During the COVID-19 pandemic more than ever, being safely hospitalised at home has become much more attractive for patients who are recovering from heart failure: it vastly improves their quality of life. For patients, their mental and physical safety is a key advantage of home hospitalisation, whereas increasing the availability of beds and reducing hospitalisation costs are important issues for hospitals.
This is precisely where NWE-Chance’s work over the past two years comes into play. The project is studying the feasibility of two main outputs: a medical platform and an eCoach device will enable nurses to care for and monitor their patients’ health at a distance in simpler and more efficient ways. The project has now released a White Paper showcasing the progress it has made so far and the opportunities that lie ahead.
NWE-Chance’s work on a feasibility study and small scare pilot is especially relevant in 2021. Alternative models of care, such as hybrid care, are re-emerging this year: they highlight the need for health and care professionals, IT experts, citizens and patients to work together.
What progress has NWE-Chance made?
NWE-Chance has made significant progress so far in three key areas: recruiting patients, training nurses, and ensuring the readiness of the technology for field testing.
Plenty of patients have been recruited. The eCoach function of the app can converse with them to provide them with guidance and collect any additional information needed, such as daily checks on how they are feeling.
So far, the nurses’ feedback on the experience has been very positive. A nurse from the Isala hospital in the Netherlands enthused: “It’s great to follow patients from a distance. The system provides me with extra information, which can be used to advise them adequately.”
The technology is, of course, important. The NWE-Chance integrated home hospitalisation platform (HHP) prototype went live a year ago in October 2020. At home, patients are provided with digital wireless sensors that are integrated into the platform: this enables the continuous measurement of their main vital signs. A smartphone with a HHP mobile app is supplied to them to provide a guide to these measurements and ensure secure data transfer.
In the next months, a total of 100 patients will be included in the NWE-Chance feasibility study on the three partnering pilot sites: Isala and MUMC+ hospitals in the Netherlands, and Jessa in Flanders (Belgium). Colleagues from Scotland in the United Kingdom will also observe the developments.
The potential economic impact of hospitalisation@home in the Netherlands, Flanders in Belgium, and the United Kingdom will be evaluated by using MAFEIP, a tool that provides a means of gathering evidence to help scale up digital health initiatives. EHTEL, another partner in NWE-Chance, has been championing this tool since its early beginnings.
NWE-Chance has even more ambitions. Home hospitalisation is still in its infancy; its innovation potential is, however, high and opportunities are enormous. Therefore, NWE-Chance aims to create a Digital Innovation Hub, that will bring together the learnings and key assets of the project. It aims for the hub to be the “go-to place” for hospitalisation@home.
To learn more about NWE-Chance’s accomplishments and what it sets out to do next:
- Download and read the newly released “Hospitalisation@Home: Two Years of Progress” White Paper (in the Resources below)
- Learn more about the previous steps of the project.
- Explore the NWE-Chance project page.
- Visit the NWE-Chance website.