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South Korean delegation visit Southend Renal Unit to find out more about innovative ‘virtual patient management’

11 October 2016


Southend University Hospital’s Renal Department and representatives from healthcare products company, Baxter, hosted a delegation of healthcare providers and government leaders from South Korea today.

The purpose of their visit was to get a better understanding of how new cloud-based technology (Sharesource Connectivity Platform) is making a huge difference to the quality of care for dialysis patients in Southend by providing two-way communication between patients and their renal care team to support home dialysis therapy.

Dialysis machines keep patients alive by doing the work of their kidneys: cleaning the blood and removing waste. Patients are also taught how to perform and manage dialysis themselves.

Previously a patient would visit hospital with a SIM card containing a month's worth of data but with the new cloud-based technology nurses can access and control patients' machines and receive daily data without the patient ever needing to leave home. It also means potential problems can be picked up earlier and managed appropriately. 

FACT: Southend University Hospital was the first Trust in the country to use the remote access technology with 100% of its peritoneal dialysis patients.

Dr Patrick Harnett, Lead Clinician at the Renal Unit, said: "It was a great pleasure to meet and discuss practice with nephrology colleagues from South Korea. It's always useful to hear about treatment challenges and successes from other parts of the world. They are clearly inquisitive about the new Sharesource system and asked many relevant questions.  It will be a rich source of information and data and will hopefully lead to improvement in care here and in South Korea."

Georgina Pharro, Peritoneal Dialysis Manager, at Southend University Hospital, added: "Patients who may have been tentative of doing dialysis themselves at home can be reassured that the nurses have a close eye on what is happening. Our elderly and frail patients can be monitored more closely. We are particularly proud of our work we have done with the peritoneal dialysis patients and are keen to show others what we have achieved. Baxter's technology enables us to monitor and review our patients on a daily basis therefore improving the patients' overall outcome."

The equipment is supplied by healthcare company Baxter and they are at the forefront of home dialysis they offer a variety of products for patients with kidney disease as their clinical and lifestyle needs evolve.

Aiden O'Neill, Business Unit Director at Baxter, said: "Baxter is very proud to be at the forefront of home dialysis with innovative technology that allows automated peritoneal dialysis with cloud-based telehealth.  As the UK was the first country to offer the HomeChoice Claria automated peritoneal dialysis with Sharesource remote patient management system, we are absolutely delighted to host healthcare providers and government leaders from South Korea, so they can share our customer and patients' experiences with the innovative system.  We believe the technology improves the patient experience and creates greater flexibility in the management of patients who chose to have their dialysis at home."