Medical students monitor corona patients at home
Thanks to the home monitoring project, twenty-one COVID-19 patients in the St. Antonius hospital in Nieuwegein were released early. ‘We saw how overwhelmed hospitals were’, Agnes explains their motivation.
The students are collaborating on the COVID-19 issue with the hospital’s lung specialists and an E-health team. They’re using an app that was originally designed for COPD patients, which means it’s already approved for medical uses. On top of that, the hospital was already familiar with the system.
Through the app, patients can keep their medical team apprised of their oxygen saturation and pass on any complaints. Two other UG interns are on the team as well: Olga Pijpers and Lotte Wolfs.
Initially, the project focused shortening hospital stays to free up beds for new patients, but now that the number of patients being taken in is decreasing, the focus has shifted to aftercare. ‘Our patients say they prefer to get better at home’, says Agnes.
‘We want to utilise home monitoring to answer patients’ questions’, says Agnes. They often experience their hospital stay as a major event. ‘They were surrounded by people in weird clothing and have been inundated with stories about how horrible the disease they have is, so I can understand their fears.’
The students want to offer the app to other hospitals as well. ‘If they’re interested, we’re willing to share our protocols and experience using the app’, says Agnes. ‘We really believe this can help. It’s a way to get back to regular healthcare.’