Andrew White (39) from Tauranga was travelling once a week to Waikato Hospital to see a specialist after his transplant surgery.
Now using his iPhone and the blood pressure cuff iHealth, Andrew’s blood pressure readings are wirelessly sent to SmartHealth’s interface during his online consultations and he no longer has to travel to Hamilton weekly.
How doctors obtain a patient’s blood pressure measurement is a key component in post-operative transplant care says Dr Eddie Tan, Waikato DHB renal specialist.
“This is traditionally done with in-person consultations via an automated machine; now the Bluetooth device does the same thing ensuring we get accurate and un-fabricated readings each time.
“Andrew still needs to have in-person consultations but not as many thanks to SmartHealth and iHealth.”
Andrew was diagnosed around 12 years ago with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS); a type of kidney disease that affects its function. Over this time his health declined leading to kidney failure where he needed dialysis for two months before his kidney transplant in 10 August 2016.
His brother Phil White donated the kidney.
In October 2016, Andrew had an epileptic seizure in the Waikato Hospital waiting room and could not drive for a minimum of six months.
He has to rely on family members to drive him for his appointments and is thankful for SmartHealth stating: “It’s an easy to use software application. You need to take some time to set it up, and learn how to use it; but that’s nothing in comparison to driving back and forward to Hamilton weekly. And it seems to rain every time.”
“Although people are willing to help me travel over, I’m sure the travel was starting to wear them down a little too.
“My only other alternative was taking the shuttle which would leave around 6am in the morning and I wouldn’t get home until 6pm at night – all for a 10 minute consultation.”
All Andrew’s travel costs are reimbursed under the National Travel Assistance Scheme.
Waikato DHB’s executive director of SmartHealth Darrin Hackett explained: “As a supportive product to SmartHealth, the iHealth trial is just one of many innovative opportunities that the DHB is exploring so we can move our vision of healthy people and excellent care even closer to home in the future.
“SmartHealth is allowing us to try new methods of delivering traditional healthcare that will hopefully address some of the changing and challenging needs our system is going to face in the future including more complex care and surgeries.
“It’s fantastic to see Andrew getting results so close to the start of the blood pressure trial with SmartHealth. If it can make healthcare faster and easier giving patients like Andrew more time to treasure life outside of the hospital after a lifesaving operation – it’s a win, win all round.”
Waikato DHB has introduced iHealth Software to complement SmartHealth.
At the time, Andrew was a suitable candidate to trial this technology and it is hoped to be used with other Waikato DHB renal care and post-surgical patients.