Poland launches pilot project to monitor high-risk COVID-19 patients

One of the key parameters to be monitored will be the saturation level, or the oxygenation of arterial blood, through pulse oximeters. Public domain

The health ministry is testing a system to remotely monitor COVID-19 patients from high-risk groups.

The pilot project will initially be run in the southern province of Małopolska, but could be rolled out across the entire country, if successful.

One of the key parameters to be monitored will be the saturation level, or the oxygenation of arterial blood, through pulse oximeters. A total of 1,500 oximeters have already been sent to Małopolska, and will be distributed by the Polish Post (Poczta Polska).

The ministry said that after the completion of the pilot programme, the same process would be carried out nationally.

After receiving information that a patient has been diagnosed with COVID-19, a primary care physician will refer the patient for tele-monitoring on the basis of health information gained from an interview. The patient will then receive the data necessary to login into the system.

Poczta Polska will then be told automatically that a patient requires a pulse oximeter, and will then deliver it.

The ministry explained that the supervision of patients in isolation at home is necessary due to the high infection rate. The supervision will be conducted throughout the day via the health care 'Home Infoline.'

If warning signs are detected, a remote consultation with a doctor will be possible. An additional infoline will also be launched for psychological support. The Ministry of Health said that remote monitoring would help detect signs that a patient might need hospitalisation.