We recently held a demonstration for tenants who are affiliated to the GP Surgeries participating in our Health Hub project at Croft an Righ. Stewart from Microtech provided tenants with an opportunity to use the tablets and showed off the wifi blood pressure cuff to show how easy it is to use. Don’t take our word for it. In the words of one of our tenants……
"By now, many of you will have read or heard about the development of the Health Hub at Croft an Righ and the benefits it could bring. Some people are sceptical with others being more positive.
Allow me an attempt to highlight more of the positive aspects associated with the Health Hub. I am a competent ‘First Aid at Work’ practitioner and have completed a qualification as a ‘Diver Medical Technician’, approved by the ‘IMCA’ (International Marine Contractors Association). The IMCA set the worldwide standards for commercial divers and the support services; such as the medical quality and safety for divers working underwater. Divers have a very high risk of injury because of the adverse environment in which they work. You may ask what is common with an older person and a diver and the answer is both are at high risk medically! The commercial divers are medically at risk because of the nature of their work and the older person because of because of the work of nature!
The objective of the Health Hub sets out to alleviate the simple aspect of the patient travelling to and from a clinic or surgery for treatment and in addition reduce the number of people waiting unnecessarily in doctors’ waiting rooms, aside from the fact that there are usually long waiting times to procure an appointment with your Doctor caused by medical facilities’ busy schedules.
In conjunction with NHS Lothian’s Strategic Programme Manager (Healthcare Innovation), Julia Murray was successful in obtaining £22,000 grant funding and is now working with colleagues in City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian to bring this Scottish Government supported initiative to life.
How the Health Hub will function is still a matter requiring a bit more organisation as the potential patients, initially registered with 2 GP surgeries, will be contacted by the surgeries to take part in the scheme and will have to be willing participants. No access to medical records or medical treatment will be carried out by Viewpoint staff and all conditions will be monitored directly, through the technology, to the Doctors’ database which will notify him/her of any spikes or drops in readings from normal. The aim is for the resident to carry out their own self-assessments with the use of specialised equipment and training provided. All equipment is easy to use. The idea is that a potential patient can carry out checks of their own ‘vital signs’ by simple use of attaching a ‘cuff’ around their upper arm which self inflates/deflates to provide a reading of their blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) with the added potential of the use of an ‘oximeter’; a device that is lightly clamped to any fingertip to read the saturation of oxygen in the blood and can, at the same time, read the person’s pulse rate. Additionally, temperature can be monitored along with weight. Initially the project will only deal with blood pressure.
The results of the simple, repeated tests could determine if it is necessary for Doctor contact or for you to relax in the knowledge that you are within your specified medical parameters. Should your Doctor feel that contact with you is necessary it is then possible to ‘consult’ with him/her by video-conferencing equipment provided at the Health Hub station situated in the Arts & Crafts room at Croft-an-Righ. This is for later on in the project as equipment needs to meet the existing NHS systems and protocols still have to be set up. Co-ordinator help should be available for residents unsure or who forget how to use the equipment as they, along with the residents signing up for the Health Hub, will be suitably trained. The contact with your Doctor, including the availability of test results on a basis dictated by your condition, could lead to better determination of a deterioration of one’s condition allowing specific action to be implemented such as a house call, or if necessary, an ambulance and a hospital visit. This should reduce emergency situations.
The implementation of the Health Hub will bring about a unique opportunity for greater wellbeing and ease of access to simpler, more efficient medical care. Consider the advantage of ‘in-house’ monitoring on a regular basis that will provide peace of mind to all who use it. No more standing in the cold or rain, maybe snow and wind, waiting for your bus when going to the doctors. This will not in any way eliminate or substitute your doctor or offer any treatment or prescription whatsoever! As a long term volunteer resident, I will be given suitable training in the use of the equipment and will be able to demonstrate how it operates to my neighbours in the absence of the Co-ordinator if necessary. Individuals who familiarise themselves with the technology can conduct their own vital health check on themselves." - John Newman, tenant