Telemedicine is state-of-the-art medical care that allows the nurse to monitor a patient in his or her home by using a two-way audio-video unit or a separate data unit. Patients use the units to record their blood pressure, pulse, glucose level, oxygen saturation and weight. The device transmits the data electronically over the phone to our office, where a specially-trained nurse reviews it. The nurse can use the device to communicate with the patient and send data to other health care providers. The video units enable the nurse to actually see the patient and listen live to the patient’s heart and lungs. Telemedicine can serve as an early warning system if changes in the patient’s condition are identified and further medical attention is required.
A number of patients with congestive heart failure and/or diabetes who are part of our Chronic Care Program are benefiting from the use of telemedicine. The goal of the program is early detection of conditions to prevent or reduce the need for emergency medical visits or hospitalization. We address that goal by educating patients on how best to manage their disease through diet, exercise and medication, and by monitoring the patient’s condition through telemedicine.
Patients on our Chronic Care Program are eligible to receive the units free of charge, thanks to a grant from our program partner, the Somerset County Office on Aging.