The novel coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) has placed unprecedented strain on healthcare providers, in particular, primary care services. General practitioners (GP) have to effectively manage patients remotely preserving social distancing. We aim to assess an app-based remote patient monitoring solution in reducing the workload of a clinician and reflect this as time-saved in an economic context. Primary care COVID patients in West London deemed medium risk were recruited into the virtual ward. Patients were monitored for 14 days by telephone or by both the Huma app and telephone. Information on number of phone calls, duration of phone calls and duration of time spent reviewing the app data was recorded.
The amount of time spent reviewing one patient in the telephone only arm of the study was 490 min, compared with 280 min spent reviewing one patient who was monitored via both the Huma app and telephone. Based on employed clinicians monitoring patients, this equates to a 0.04 reduction of full-time equivalent staffing I.e. for every 100 patients, it would require 4 less personnel to remotely monitor them. There was no difference in mortality or adverse events between the two groups.
App-based remote patient monitoring potentially holds large economic benefit to COVID-19 patients. In wake of further waves or future pandemics, and even in routine care, app-based remote monitoring patients could free up vital resources in terms of clinical team’s time, allowing a better reallocation of services.

© 2021. The Author(s).