Due to fluid retention, patients with chronic heart failure run the risk of serious complications, such as shortness of breath and cardiac arrhythmia. Therefore it is very important that they keep an accurate daily record of their weight and blood pressure. As soon as these rise above a certain level, the patient should report this to the consultant physician as action will then be necessary. But many patients inform the doctor too late and then have to be rushed to hospital either to see the consultant or be admitted or re-admitted.
Home monitoring can prevent emergency hospital visits and admissions among these patients. Using a broadband connection, the Philips Motiva system sends the weight and blood pressure data to the hospital every day from a specially adapted weighing scale and blood pressure meter which the patient has at home. In the near future this data will also be sent to the general practitioners (GPs) concerned. If the readings are too high, the system gives a warning signal and doctors can intervene immediately.
"By continually monitoring patients at home they don't have to come as often to the hospital for check-ups. This greatly improves these patients' quality of life", stated cardiologist Dr. J. Schroeder-Tanka of the St. Lucas Andreas Hospital. Through remote monitoring patients can also receive important information on diet and lifestyle, for example, together with tips on muscle strengthening and instructions on how to deal with fluid retention.
The optimum use of remote monitoring for patients with cardiac failure is being further developed by the Cardiology group of the St. Lucas Andreas Hospital in close co-operation with Philips Healthcare Benelux. "Philips is the leading supplier worldwide of cardiology equipment for use inside and outside the hospital. This partnership fits in with our goal to extend care from the hospital to the home, where we see opportunities both for lowering the cost of such care and improving patients' quality of life", commented Bas Verhoef, general manager of Philips Healthcare Benelux.
This health care innovation in the St. Lucas Andreas Hospital is supported by Agis Zorgverzekeringen health insurers and the health care insurers' association, Zorgverzekeraars Nederland. Sint Lucas Andreas Ziekenhuis officially starts using the Philips Motiva system on 1 November 2007.
The Sint Lucas Andreas Ziekenhuis, housed in a fully refurbished building in Amsterdam-West, provides top quality patient-centred care in a multicultural society, where professionalism goes hand in hand with humanity. In 2006 the Sint Lucas Andreas Ziekenhuis initiated various activities related to acute care and mother and baby care. The "Sneller Beter" (getting better more quickly) service programme was also started, aimed at improving logistics, safety and service. As a member of the association of tertiary medical teaching hospitals (STZ) the Sint Lucas Andreas Ziekenhuis also continually strives for innovation in medical training and scientific research. In this way high standards of quality can be maintained and further enhanced.
Royal Philips Electronics of The Netherlands is a global expert in health care, lighting and consumer lifestyle, delivering products, services and solutions through the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in The Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 128.100 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of 27 billion euro in 2006, the company is a market leader in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring systems, energy efficient lighting solutions, personal care and home appliances, as well as consumer electronics. More company news can be found in the VMW November 2007 article Philips to acquire Raytel Cardiac Services to expand into United States home cardiac monitoring market.