SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIRx Health, a digital healthcare company pioneering remote patient monitoring, today announced that researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine are using the AIRx Health platform in a research study for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. AIRx Health also announced it is working with Kaweah Delta Health Care District to monitor frontline healthcare workers for COVID-19 and patients with high risk chronic lung disease.
AIRx Health is a digital healthcare company tackling the top causes of hospitalization and death in America, including chronic lung disease, stroke, and COVID-19. Now the third leading cause of death in America, COVID-19 has taken the lives of approximately 250,000 Americans in 2020, with over 11 million reported cases in the country.
“Beyond COVID-19 management, our goal is to fundamentally change the orientation of healthcare delivery from reactive to preventive. One of the reasons the U.S. has been harder hit with COVID-19 is that our population has one of the highest rates of uncontrolled chronic conditions,” said Vijay Rajasekhar, MD, CEO of AIRx Health. “Older patients, in particular, are more likely to be impacted by chronic conditions, leaving them susceptible when medical and public health issues arise.”
Compared to its peer nations, the U.S. has the highest number of hospitalizations from preventable causes and the highest rate of avoidable deaths. A proactive, centralized monitoring system gives healthcare teams the ability to better manage underlying chronic conditions and also get ahead of any future infectious threat or outbreak before it escalates into a pandemic crisis. Checking in with patients daily allows physicians to intervene early and treat patients on an individual level, while keeping the country healthier on a population level.
Patients 65 and older, minorities, and those from underserved communities have been harder hit with COVID-19 and are disproportionately impacted by underlying chronic conditions. To better serve the communities most in need, the AIRx Health platform has been designed in both English and Spanish. While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telehealth, nearly 50% of Americans aged 65+ still do not own smartphones, creating a large gap in access to modern healthcare. To reduce the burden of chronic conditions and to improve medical responses to COVID-19, AIRx Health designed a platform where the use of smartphones is not required. Patients using AIRx Health have multiple options to access world-class remote patient monitoring, including an automated toll-free system or online with daily SMS text-based reminders.
Addressing the U.S. Physician Shortage
To help with the impending shortage of physicians in America, the AIRx Health platform allows healthcare providers to proactively monitor the health of many patients at scale. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. is projected to see a shortage of up to nearly 140,000 physicians by 2033.
“With fewer doctors and a growing aging population, our country needs to equip every healthcare worker with the tools to effectively manage more patients. By reducing the friction involved in remotely monitoring patient vitals and symptoms, AIRx Health allows medical teams to virtually oversee, triage, and manage patients at a scale previously not possible,” said Marlon Castillo, COO of AIRx Health. “The AIRx Health platform effectively enables a single healthcare worker to communicate with thousands of patients simultaneously, whether to keep chronic conditions under control or to assist in containment of infectious disease.”
Stanford Medicine uses AIRx Health for COVID-19 Research
Medical researchers at Stanford Medicine started utilizing the AIRx Health platform to monitor up to 2,000 COVID-19 outpatients in a research study to better understand which patients deteriorate faster and require hospitalization. Certain patients with COVID-19 develop silent hypoxia, causing low levels of blood oxygen saturation. Identifying silent hypoxia in COVID-19 patients who are isolating at home may help medical teams determine which patients with COVID-19 require escalation of care sooner.
Each day AIRx Health sends SMS text messages to patients to complete a daily check-in of their COVID-19 vitals and symptoms in either English or Spanish. Responses from patients are medically triaged and accessible by Stanford Medicine’s teams using AIRx Health’s secure platform. Through this type of remote patient monitoring, medical staff can gather information simultaneously from many patients to quickly identify which patients may need immediate follow-up.
AIRx Health for Monitoring Frontline Healthcare Workers
Since March 2020, AIRx Health has been used by Kaweah Delta Health Care District (KDHCD) in Central California to monitor frontline healthcare workers with potential COVID-19 exposure. KDHCD employs over 5,100 healthcare employees.
“Keeping our frontline healthcare workers safe and healthy has been a top priority for KDHCD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing AIRx Health’s digital platform, we have been able to closely monitor our healthcare staff at a scale that otherwise would have been very difficult and literally impossible! AIRx Health has been an invaluable service for our staff and organization,” said Gloria Simonetti, RN, Manager of Employee Health Services at Kaweah Delta Health Care District.
AIRx Health for Chronic Conditions
Prior to launching COVID-19 monitoring, AIRx Health designed and implemented a remote monitoring system for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a leading cause of hospitalization and death in America. KDHCD and the Sequoia Health Plan have been piloting AIRx Health for COPD since 2019 to help reduce the rate of COPD hospitalizations. “The AIRx Health platform is simple, effective, and elegant,” said Ryan Gates, PharmD, Sequoia Health and Wellness Center’s Chief Executive Officer, and Vice-President of Population Health Management at Kaweah Delta. “Independent of their health literacy, every patient has found AIRx Health easy to use. The platform facilitates predicting possible COPD exacerbations in a timely manner, helping our patients avoid ER visits and hospitalizations," said Dr. Monica Manga, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer, Sequoia Health and Wellness Center, and Medical Director of KDHCD Chronic Disease Medical Center. Further, AIRx Health monitoring has been offered at select private clinics in California and is now available via telehealth to patients across all of California. Using the AIRx Health platform, patients can connect with top-trained U.S. physicians experienced in remote monitoring care for chronic lung disease, hypertension, stroke, and COVID-19.
About AIRx Health
AIRx Health is a digital healthcare company connecting patients to medical teams for remote patient monitoring for COPD, hypertension, stroke, and COVID-19. AIRx Health was founded by Vijay Rajasekhar, MD and Marlon Castillo, MBA. Investors include OMRON Ventures, ACME Capital, Floodgate, Village Global, YCombinator, Bling Capital, and others. For more information, please visit: www.airxhealth.com