Guelph, Ont., Canada, April 1, 2020 – Ontario health-tech startup Chipmunk Health has teamed up with a Guelph doctor to introduce a new telehealth solution that helps chronically-ill patients manage their health better at home AND stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chipmunk enables patients to measure and record vital health parameters — such as blood pressure, blood sugar and activity level — in the comfort of their home and share their data wirelessly and securely with Chipmunk for analysis and assessment, so that the patient’s caregivers only get notified when necessary. Although the system adapted to monitor any condition, Chipmunk was designed to help people managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to ease the burden on the health system by reducing the number of routine doctor’s appointments and unnecessary visits to hospital emergency rooms.
“Essentially, Chipmunk allows people to take ‘medical selfies’ for real-time updates of their condition that, over time, provide reliable data to guide their treatment,” said Erik Duijsens, Chipmunk’s founder and CEO. “The platform equips caregivers with the tools they need to intervene when they see something out of the ordinary and, even better, helps them detect patterns to predict problems before they occur. We want to predict a stroke or heart attack before it happens. To do that, you need good data — Chipmunk provides that.”
Chipmunk is currently scaling up pilot programs with partners in Germany and The Netherlands treating stroke rehabilitation and diabetes patients. In Guelph, the company has been working for several months with Dr. Jamie Le and patients at the Woolwich Wellness & Weight Loss Centre. Le said many patients dealing with conditions such as diabetes have two or more chronic illnesses, presenting challenges for caregivers and placing a growing economic burden on the health system.
How Chipmunk Works
Not an app, Chipmunk is a remote health management and monitoring platform designed to work without a mobile device or computer.
- All set up and training is provided by Chipmunk technical specialists.
- Patients are provided with certified devices needed to measure vitals such as blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, weight and activity levels.
- Measurements are shared wirelessly with the Chipmunk hub, which looks much like a typical modem or cable TV box.
- The Chipmunk hub securely transfers patient data to the cloud where it is stored, monitored and made available for analysis by the Chipmunk team and / or the patient’s regular health care provider.
- Chipmunk nurses and caregivers monitor patient data, contacting them directly if intervention is required and even arranging doctor’s appointments.
- No data entry required by the patient. The system is virtually error-free and provides trusted clinical data.
Chipmunk is working with Dr. Le and other stakeholders in the health care sector to roll out the platform as a subscription-based service for COPD and other chronically ill patients across Ontario beginning this summer.
“This goal is to augment patient care, not compete with or replace the services of other providers,” said Dr. Le. “Working with us here in Guelph and its partners in Europe, Chipmunk has proven that their platform can help physicians improve outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and save our health systems money by reducing unnecessary visits to doctor’s offices and emergency rooms.”
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