Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) has chosen Boston-based Biofourmis’ technology to support its new programme to provide acute hospital-level care to patients at their homes.

ARH, based in Lexington, is a not-for-profit health system operating 14 hospitals in Kentucky and West Virginia.

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It has 1,200 affiliated providers, multispecialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. 

Biofourmis will support ARH and other health systems and patients in rural areas with its end-to-end care-at-home solution.

Rural areas face great healthcare access challenges with regard to lack of specialized care, diagnostic testing and hospital beds.

ARH will deploy the solution for taking part in the Rural Home Hospital project, a joint venture of the Harvard T.J. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts.

ARH and Blessing Health System in Quincy, Illinois, which has also partnered with Biofourmis, are the only two US participants selected for the programme out of a lot of 700 applicants.

Wetaskiwin Community Health Centre, Alberta Health Services in Canada is also taking part in this three-year randomised controlled trial of the rural home hospital format.

ARH vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer Maria B Braman said, “Home hospital is a care model that has seen encouragingly positive outcomes and satisfied patients, and we believe it could make a true difference in rural Appalachia.”

“Biofourmis’ technology, which has been demonstrated to improve outcomes and decrease costs, has been successfully deployed in urban and rural home hospital programs.”

“The solution will give us the digital health and remote clinical support we need to help make our programme a success so that we can eventually expand to more hospitals and patients,” Braman added.

ARH is introducing this programme with 10 virtual beds. Patients will be provided with wearable biosensors, blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters and weight scales to record required data from home.

ARH will remotely monitor patients through the biosensors and an app. The recorded data will then be fed into Biofourmis artificial-intelligence-powered Biovitals Analytics Engine.

Biofourmis’ remote clinical support team will offer nurse-level monitoring service for patients as part of the project.