Contract research organization (CRO) PRA Health Sciences has announced expansion of its COVID-19 Monitoring Program, adding to the firm’s patient-facing Health Harmony mobile app. The addition of at-home COVID-19 testing adds to the existing clinical monitoring, symptom reporting and management services currently available on the app.
Randy Swanson, president of Care Innovations (a PRA Health Sciences company) told Outsourcing-Pharma that the Health Harmony app enables patients to track their health whether they are asymptomatic, exposed or diagnosed with the virus as part of the monitoring program.
“The COVID-19 Monitoring Program is part of PRA’s broader remote patient monitoring platform, which uses connected devices, remote clinical monitoring services, video conferencing, and other patient engagement features to create a seamless, at-home experience for patients,” he explained. “By downloading the program’s mobile app, Health Harmony, participants can report health metrics such as body temperature, heart rate, pulse oximetry, and COVID-19 symptoms through their personal mobile devices.
"In addition, participants benefit from PRA’s nurse-led clinical call center, who monitor the data reported through the app on a daily basis; the trained staff can remotely address physical, social, and psychological symptoms that the patients may be experiencing as well as coordinate in-person interventions, if appropriate,” he added.
As a result of PRA’s work with PWNHealth and Fulgent Genetics, Swanson added, the program now offers patients “an end-to-end experience,” enabling them to order self-administered swab tests and receive results within 48 hours after sample receipt at the lab.
The addition of in-home testing, he told us, gives patients the benefit of convenience.
“When patients have a simplified process to their care, patients are more willing and able to adhere to their treatment plans, which directly impacts health outcomes,” Swanson pointed out. “With the COVID-19 Monitoring Program, patients are able to connect to their health through their devices, in their space, and on their time, while also having the confidence that trained nurses are continuously monitoring their health and their doctors are available via virtual visits.”
The Health Harmony app is used to collect patient data digitally, then present it to the PRA monitoring center, which is staffed by nurses. Clinicians can monitor patients’ health and, if needed, recommend and coordinate appropriate interventions remotely.
If a COVID-19 test is recommended by clinicians, the patient can order the at-home directly through the mobile app. According to the company, the cloud-based system is easy to use, able to get up and running within three weeks.
Kent Thoelke, executive vice president and chief scientific officer at PRA Health Sciences, said, “We are excited to be at the forefront of innovation that enables our clients to adapt to evolving healthcare demands and help patients receive life-saving treatments. Our connected health solutions represent the future of patient care and the greatest opportunity to advance patients’ health.”
What’s more, Swanson said, the technology enables users to increase patient convenience in the face of challenges presented by the pandemic.
“Remote patient monitoring is all about simplifying the patient experience – making it easy for patients to access their care, enroll in the program, and use from their home. PRA has dedicated resources and clinical teams who serve as the trusted source that patients need for accurate and up to date information about COVID-19,” he told us.