Maria Middelares General Hospital to use digital monitoring of COVID-19 patients who are self-isolating after visiting the A&E

Patients who visit A&E with respiratory complaints and who are sent home to recover while self-isolating often find this experience disconcerting. To keep in touch with and support patients through this difficult period, Maria Middelares General Hospital monitors them as of today through the Covid@Home digital communication platform provided by BeWell Innovations. The app is only intended for patients who have been discharged from our A&E Department or who have been discharged after having been admitted to Maria Middelares General Hospital.

Dr Diederik Van Sassenbroeck, Head of A&E: ‘When we send a coronavirus patient to recover at home, they are given a list of a number of things to look out for. If these symptoms develop, it is important that the patients contact the hospital themselves. This means that everything depends on the patients’ understanding of our guidelines. Thanks to the new platform we are now able to verify their condition through a daily evaluation in which the patients indicate how they are. This evaluation consists of self-reporting through a questionnaire and, as required, registration of parameters including body temperature, oxygen saturation and blood pressure. On the basis of this information, the A&E medical team may decide to proactively contact the patient to discuss developments and possible next steps. If required, we refer the patient to the GP or ask them to come back to the hospital.’

‘Once the platform is linked to the government’s eHealth services, this information will be available to all care providers, including primary caregivers. We are currently working with the government on the application to establish this link’, explains Alain Mampuya, CEO BeWell Innovations.

Preparations are underway to allow us to monitor COVID-19 patients who are discharged after a hospital stay through the Covid@Home communication platform as well. In this way, patients will have a sense of being fully supported by the hospital until they have completely recovered. Dr Ronny Goethals (medical director): ‘This is a good example of how we want to approach our patients: we establish continuum of care so that patients do not fall into a void between first and second line care. Digital platforms such as Covid@Home facilitate collaboration between GPs, community nurses and hospitals, enabling them to arrange for seamless care for the patient together. This is the care model of the future.’

Covid@Home is part of the Well@Home App which is recognised by mHealthBelgium.