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With the goal to accelerate progress in confronting global challenges, Intel Corporation has selected Las Cruces-based Electronic Caregiver to receive grant funding for its “COVID to Home” (CTH) program, which reduces constraints on hospital capacity while providing care to recovering COVID-19 patients.
In April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Intel committed $50 million to fund a Pandemic Response Technology Initiative (PRTI) to support and accelerate point-of-patient-care solutions.
“We chose to support Electronic Caregiver’s project because of its scalable use of remote monitoring that leverages Intel technology to meet the needs of underserved communities in New Mexico,” said Chris Gough, general manager of Intel Health and Life Sciences.
Electronic Caregiver launched CTH in November 2020 in partnership with regional public health stakeholders. The program offers a solution to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Doña Ana County. With the region’s hospitals and ICUs at 100 percent capacity and staff stretched thin, CTH helps alleviate capacity constraints and ensures COVID-19 patients receive proper care and oversight while preventing further spread of the virus.
CTH is jointly funded by Doña Ana County and the city of Las Cruces at no cost to patients. Since the program rolled out at MountainView Regional Medical Center and Memorial Medical Center (MMC), more than 100 patients have received services and support through the program. Moreover, CTH has increased critical care capacity in the region by 30 percent.
“[CTH] has allowed us to maintain capacity in our hospitals, while providing effective community-based care to people recovering from COVID,” said Jamie Michael, director of Health and Human Services for Doña Ana County. “It also allows providers to interact with patients safely and allows people to recover in their homes.”
Under the program, patients are discharged to their home or to a designated hotel with an Electronic Caregiver Pro Health smart health hub – a voice-driven, easy-to-use cellular- connected console. The device allows patients to receive daily ability to assess COVID-19 symptoms, including vital signs input from a pulse oximeter, non-contact thermometer and a blood pressure cuff.
A combination of clinicians and clinical volunteers use a HIPAA-compliant secure web portal to assess patient results remotely and provide care as needed. Patients can also use the device for televisits with a doctor, medication reminders and 24/7 emergency response. Electronic Caregiver’s solution utilizes Intel technology both in on-site workstations and cloud-based servers from Amazon Web Services.
“The major impact of this program is the number of hospital beds it has freed up for patients that are really sick,” said John Andazola, M.D., program director of the Southern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency Program at MMC. “It truly represents the best in local collaboration, and we are pleased to play a role.”
The option to implement Electronic Caregiver’s CTH program exists throughout the state and the country.
“We’d be thrilled to partner with anybody, anywhere, to be able to replicate this program and be able to drive a similar type of outcome,” said Electronic Caregiver Chief Digital Health Integration Officer Mark Francis. “If folks want to come together and deal with this critical public health issue, we’re here with the proven solution that’s driving demonstrated outcomes, that is simple and easy to implement, and can save lives and benefit communities.”