I grew up in Arizona and there’s a lot of land out there with no civilization present for miles, especially on the Indian reservations. The project as this states below incorporates many different cultures in northern Arizona. On the Indian reservations consumers may have to travel a short distance to get to a “hot spot” to transmit their data but a short drive to a hot spot could be a lot more convenient than a long drive to the hospital Rural area really stand to benefit with remote monitoring.
What is also nice here is that you know who’s getting the information and the purpose as it gives more information than a voice phone call with actual data being looked at and transmitted. What is also good here is winning the trust of the Indian community to try the service. This a trial program and it will be evaluated in a year’s time to see how well it is working and if nothing else, the reservations are getting better wireless service and coverage, which they need anyway. BD
Gisele Sorenson knew where each person with congestive heart failure lived. With a map in hand, she set out driving in northern Arizona — across tribal land and to the Grand Canyon — to find out whether the former Flagstaff Medical Center patients had wireless access.
The answer was key to determining whether patients could be remotely monitored via Bluetooth technology to help reduce their chance of being readmitted to the hospital. What Sorenson found is that not everyone would be able to use a cellphone to immediately transmit medical data, but many were close enough to a hot spot to send the information within a few days.
"Just having them come into the hospital isn't the answer anymore for a lot of reasons," said Sorenson, the hospital's telemedicine director.
The devices send the readings straight to the phone, which sends them directly to Kelly DeGraff, a hospital nurse. She then can look at the data and determine whether a follow-up call or text is needed. One patient she's been in contact with is Joe Alini, who has been dealing with kidney failure and heart problems.
The project is backed by the National Institutes of Health, Verizon, Qualcomm Incorporated and Zephyr Technology. It isn't specifically aimed at American Indians, but they will benefit. Nearly 30 percent of patients at the Flagstaff Medical Center are American Indian, the majority being Navajo. Seven percent of them have had congestive heart failure, compared with 4 percent of non-Native patients.
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