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Tele-homecare project starts in rural Saskatchewan

REGINA – People in the rural Saskatchewan region of Kelsey Trail with chronic health conditions like diabetes and hypertension now have access to telehomecare. The solution is a remote patient monitoring system that allows a client’s condition to be monitored by a health professional via a computer.

The pilot project in the Kelsey Trail Health Region (KTHR) is a joint venture between the Ministry of Health, Kelsey Trail Regional Health Authority, HealthLine and SaskTel.

“The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to putting the patient first,” Carrot River Valley MLA Fred Bradshaw said on behalf of Health Minister Don McMorris. “We are working to improve the delivery of primary health care services that help Saskatchewan people get the everyday care they need to protect and maintain their health.”

“We have just begun recruiting clients to the pilot project,” KTHR Director, Home Care Sandy Weseen said. “Evaluations of existing Telehomecare projects in Canada have suggested increased client knowledge and client satisfaction as the result of clients being more involved in managing their own disease, in addition to a reduction in emergency room hospital visits, admission and outpatient visits.”

The project uses SaskTel’s LifeStat Remote Monitoring and Health Management Service. LifeStat uses Bluetooth wireless technology in conjunction with a regular home phone or compatible cell phone, allowing health care professionals and clients to monitor blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

“LifeStat offers clients a new way to take control of their health while providing caregivers with up-to-date information about the patient’s condition,” SaskTel President and CEO Robert Watson said. “We’re very excited about this opportunity to work with the Ministry of Health and Kelsey Trail Health Region to demonstrate the life-enhancing capabilities of LifeStat.”

LifeStat can also be programmed to generate alerts to HealthLine or those authorized if the blood pressure or glucose levels are outside predefined alert parameters. In addition, Telehomecare offers an increased opportunity for client education and disease self-management.

Posted March 25, 2010