Doccla & Northampton NHS Trust trial virtual wards for vulnerable patients

Doccla, the Swedish medtech startup pioneering virtual hospital care, has announced a partnership with Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust (NGH) to trial remote smart patient monitoring, which delivers a new type of safe, effective patient care while freeing up NHS capacity. The medtech company is providing virtual wards, built around the use of connected medical wearables in the home, to allow NGH clinicians to remotely monitor the vital signs of recovering COVID patients and those living with chronic illness.

Doccla was originally chosen by the NHS to lead on a project to demonstrate the feasibility of Smart Home Care. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, NGH has worked with Doccla to develop a remote monitoring system for recovering Covid patients as well as the chronically ill. Patients are equipped with smart devices to wear at home which send information to NGH clinicians to support decision-making. A recent survey among the first 40 patients, as well the clinical team at NGH, shows very strong support for the Doccla Remote Patient Monitoring model.

Doccla uses the latest wearable devices to allow medical staff to monitor the vital signs of a patient remotely, via a secure web browser, while the patient is at home. Its virtual wards allow NHS trusts to reduce the number of vulnerable patients required to remain in hospital, increasing capacity to look after patients. With rapid implementation and minimal effort required by Trusts, Doccla can quickly reduce the cost and workload pressures on the NHS.

For patients, the virtual ward reduces anxiety and the need for hospital visits. The breadth of data gathered by the wearables gives the patient assurance that their care team has an eye on their health and will be alerted if their condition deteriorates.

Chris Pallot, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at NGH said, “We are using Doccla’s solution to add capacity and improve clinical support, while enabling certain patients to stay at home who otherwise may have been admitted. This is one of the approaches that the hospital has taken to address the Covid-19 outbreak”

The objective is to help certain patients to stay at home and, thus, avoid the need to be admitted to hospital unless they experience a deterioration in their condition. All clinical responsibility remains with NGH, with Doccla providing a service that makes it possible to monitor patients remotely. Every day each patient’s device will send automated readings of routine measurements (e.g. pulse and oxygen levels) via Doccla to NGH clinicians who will review and take any action necessary.

The service does not replace standard NHS advice and patients are encouraged to call 111 if they are concerned or 999 in an emergency as normal.


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