New smart remote device monitors patients at home

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A new smart remote device allowing patients to be monitored at home could help people spend less time in hospital.

Biosticker is currently being tested by Health New Zealand, and it is already seeing positive results.

Trial patient Janet Steven says the device has given her peace of mind.

“Wearing it gave me confidence and knowing it’s reassuring that someone is actually watching what’s going on with my health,” she said.

Biosticker continuously monitors a patient’s heart rate, respiration and skin temperature. The data is monitored remotely by medical personnel.

Another trial patient, Libya Foote, says it is quickly becoming part of her daily life.

“It’s not a problem at all. I didn’t find any downsides or anything like that,” she said.

“It’s like your clothes you put on.”

Biosticker project manager Ruth Kibble said that although it is still in its early stages, they have already received positive feedback from trial participants.

“They feel a lot more confident that they don’t need to go to the emergency room or that they can access health care when they want it,” she said.

On Friday, Health Minister Andrew Little traveled to Timaru to hear from users of the device.

“We know that the more people who can be cared for at home or supported at home or closer to home, that has therapeutic benefits as well,” he said.

Sixty people are already using the device in Manukau and Timaru counties. However, the trial will soon be much larger, with more than 250 people expected to take part in the six-month trial.

Officials say it’s especially helpful for people living alone or in rural areas.

“It’s just the start of the trial, but I’m really getting really positive feedback on how the trial is going,” Kibble said.

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