Remote monitoring could give patients better care at home


People could spend less time in hospital, thanks to a smart new remote device that lets patients be monitored at home, Health Minister Andrew Little says.

“Technology has the potential to really change the way we do things – to do things that are  better for patients and at the same time ease pressure on the health system,” Andrew Little said in Timaru today.

“Several countries are already using BioStickers and now they are being trialled here to see what they can do for New Zealanders.”

Biostickers are 85mm long, made of soft flexible material and are worn on the upper left chest. They capture medical-grade data, such as skin temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate, which is transmitted to the medical professionals who are treating the patients.

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand is running six-month trials of BioStickers in Counties Manukau and South Canterbury. So far, they have been used to monitor 50 people in Counties Manukau with COVID-19, while in South Canterbury, 10 people have been given monitors to see how they can help keep rural people be cared for at home.

“It’s particularly important that new ways of doing things are tested in rural places as well as cities, which is why I’m pleased to see the trial for myself in Timaru today,” Andrew Little said.

“Early feedback is that people using these devices is that they like being at home instead of in hospital, and with the devices on they feel safe.

“Health technologies are changing all the time, and we need to think about how we can use it to work smarter to help all New Zealanders get the healthcare they need. That’s what our reforms of the health system are all about.”