Hge Health Enrolls Transplant And Surgical Patients In Its Covid Care(Tm) Monitoring Platform To Protect Vulnerable Patients From The Growing Covid-19 Pandemic

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At a time when hospital resources are scarce and surgeries are being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Temple Health is leveraging HGE Health’s scalable COVID Care platform to protect transplant and surgical patients against exposure to the virus

“HGE Health can help keep highly vulnerable and clinically fragile lung, heart, kidney, and liver transplant patients stable and act as a bridge between patients and their physicians during a time when COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited the availability of existing resources,” said Dr. Markus

To avoid compromising the immune system of transplant recipients or patients waiting for a transplant during the COVID-19 pandemic, Temple Health has begun enrolling lung, heart, kidney, and liver transplant patients using HGE Health’s COVID Care(TM) platform. Over 350 transplant patients were enrolled within days of the pandemic to monitor pre- and post-transplant patients for COVID-19 symptoms and immediately care for those patients who exhibit symptoms.

Underlying health conditions warranting a transplant can compromise the immune system, making pre-transplant patients susceptible to severe COVID infection. Similarly, transplant recipients are commonly prescribed immunosuppressants that lower the body’s ability to reject a transplanted organ. However, suppressing the body’s ability to reject a transplanted organ also inhibits the body’s immune system from warding off infections such as a COVID-19 infection. Thus, both pre- and post-transplant patients are at high risk for severe COVID-19 infection and morbidity.

Patients enrolled in HGE Health’s COVID Care(TM) remote symptom monitoring platform report their symptoms daily, from home. Questions prepared in accordance with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) seek information about any symptoms or other conditions experienced by enrolled patients that suggest possible exposure to, or contraction of the COVID-19 virus. “Our platform presents the reported symptom data for our enrolled patients in a format that allows those with the highest risk of infection to be prioritized for medical care” explained Michael J. Markus, Ph.D., CEO of HGE Health. “Transplant patients who are awaiting a transplant or have received a transplant are among the group of patients who are the most susceptible to severe COVID-19 infections and require immediate attention if they contract the virus. The symptom data we collect allows for rapid treatment, often the same day the symptom data is received, so their caregivers can intervene and provide treatment to mitigate the effect of the virus on those patients. Thanks to their daily symptom reports, patients have the peace of mind knowing that they stand a better chance of remaining healthy while awaiting a transplant and that they have someone watching over them in their convalescence, regardless of where they are, following a transplant.”

Temple University Hospital (TUH), its Department of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery, and the Temple Lung Center -- the most active lung disease and lung transplantation complex in the United States – are leveraging the scalable nature of the COVID Care(TM) platform to monitor their vulnerable transplant population. The resources of TUH are already strained due to inpatient visits seeking care for COVID-19 infections, in addition to TUH’s patient demands that existed before the current pandemic. Despite the surge in demand, TUH maintains the ability to monitor the symptoms of its transplant patients in real-time and prioritize those requiring medical intervention as part of its comprehensive care program. Any transplant patients suspected of having contracted COVID-19 can be treated quickly, often at the patients’ homes.

Transplant patients, pre- and post-procedure, who are enrolled in the COVID Care(TM) platform use their smartphone, computer or other terminal to securely submit any symptoms of COVID-19 on a daily basis. The reported symptoms are used to categorize the transplant patients into risk categories, taking their potentially compromised immune system into consideration, enabling TUH to rapidly respond to those with the highest risk of a severe COVID-19 infection.

“We recognize that transplant patients, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, are highly vulnerable and clinically fragile,” said Dr. Markus. “However, if we can help keep lung, heart, kidney, liver and other organ transplant patients stable during a time when the pandemic has severely limited the availability of existing resources, HGE Health can be the critical bridge between patients and their physicians.”

Coronavirus has spread to countries around the world, infecting more than one million people, killing more than 50,000. The World Health Organization (“WHO”) recognizes that the severity of Coronavirus is linked to the age and health condition of patients and has recently declared it a pandemic. Patients of advanced age (at least 60 years old) and diagnosed with a co-morbid disease are the most likely to experience a severe infection of Coronavirus. HGE Health’s digital platform and technology-enabled services, called HGE Care, allows physicians to remotely care for patients from anywhere in the nation, and help patients better understand and manage changes in their symptoms.

Editor’s Note: HGE Health Care Solutions is the exclusive licensee to certain Temple University intellectual property.

Dr. Gerard Criner, Director of the Temple Lung Center, is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of HGE Health.

Temple University and Dr. Criner hold minority equity positions in the company.

About HGE Health

Headquartered in Fort Washington, PA, HGE Health harnesses its deep experience in chronic disease management and digital health in pulmonary disease, telemedicine, and mobile health to develop a clinical services platform that delivers better care faster at a much lower cost for patients, physicians and payors. Built on clinical protocols developed and supported by 16 years of research, the company’s technology has compiled the longest-running and world’s largest longitudinal data set of COPD symptoms, interventions, and clinical management to help physicians provide care for a geographically and socio-economically diverse COPD and pulmonary patient population.

About Temple Health

Temple University Health System (TUHS) is a $2.2 billion academic health system dedicated to providing access to quality patient care and supporting excellence in medical education and research. The Health System consists of Temple University Hospital (TUH); TUH-Episcopal Campus; TUH-Jeanes Campus; TUH-Northeastern Campus; The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and Affiliates, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center; Temple Transport Team, a ground and air-ambulance company; Temple Physicians, Inc., a network of community-based specialty and primary-care physician practices; and Temple Faculty Practice Plan, Inc., TUHS’s physician practice plan comprised of more than 500 full-time and part-time academic physicians in 20 clinical departments. TUHS is affiliated with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.

Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System (TUHS) and by the Katz School of Medicine. TUHS neither provides nor controls the provision of health care. All health care is provided by its member organizations or independent health care providers affiliated with TUHS member organizations. Each TUHS member organization is owned and operated pursuant to its governing documents.

It is the policy of Temple University Health System that there shall be no exclusion from or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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Christopher Parks
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