The wheelchair foot rests have been removed as Ana Mojica rebuilds her muscles to walk again. It's part of her physical therapy at the Atrium Center for Rehabilitation in Canarsie after she had hip surgery last month. But Mojica also has an irregular heartbeat, which puts her at risk of a stroke.
"When my heart starts beating irregular, I feel like it's going to explode,” says patient Ana Mojica.
Just this week, Mojica received a new medical monitoring device. An FDA-approved patch that transmits information about her heart rate and other vital signs to monitoring stations at the nursing home and at a company in upstate Poughkeepsie, ImagineMIC.
It provides real-time data that is monitored 24-7.
“Because we’re monitoring 24/7, we see even when the heart rate increases. We’re able to intervene much quicker,” says Isaac Weiner, Regional Administrator at Excelsior Care Group.
One of four nursing facilities in the city operated by the Excelsior Care group began using the device this week. ImagineMIC developed the technology in part with grants from New York State and the federal government. The company says this electronic system can reduce unnecessary hospital admissions, driving down medical costs.
"We had an independent auditor come in and show that our overall readmissions on over a thousand patients for three years was less than 6%, which is huge decrease from the 21% state average,” says Rachel McIntosh, VP of Implementation at ImagineMIC.
Patients like Marcia Massiah, who suffered a heart attack a decade ago, says she's always on alert.
"Even if I have a little pain in my hand, I always think it's a heart attack coming on because those are the symptoms,” says patient Marcia Massiah.
But the patch would alert the medical professionals instead.
If a medical issue is detected, staff can quickly determine if a hospital admission is needed. Conversely, the system can help determine when health incidents do not require hospital attention
"This is another set of eyes on all the residents,” says Atrium Administrator Michael Shaffer.
Administrators say with a successful rollout here, they hope use of the telemedicine system can be expanded.