Singapore – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) and Eastern Health Alliance (EH Alliance) announced today the interim results from Singapore’s first-of-its-kind Heart Failure Telehealth pilot program. This innovative program aims to integrate three key elements of care: tele-monitoring, tele-education, and tele-care support via the EH Alliance’s Health Management Unit (HMU) nurse tele-carers. The pilot started on 17 November 2014, has enrolled 120 heart failure patients to date and is ongoing.
This joint innovation partnership between Philips and EH Alliance is an effort to implement a new, localized telehealth initiative that bridges the gap between hospital and home, to help address the needs of a growing number of chronic illness patients in Singapore. In Asia, chronic illnesses are on the rise, leading to a significantly greater number of people requiring longer-term care outside the hospital. Asia will be home to half of the world’s elderly population and half of the global burden of chronic conditions by 20301. Increasing life expectancy in Asia is expected to put tremendous pressure on the region’s already-stretched healthcare systems and create ever higher demand for quality care.
By bringing care to patients’ homes, this initiative takes a fundamentally patient-centric and collaborative approach that aims to manage the situations that most commonly cause patients to be re-admitted to hospital.
Preliminary results from the pilot program are promising, with enrolled patients appreciative of its benefits. Patients are highly engaged in the program and equipped to monitor their own vital signs - such as blood pressure, pulse rate and weight – all essential for heart failure patients to monitor on a daily basis for irregularities that could signal a need for clinical intervention, to prevent potentially rapid deterioration of their condition. Results from 51 patients in the telehealth program show an average 84 percent compliance2 to vital signs monitoring.
Ms. Lim Chia Boh, a 57-year-old patient who was part of the pilot study, had been enduring years of breathlessness while going through simple daily tasks like walking. Now, she is able to take care of herself in the comfort of her home and feels more confident about her overall health. She commented, "They [the telehealth tele-carers who stay in touch with her with regular phone calls] feel more like friends reminding and talking to me. It makes me feel comfortable." She added that individuals with chronic illnesses "should participate" in the program and that "whichever illness it may be, this program will help keep them [patients] informed about their health."
Shaping the Future of Healthcare in Singapore
Philips and the EH Alliance’s commitment, close work and engagement on this telehealth pilot has helped achieve some good interim results that holds the promise for better ways to improve the quality of care for chronic illness patients outside of the hospital, by helping bridge the gap between hospital and home and helping truly empower patients more in their own care.
"We want to help our elderly age well at home and in their community, and reduce hospital admissions; telehealth technology can be a key enabler to help achieve this," shared Mr. TK Udairam, Group CEO of Eastern Health Alliance. "We are encouraged by how well our patients are responding in this pilot study thus far; it indicates that we seem to be on the right track with regard to how telehealth solutions could be integrated and implemented to better manage chronic disease. We will continue to closely monitor how our patients are doing as the pilot study progresses."
"Together with EH Alliance, Philips strives to establish a care model in Singapore that sets precedence for scalable, sustainable deployment of telehealth enabled care coordination for chronic patients," said Fernando Erazo, Senior Director, Head of Philips Healthcare Hospital to Home, Asia Pacific. "The first telehealth program in Singapore to support patients better manage their conditions, over the course of a full-year, is a result of 15 years of investment and telehealth implementation experience by Philips. This collaboration is a good example of how companies can partner to co-create solutions that will benefit our health system and patients."
Philips Innovation Experience Singapore 2015
At the inaugural Philips Innovation Experience Singapore event, Philips will introduce innovative solutions that empower people to live healthier lives across the health continuum. Philips’ telehealth solutions, eCareCompanion and eCareCoordinator, are the first two clinical applications developed to be used on the cloud-based Philips Digital Health Platform to help care-givers monitor and engage patients with multiple chronic conditions in their homes. These will be showcased at the Philips Innovation Experience Singapore 2015 from 4 – 5 November at Hotel Fort Canning.
For more information, visit: www.philips.com.sg/innovationexperience
1 The World Bank, Population Estimates and Projections accessed 01 August2014 http://data.worldbank.org/datacatalog/population-projection-tables
2 Compliance is measured as a percentage of the number of days the patients carried out self-monitoring over the total number of days of intervention.