Up to 200 patients with atrial fibrillation in North Manchester will be able to monitor themselves at home to reduce their chances of having a stroke with a new service on the NHS.
Digital health company Inhealthcare is supply the technology which is being delivered by staff from The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
The service is for people at risk of stroke who use the drug warfarin to prevent blood clotting. Patients who use the drug have to attend medical clinics on a regular basis for blood tests to determine their correct dosage.
Inhealthcare’s technology lets patients test themselves at home and send their results to the clinic via a mobile app, secure web portal or automated telephone call to receive their dosage.
Bryn Sage, chief executive at Inhealthcare, said: “Our technology allows people with long-term heart conditions to stay on top of their health without the hassle of inconvenient and time-consuming hospital or clinic appointments.
This is exactly the sort of service that can reduce pressure on busy NHS clinics and allow staff to spend more time with patients who need care the most. We have rolled out similar services across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland and are looking forward to helping patients and the health service in Greater Manchester.
In the last 12 months, we have enabled 78,000 digital consultations, connecting patients to clinicians remotely, freeing up much-needed capacity in the NHS”
Patients are given a handheld device to test their blood’s international normalised ratio (INR) at home and are also asked a series of automated health questions as they send their readings to clinics for analysis. The correct dosage information is then worked out, approved by the clinician before it is send back to the patient.
Betty Brough, lead anticoagulant nurse specialist at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The new system gives patients the freedom from attending a clinic appointment every four weeks on average and the ability to test their INR at their convenience.
“It is proving very popular and within the next six months we hope to have enrolled 200 patients onto the scheme.
“The overall outcomes will hopefully give more flexibility to the patient and show that they have more time in their ideal therapeutic range to ensure their warfarin therapy is effective and will reduce their chance of having a stroke.”