLeaders.
Through a wearable patch, care teams will be able to track patients for sudden changes in body temperature, which can signal the onset of a dangerous infection like sepsis.
Alongside the RPM program, city officials are using federal grants to expand free Wi-Fi services to underserved neighborhoods, enabling more residents to connect with the health system.