TEC4Home: Telehealth for Emergency-Community Continuity of Care Connectivity via Home telemonitoring

MSFHR is contributing matched funding for Dr. Kendall Ho’s research, one of 22 projects funded through the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) eHealth Innovation Partnership Program (eHIPP). eHIPP was designed to address gaps in health care—including supporting seniors with complex care needs in their home—by stimulating collaborations between health researchers and Canadian innovative technology companies.The BC Ministry of Health and industry partner TELUS Health are also supporting Ho’s research. MSFHR is also funding the eHIPP research projects of Dr. Ellen Balka and Dr. Scott Lear. In 2017, Ho received a MSFHR Health Professional Investigator Award related to this project.

MSFHR is contributing matched funding for Dr. Kendall Ho’s research, one of 22 projects funded through the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) eHealth Innovation Partnership Program (eHIPP). eHIPP was designed to address gaps in health care—including supporting seniors with complex care needs in their home—by stimulating collaborations between health researchers and Canadian innovative technology companies. The BC Ministry of Health and industry partner TELUS Health are also supporting Ho’s research. MSFHR is also funding the eHIPP research projects of Dr. Ellen Balka and Dr. Scott Lear. In 2017, Ho received a MSFHR Health Professional Investigator Award related to this project.

Health care for seniors can be challenging, especially for those with chronic illnesses like heart failure which is the third leading cause of hospital stays. After discharge, seniors are often vulnerable to their condition deteriorating, with one of four returning to hospital within one month of an emergency department visit or hospital stay. 

Telehealth for Emergency-Community Continuity of Care Connectivity via Home-Telemonitoring (TEC4Home), is evaluating how home telemonitoring may improve care and increase patient safety during the transition from the emergency department to community care at home, and further, how it is best implemented to support patients with heart failure.

TEC4Home is led by Dr. Kendall Ho, a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia and an emergency department physician at Vancouver General Hospital. The aim is to improve patient outcomes and quality of life by reducing the number of emergency department revisits, hospitalizations and length of stay. 

Patients enrolled in the TEC4Home project can monitor their health from the comfort of their homes and share information electronically with their physicians and health care providers. Using monitoring technology provided by TELUS Health, patients measure their own weight, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation daily over a 60-day period. The data is automatically sent to a TEC4Home monitoring nurse who can follow up as required.

Over the four years of the project, Ho’s team will conduct a number of studies and trials involving patients recruited from emergency departments and several health authorities across BC. Ho’s research is expected to inform the use and expansion of the home monitoring approach throughout BC and Canada and to other chronic diseases.

The use of technology like TEC4Home for patient self-management and monitoring of chronic illnesses can empower patients to become active participants in their care and recovery. Additionally, there is the potential to improve the quality of health care delivery and reduce health care costs while freeing up resources and hospital beds for other patients.