Elderly Patient Uses Technology to Monitor Heart Failure Symptoms

Richard Hollis can’t move around like he used to. He says it’s a combination of leg injuries and congestive heart failure, which can fill his lungs with fluid and make it hard for him to catch his breath.

Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition that occurs when the heart can’t pump blood as well as the body requires.

Rapid weight gain is common among patients with congestive heart failure, and it usually means excess fluid buildup. Doctors say these symptoms must be regularly monitored to prevent emergency situations in patients.

Hollis says Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s remote patient monitoring program has made a huge difference for him. Patients are given a scale, blood pressure cuff, and a device to check oxygen levels. The data collected is automatically sent to his nurse, who monitors the information and can detect any abnormalities.

“The idea is that it’s going to prevent those readmissions to the hospital” said Dr. James Harber, a cardiologist with Spartanburg Regional. Dr. Harber says he hopes the program will educate patients on how weight and vital sign changes can indicate the progression of their illness.

Hollis says he likes using the tele-monitoring equipment, adding that it’s comforting to know that “somebody else knows what’s going on with me.”