AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation, the charitable arm of the UK based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, has awarded $205,564 to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Illinois to support their Tele-Heart Pathway programme. The programme provides interventions to heart failure patients in their homes to support health management. With telemedicine and telehealth technology doctors monitor symptoms and help avoid complications at home after surgery, according to the hospital.
“We have seen a rapid evolution in the last few years of new devices and new ways of communicating with our patients,” said Mark Stampehl, MD and Medical Director of the heart failure programme at Prairie Heart Institute (PHI) at St. John’s Hospital, in an article entitled Telemedicine elevates care for heart patients published in the fall 2014 issue of the hospital’s quarterly magazine Healthy You. “Today, we are using tools to remotely monitor a patient’s condition and increase communication with other physicians to give patients access to specialty care from home.”
The award is made from AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular Health programme which annually awards grants to U.S.-based nonprofit organisations across the country. In 2014, the Foundation awarded over $2.6 million in grants to 13 organisations dedicated to improving heart health according to the AstraZeneca website. More than $17 million in grants have been awarded to 43 organisations through the program since its inception in 2010. In 2015, the programme will award grants from $150,000 to $180,000.
According to the Healthy You article, patients returning home after surgery have a home visit by a nurse at which point an assessment is made if telehealth would be beneficial. The telehealth equipment, consisting of a “telescale”, a clinic-quality scale which also asks a series of qustions to identify the need for intervention, is used for 90 days after hospitalisation.