NHS adds pilot test of at-home remote vital sign monitoring for chronic disease patients

Reliq Health Technologies was accepted into the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) Test Beds program. The program will allow Reliq to pilot its virtual care tech in London-area hospitals in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“Our technology is strongly aligned with the NHS England's ongoing initiative to improve the management of long term conditions in the community," said Lisa Crossley, CEO of Reliq Health, in a statement. "Our platform uses a high tech, low touch approach to provide high-quality healthcare in the home, reducing exacerbations and disease-related complications, decreasing healthcare costs and enhancing patient and family satisfaction.”

The pilot program will focus on congestive heart failure and diabetes. These are the two of the most common chronic conditions in the U.K. The announcement noted that over 15 million people in England deal with at least one long-term health condition. In turn, almost half of all general practitioner appointments and 70% of hospital bed days in the U.K. are due to long-term condition management.

Reliq explained that the tech is built to monitor vitals remotely while offering “alerts to clinicians as needed, audible reminders to improve patient compliance with prescribed medication regimens and lifestyle changes, tailored patient education and secure communication with the entire care team.”

The NHS is no stranger to digital health initiatives and has put remote care high up on its list of priorities. In February, the NHS committed $6 billion to digital health. The NHS hopes to reduce waste and increase productivity, which should help it to save around $31.6 billion. The NHS is also reviewing its own IT system with the aim of being paper-free by 2020. 

An even greater push for remote monitoring came in June, when the NHS announced it would by 2017 offer remote monitoring medical devices and apps to millions to manage chronic conditions at no cost to the patient. The aim is to reduce patient deaths by addressing conditions and monitoring them before they are serious problems. 

- here's the press release

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