Spritely Featured in Digital Health Connect

April 30, 2024

Thanks to team at Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ) for focusing the most recent issue of Digital Health Connect on the need for remote care. Spritely supports NZ hospitals to provide remote care that is effective, efficient, and equitable for everyone. Even older people who lack experience with technology. Here’s why….

15 years from now Stats NZ predicts that there will be 100,000 more people over the age of 85. Many of those are already over the age of 75 and will be at least 90 by then.Research from Finland showed “there was a three-fold increase in ED visits made by patients 80 years or more compared to those under 80, and aging of the population will lead to a rapid increase in the number of ED visits.”The same study concluded it “unlikely that increasing ED resources is feasible. Instead, the focus should be on chronic care of the aged and prevention of potentially avoidable ED visits.” In other words, delivering care closer to home.Remote care is a potential game changer here. It can’t replace in person care but it can augment it. Patient outcomes and patient experience is improved, and clinicians are more productive when fit for purpose technology is used to enhance models of care and save travel time for community-based health workers.The problem is, a lot of older people don’t have sufficient technical expertise to easily take advantage of remote care. This is not just a problem for them, It’s a problem for the health system.Older people occupy a high proportion of bed days and represent a high proportion of admissions from ED. If we want to reduce pressure on hospitals we need to scale up an accessible way to remotely manage the health of older people with chronic conditions. So we can safely and efficiently manage care closer to home and prevent ED presentations and hospital admissions.In the future, our hospitals will not have the capacity to look after all the older people who are (statistically) likely to present to ED. Without fit for purpose technology, our primary care and community-based workforce won’t have capacity to look after them at home either. This is why we need change.Get in touch if you want to talk about enabling remote care for your patients