Close your eyes and think of the Caribbean. Are you picturing yourself relaxing on the beach with a frozen drink in-hand, a warm tropical breeze blowing through the palm trees? For many residents of the Caribbean, it’s not exactly paradise. High rates of poverty and chronic disease, and lack of access to healthcare paint their reality. After speaking with Evexia Telehealth CTO, Francois Koutchouk, we learned how their remote patient monitoring device is using the Blues Wireless Notecard to improve health outcomes for underserved patients living with chronic disease. Read on to find out.
Life in a Tropical Dystopia
Life’s not a beach for many Caribbean residents. The reality is that almost 34% of the population lives in poverty, half of the population has health care coverage through Medicaid or Medicare, and up to half of that group live with chronic disease. In some areas, hospitals only have 10 to 12 beds, and even in urban centers patients don’t receive regular monitoring and care. Chronic disease patients often end up in the emergency room for preventable issues. A trip to the ER costs thousands of dollars and every person that doesn’t need to be there takes away resources from patients who actually need emergency care.
Telehealth can help solve some of the challenges for chronic disease patients, but that requires continuous power, reliable internet access and the technical skills to use a smartphone or computer. Those things are luxuries for many underserved communities of the Caribbean – and also on islands that get hit by lots of hurricanes. Evexia Telehealth knows that, and that’s why they developed the Gateway.
A Very Fancy Box
So, what is the Gateway? If you guessed magical portal, you’re almost right. It’s a box. The Gateway is a remote patient monitoring device, and it’s simple by design. Patients don’t need to know how to do anything technical (except plug it in), and it communicates with normal medical equipment like blood pressure cuffs, oximeters, blood glucose meters, and more.
The device is built using the Blues Wireless Notecard. A complete software stack, the Notecard is a single, high-level programming interface that makes it easy for Evexia Telehealth to pinpoint technical issues. This allows them to focus on medical data rather than troubleshooting and reduces costs so the Gateway is more attainable for patients and providers.
Connectivity was a big question mark in remote areas of the Caribbean. The team at Evexia Telehealth field tested the Notecard by driving around Puerto Rico for 6 months to ensure coverage and reliability of the Notecard to pick up a signal (best job ever). Coverage was consistent, which meant even patients in the most underserved areas could use their product.
Better health compliance is proven to reduce treatment costs. Evexia Telehealth developed the Gateway as a bidirectional device to increase patient engagement. Data transmits from patient equipment to the cloud, where a provider can monitor the patient’s health trends and potentially take action. They assign healthcare managers to make care recommendations, and the portal can call, set up a video consultation, or escalate it to an in-person visit.
To keep patients engaged and compliant with their treatment plan, the Gateway sends audio communications from provider to patient. Patients might receive a reminder to take their medication or a greeting saying, “Hey, Mr. Smith, how are you feeling today?”. It supports English, French and Spanish, and additional languages can be added. They can also change the language remotely for multilingual households.
“Blues Wireless is a complete software stack for moving IoT sensor data over cellular networks, and this results in better health outcomes for traditionally underserved patients.” – Francois Koutchouk, CTO of Evexia Telehealth
Read the Full Story
There is so much potential in cellular IoT, and we love to see it being used to serve our most vulnerable populations. Bidirectional remote patient monitoring positively impacts underserved patients and the entire healthcare system. Read Evexia Telehealth’s customer story to learn how Blues Wireless helps improve treatment outcomes for chronic disease patients in the Caribbean.