Expansion of telemedicine in Bad Oeynhausen to improve care for heart patients

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As part of a technology partnership between the two organizations, Siemens Healthineers and the Herz- und Diabeteszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen (Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine-Westphalia, HDZ NRW) in Bad Oeynhausen have developed their first innovative care service for patients with cardiovascular diseases.

The program, known as “HerzConnect,” is aimed at health insurance companies that want to offer improved treatment for policyholders with chronic heart failure. The objective is to ensure patients are treated in accordance with the guidelines, and to provide in-depth remote care to significantly slow the progress of the disease, enable patients to manage their own disease through a process of education, and make a perceptible improvement to their quality of life. One crucial element involves preventing decompensated heart failure, i.e. an aggravation in which an accumulation of water in the lungs and other body parts leads to repeated hospitalization

Siemens Healthineers will be responsible for the entire technical component of this telemedicine solution, including logistical aspects. This includes elements such as the mobile measuring devices, like a mobile ECG, blood pressure meter, and scales to measure
body weight. HDZ NRW is responsible for providing patients with medical care and advice. The mobile app and the care software at HDZ NRW were developed for this project by Siemens Healthineers in partnership with HDZ NRW.

The mobile measuring devices supplied by Siemens Healthineers and certified as medical products record selected vital signs and other patient parameters around the clock and transmit this data via a Smartphone app and a secure data connection to the Institute for Applied Telemedicine (IFAT) at HDZ NRW. There, the data is analyzed both automatically and by specialists using specially developed algorithms, so that treatment can then be systematically optimized to suit each individual patient. This involves providing automated, intuitive feedback to the patient in question, as well as targeted, needs-based contact from the medical specialists at HDZ NRW. The specialists, who have undergone dedicated training in the clinical patterns of heart failure, take down additional information relevant to the patients’ treatment in a series of regular, scheduled phone calls, and guide them toward health-promoting lifestyles that will help them deal with their chronic heart disease.

Communicating knowledge on heart failure and setting individual goals for the course of treatment are intended to increase patient responsibility and improve their individual treatment outcomes. Continuous monitoring and the telemedicine care program will enable faster response times if unusual parameters are detected, in addition to providing care in accordance with guidelines, and ensuring improved adherence to treatment, all of which will ultimately result in better quality of life for the patients. Reducing the number of unplanned readmissions will cover the costs of telemedicine care using HerzConnect.

The first health insurance company to adopt this program is DAK Gesundheit in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, which will roll it out for its policyholders starting
summer 2019.

Siemens Healthineers enables healthcare providers worldwide to increase value by empowering them on their journey towards expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, improving patient experience and digitalizing healthcare. A leader in medical technology, Siemens Healthineers is constantly innovating its portfolio of products and services in its core areas of diagnostic and therapeutic imaging and in laboratory diagnostics and molecular medicine. Siemens Healthineers is also actively developing its digital health services and enterprise services. In fiscal 2018, which ended on September 30, 2018, Siemens Healthineers generated revenue of €13.4 billion and adjusted profit of €2.3 billion and has about 50,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available at www.siemens-healthineers.com.

The Herz- und Diabeteszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen (Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine-Westphalia, HDZ NRW), Bad Oeynhausen, is an internationally recognized center for the treatment of cardiovascular and diabetic diseases. With 35,000 patients per year, including 14,000 in-patients, HDZ NRW is one of Europe’s leading specialist hospitals, and its largest center for heart transplants. It has employed specialists covering a range of disciplines for 35 years. The university hospital provides all the latest treatment procedures for conditions involving heart failure, which can be monitored using telemedicine care programs from the hospital’s Institute for Applied Telemedicine (IFAT). The IFAT is a state-of-the-art care unit established in 2003 and forming part of HDZ NRW and provides in-home care by remote for patients throughout Germany. Its service include prevention, diagnostics, treatment, aftercare, and rehabilitation for patients with chronic cardiac, cardiovascular, and diabetes-related diseases. See www.hdz-nrw.de for further information