Funded by the Covid #safeathome Fund, established by the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation when COVID-19 first surfaced in the region, two Merlin on Demand cardiac kiosks have arrived in the North and are in place in both Fort St. John Hospital, and Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace.
The original request came quite some time ago from Dr. Ahmed Yaser, Lead for Chronic Diseases Strategic Initiatives, Cardiac and Stroke, and Regional Chronic Diseases.
“The Merlin on Demand kiosks would enable remote monitoring service to approximately 50 device patients in the Terrace area, and 20-25 device patients patient in Fort St John area.” he said. “This is a short term solution but will be sustained in the future as it is part of the envisioned long term strategy.”
The Merlin on Demand remote monitoring kiosk will allow St. Jude Cardiac implanted electronic device patients to transmit the device data in scheduled follow up checks similar to what happens during in-person visits. The device data is loaded into a secure system that can be accessed via the patient’s healthcare providers.
Also, if a patient presents to emergency department due to shock-like symptoms related to the implanted device, these kiosks could be used to interrogate the device remotely to determine whether the patients needs to be transferred to another hospital or could be discharged if stable. This would directly benefit both the patient and the healthcare system and eliminate unnecessary medical transfers. The need for this equipment has become more urgent and priority with the current pandemic.
“So the credit goes to Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation and all the key partners who supported our strategic vision for expanding access to cardiac services in these communities outside Prince George through innovative ways,” said Dr. Yaser.
Yaser added that following the launch of these two units they would start looking at evaluating the initiative and the feasibility of implementing at other locations based on population needs and site readiness and capacity to support the service.
“Many individuals and corporate partners have collectively given generously to the #safeathome Fund to see sustainable solutions in medical equipment be supported throughout the North. Wheaton Precious Metals chose to direct its donation to this fund to see this key equipment in particular purchased, along with a portable ECG unit.” said Judy Neiser, CEO for Spirit of the North. “We couldn’t be more grateful that they chose to directly fund this specific equipment with a donation to the #safeathome Fund.
The fund is still active and now that we are seeing a major surge in cases in northern B.C., there truly is a need to make northern B.C. more resilient for our patients. Anyone wishing to give can call 250-565-2515 or go online to this link.