In a statement, the company that developed the project stresses that telemedicine applied to the home peritoneal dialysis program has the advantages of "increasing the efficiency of care provided, reducing time and costs for patients and health professionals."
In the Nephrology Service of the University Hospital of Algarve (CHUA), 16 patients with chronic renal insufficiency are currently being followed through this technology, but the predictions are extended to more patients, being already used in 12 hospitals in the country and covering 160 patients, the statement said.
Less spending and more quality of life
According to the note, Pedro Neves, director of the nephrology department of the Faro unit of CHUA, telemedicine allows "a better use of the capacity and human resources" in the service, with "a clear reduction of expenses" at the same time which improves the quality of life of patients.
According to the specialist, in geographical areas in which the patient has to travel considerable distances to carry out the treatment, as is the case of the Algarve, telemedicine "is assumed as a very beneficial treatment option."
Data monitoring allows physicians to remotely and daily access their patients' treatment information, making the necessary adjustments to therapy, and enabling personalized care.
Management of chronic renal failure requires regular consultation and frequent patient visits to the hospital, which entails high time and costs, which are reduced with in-home treatment.
"The possibility of reducing all these costs in terms of resources, travel and time allocated with the implementation of telemedicine in peritoneal dialysis translates into savings for both the patient and the hospital," they conclude.
In Portugal, the records of the Portuguese Society of Nephrology (SPN) indicate that about 2,500 Portuguese patients fall into renal failure each year.
It is estimated that 12,000 patients are in Renal Function Substitution Treatment, 25% with age over 80 years.
In Portugal, the pilot project for Telemedicine in Peritoneal Dialysis began in 2016 in the Hospital Centers of Lisbon Norte and West Lisbon, and Centro Hospitalar São João, in Porto.