The innovative design of the Philips telehealth programme was recently featured in Design 2025 by Design Singapore, as an effective approach to solve complex societal problems.
Heart failure patients are frequently readmitted to hospital due to a lack of adherence to prescribed treatment plans, irregularity in taking medication, and lapses in the control of water intake and diet. Other reasons include the progress of the disease or infection.
To reduce the frequency of readmissions, Philips partnered with Eastern Health Alliance and Changi General Hospital to pilot Singapore’s first telehealth programme for heart failure patients which started in November 2014 and is ongoing.
Patients are provided with a personal health tablet, a weighing machine, and a blood pressure monitor. After being taught how to use these devices, the patients are able to take their own readings. These vital health indicators are in turn, automatically uploaded to a central system for monitoring by nurse telecarers. These telecarers also provide support to the patients and can intervene early if signs of deterioration are detected.
By helping patients understand and feel better supported and more confident about how to manage their conditions, the programme allows patients to enjoy a better quality of life.
Through co-innovation with partners in healthcare, Philips has also been able to develop a holistic programme to improve the quality of care for patients with chronic illnesses, outside of the hospital, which will ultimately benefit Singapore’s health system.