Heart disease study selects ViTel Net in national vendor search for Idaho-based telemedicine network

McLean 10 January 2005Premier Telehealth systems integrator ViTel Net and its ViTelCare DataGate remote monitoring home solution has been selected for a heart disease study by Idaho-based Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. The study is sponsored by the Department of Defense, United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, Fort Detrick, Maryland.

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Saint Alphonsus is the region's trauma centre and focuses on caring for patients through four distinct levels of care: at the hospital, through outpatient health facilities, in primary care clinics, and by using telemedicine for remote patient access and monitoring. Since its inception, Saint Alphonsus has placed great emphasis on innovation and technology in enhancing patient care, which led to their partnership with ViTel Net.

"ViTel Net was selected for their advanced medical technology and telemedicine expertise, and the ability to customize clinical content and work flow for the patient and overall programme. Use of this technology will serve to further the medical centre's goal of becoming a preferred site developing new and important technologies for patient care", stated Dr. Louis Brunetti, Principal Investigator for the study.

Supporting 225 patients in the one-year Congestive Heart Failure-Care and Research Effort (CHF-CARE) study, the remote health monitoring programme will be placed in patient homes throughout Saint Alphonsus' telemedicine network in southwest Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada.

The programme's goal is to evaluate whether patients with congestive heart failure can be effectively and remotely monitored and managed by telemedicine equipment. Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a chronic health condition that affects nearly five million Americans, with 550.000 new cases diagnosed each year. Recognizing every patient has unique needs ViTelCare DataGate is specially designed to support individuals following a specific disease protocol, as well as those requiring personalized monitoring capabilities enabling early detection of potentially serious symptoms and providing in-home educational modules.

Patients will take daily weight measurements, an important clinical risk indicator with CHF, then complete a personalized health assessment, review daily guides related to better living recommendations such as diet restrictions and exercise, report their ability to follow doctor's orders, and answer a number of CHF related questions that will measure their ability to improve their knowledge of how to live effectively with their chronic disease. All of the clinical material and work flow was customized to utilize Saint Alphonsus' specific criteria.

Updated health information from the patient will be transmitted across standard phone lines to a secure environment within Saint Alphonsus where the patient data will be restricted and accessible only by authorized research staff. The data will be stored in an electronic medical record format managed with the ViTelCare Call Center. The data is then presented in customized formats for research and analysis.

"We are excited to provide a comprehensive solution in this important medical study", stated Allen Izadpanah, President, CEO, and Founder of ViTel Net. "Saint Alphonsus was very diligent in their national search. Our business strategy and abilities fit very nicely with their current and long-term technology needs."

The Saint Alphonsus Heart and Vascular Center provides cardiac care in a technologically-advanced, state-of-the-art environment. Services include cardiac surgery, cardiac intensive care, cardiac catheterization labs, coronary and telemetry care, and cardiac diagnostic services. Saint Alphonsus also uses Web-based technology to diagnose, monitor, and deliver health care services to non-traditional medical environments such as homes or rural settings, and physicians can monitor patient's vital statistics on the Internet from their offices or homes. Saint Alphonsus is renowned for its digital radiology environment and pioneering technologies and provides award-winning clinical services; a nationally accredited Life Flight programme; and the region's only Level II Trauma centre accredited by the American College of Surgeons.

Founded in 1989, Visual Telecommunications Networks Inc., better known as ViTel Net, offers telemedicine applications and scalable, remote health monitoring throughout the continuum of care. ViTel Net can rapidly and seamlessly integrate an enterprise-wide suite of proven solutions into any existing healthcare infrastructure taking full advantage of legacy technology investments while introducing new, profitable or cost-saving business-expanding capabilities. More company news is available in the VMW September 2004 article ViTel Net partners with award-winning home care provider Sentara, offering advanced telehealth solutions.


Leslie Versweyveld

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