Your heart failure patient lived hours away from the hospital where you work. What made you decide to recommend Sidekick to her?
COVID had just anchored itself in Iceland, so we were in lockdown, making treatment and testing a lot more difficult to plan. This particular patient lived in the countryside, and she was recently diagnosed with severe heart failure. We knew she needed a treatment plan immediately, and usually we would require more tests like a coronary angiography, MRI, etc. to fully understand the severity of the condition, but at the time it was not possible for this patient. So remote monitoring was a necessity, especially because of her location.
I was already familiar with Sidekick, and I knew that even though it can’t replace a visit to the clinic, it was a good option for her. She was very open to using the app and took to it quickly.
You were remotely monitoring the patient as she was completing her daily PROs, at what point did you become concerned about her well-being?
The app made it possible for me to have regular contact with her and to keep an eye on how she was doing. She completed daily PROs and was able to send me messages and updates as well. I was concerned about her condition so having this contact made a difference.
I was regularly in contact with her, and she sent me daily messages about her symptoms. When she was going on a trip in the countryside, I made her promise to let me know if her symptoms would worsen.
She had been using the app for about two weeks, when one day, we were communicating through the Sidekick message center, and I could detect from her PROs that her symptoms weren’t good. She had difficulty breathing, she was tired, and had heaviness in her chest. I had a bad feeling about this and told her that she needed to go directly to the hospital where she was located or come to the hospital in Reykjavik as soon as possible. We agreed that she would fly in first thing the following morning, and in the meantime, I would prepare for her admission to the Cardiology unit.
You were able to detect a change in her state through the data generated by the app, and take measures to help her. What do you think might have happened if you weren’t able to remotely monitor her in this way?
Sidekick made it possible for us to have regular contact. I was also able to monitor her condition through the daily PROs. She was also able to message me every day and I could respond promptly. This level of communication and monitoring made it possible for our team to adjust her medication and make other suggestions before we saw each other.
The daily information on how her symptoms were developing and the regular contact helped me decide that she needed to be admitted to hospital straight away. While in the hospital, we were able to run tests and eventually fit her with a special heart failure pacemaker. I was also able to remotely monitor her through the app after she was discharged which gave us comfort as she needed to be watched closely.