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  • Faithe Poh and Shreya Khandelwal

Leveraging on Technology to Support Inpatient Care in Homes

Over the last two years, the pandemic has brought about many uncertainties and inconveniences, but also generated a new wave of technological and service innovations in healthcare. Fuelled by increasing healthcare demands and hospital bed shortages, there is interest to develop and validate new care models, including those enabled by technology and partnerships.


Philips Technology Showcase at the Hospital @ Home Asia 2022 in Singapore

 

To explore the shifting trends, MOHT conducted a landscape scan in 2022. This scan helped to collate solutions that could facilitate care substitution and delivery in the community. With Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and partners like APACMed and Hospital Management Asia, MOHT reached out to industry leaders and start-ups in Singapore to raise awareness on care redesign initiatives. This practice intended to understand capabilities of clinical services and telehealth solutions available locally.


A catalogue was curated with shortlisted solutions spanning remote vital signs monitoring (VSM), contactless solutions such as fall and movement detection devices, electrocardiogram and Holter cardio monitoring devices, portable test kits, rehabilitation solutions, imaging solutions, third-party service providers and providers of integrated platforms. MOHT updates the catalogue on a rolling basis, and shares information with care redesign partners and clinicians based on the needs on the ground.


Showcase at APACMed MedTech Forum 2022


Demo setup for a fall detection and surveillance device by RoomMate.


Accelerating solutions adoption for Mobile Inpatient Care at Home ([email protected]): A case study


The [email protected] National Regulatory and Financing Sandbox was launched in April 2022 by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Assisted by technology enablers and service partnerships, the care model seeks to provide a viable substitute for inpatient hospitalisations by demonstrating cost-effective and safe care for selected segments with low to moderate clinical acuity. The technology space is disruptive and has scope for immense development and collaboration with the healthcare system. This brings in a need to categorise and screen the various solution providers in the market to fit into the scope of the current sandbox implementation. Such a practice helps MOHT understand the readiness of the ecosystem to support the implementation sites with the appropriate technology. This national catalogue also promotes awareness about the upcoming innovations in this space among the implementation sites and clinicians.


Capabilities like Masimo and Dr Buddy enable remote vital signs monitoring and patients’ self-reported data flow from patients’ homes to the clinicians back in the hospitals for safety and monitoring. Devices and supporting platforms like SmartFuture enable the automated flow of vital signs from homes to clinicians for increased efficiency and safety by reducing human error from unnecessary manual touchpoints. Given the limited technological literacy among our older patients, these challenges can be overcome with automation and more intuitive UI/UX designs.


Care Team at Singapore General Hospital demonstrating the processes of [email protected] during the [email protected] Press Conference


Other than conventional remote VSM and IT platforms, emerging technologies have also been exciting. The growing interest in the contactless detection and monitoring of adverse events like falls saw potential adoption partnerships being explored with medical technology companies like Xander Kardian, CoNEX Healthcare, SoundEye, and Essence SmartCare. As we expand the [email protected] sandbox use cases, this catalogue aims to provide clinicians with safe and accurate solutions for usage among paediatric cases, subacute and rehab care. This empowers and encourages clinicians to explore previously unchartered terrains in remote care. With solution providers such as Rebee Health, Masimo and Cardioscan, which provide solutions in rehab and paediatric care, clinicians are exposed to various options for different use cases.


This catalogue has been curated through collaborations with knowledge experts like ESG and MOH’s Technology Evaluation and Implementation Unit (TEIU). It intends to support [email protected] project teams in considering these solutions for use within the safety net of the sandbox before mainstream use. This will help MOHT, and the clinician-led teams stay on top of the technology curve without compromising patient safety. We aim to achieve active uptake of newer technologies while ensuring sustainable expansion made possible through this system of using a solutions catalogue. With effective and efficient expansion, we hope to create a productive, technology-supported home-based environment in the community. We hope that this practice will enable optimal care delivery for suitable patients and build trust among all stakeholders. We believe this will allow the ecosystem to thrive in the years ahead.


We are looking for partners who can collaborate with us on telehealth solutions including, but not limited to remote vital signs monitoring, contactless solutions and integrated platforms.


For more information or collaboration opportunities, contact the team at [email protected]


Note: References to any product, service, or website of third parties or other information by trade name, trademark, supplier or otherwise does not constitute or imply MOHT’s endorsement or recommendation.


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