Timaru – Kiwis who have just been in hospital, could spend less time there, according to a new remote device that lets patients be monitored at home.
Government says technology has the potential to really change the way New Zealand does things better for patients and at the same time ease pressure on the health system.
Several countries are already using biostickers and now they are being trialled here to see what they can do for New Zealanders.
Biostickers are 85mm long, made of soft flexible material and are worn on the upper left chest. They capture medical-grade data, such as skin temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate, which is transmitted to the medical professionals who are treating the patients.
Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand is running six-month trials of biostickers in Counties Manukau and South Canterbury.
So far, they have been used to monitor 50 people in Counties Manukau with covid, while in South Canterbury, 10 people have been given monitors to see how they can help keep rural people be cared for at home.
Early feedback shows people using the devices prefer being at home instead of in hospital, and with the devices on they feel safe.
Health technologies are changing all the time, and we need to think about how we can use it to work smarter to help all New Zealanders get the healthcare they need
Biostickers continuously monitor skin temperature, resting heart rate, respiratory rate, gait analysis, body position and has personalised trending alerts.
There is a large on-board memory storage with data being transmitted through Bluetooth wireless data transmission.
The device transmits up to 1440 vital signs measurements daily, into a platform where the information is collated and displayed.
Remote patient monitoring technology is potentially one of numerous pieces of technology that will improve health services.
The technology space is fruitful and potentially there are many technology solutions that could be part of the digital ecosystem moving forwards. One of the biosticker’s strengths is the passive collection of information without the patient needing to do anything.