During Covid-19 pandemic, which results in a staggering number of patients, hospitals’ patient treatment and care system has been overcrowded and can no longer bed a lot of patients. The country found it vital to design a new system to accommodate the patients by asking those with minor symptoms or the patients labeled ‘green’ to rest at home, or what is called ‘Home Isolation’. However, for the patient to rest at home safely while being able to efficiently contact the doctors at hospital, it is necessary for hospitals to have certain devices for the purpose. Khon Kaen University’s hospital therefore comes up with the ‘Home Isolation Management System’ that meets the Telemedicine standard of Thailand, with hope to successfully undergo the crisis.
Assoc. Prof. Chollatip Pongsakul, M.D., from the Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University reveals that the Doctor Council has announced the National Telemedicine Standard in July this year. The standard comprises two parts, namely, 1) the users or patients who need to identify themselves for confirmation and 2) recording the data that the patients feed into the system. Communications during treatment will be recorded in the database for backward checks.
“The ‘Home Isolation Management System’ of Khon Kaen University meets Thailand Telemedicine Standard, for the patient has to show his/her ID for self-identification, with the code at the back also given. Therefore, for the first use, a patient is required to register by him/herself. After entering the name, surname, citizen number and the code on the back of ID card, the system will verify the data with the Governing Department. If correct, it will respond to the user that the identification confirmation is complete, and the patient can register into the system. In addition, Thailand Telemedicine Standard also requires recording what the patient files into the system. The hospital’s instructions and different photographs are kept in the database for later checks,” said Assoc. Prof. Chollatip.
Asst. Prof. Denpong Soodphakdee, Ph.D., revealed how the ‘Home Isolation Management System’ of Khon Kaen University was developed. “The rationale behind the development of this system was the Bangkok situation, where infected patients were not able to receive any hospital’s care. The government therefore ordered the Home Isolation system, or resting at home. So Khon Kaen University designed this system in case Khon Kaen province faces the same situation as in Bangkok. Or even if Khon Kaen has to help solving Bangkok, our system will be ready for operation. Meanwhile, after the design, the system should be expandable and usable in all hospitals over the country. We have laid 4 simple steps as follows:
Step 1: The patient labeled ‘green’ contacts the hospital. The Ministry of Public Health has already stipulated that the Antigen test kit can be used to verify oneself in order to register for the Home Isolation treatment, even though the symptom is minor, nil, or there are some symptoms and the patient is waiting for hospital admission. Such cases can receive Home Isolation treatment.
Step 2: The hospital’s admission of a patient in the IT system – A Covid-19 patient contacts the hospital with the system. The hospital registers acceptance and records the information onto the IT system just as the patient is admitted to the hospital even though the patient will be at home or at a community. The patient will be taken care of just like he/she is admitted, but by means of the Internet. Under this step, the hospital will provide a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen and heart rate, and a thermometer for temperature checking to the patient so that he/she can send the data to the doctor.
Step 3: The patient adds LINE official of the hospital. There is a menu for registration as a patient. The system will detect where the patient is and the address of the patient, draw the point from the electrical meter, and identify the patient for LINE ID by using the citizen number and the number at the back in order to link with the citizen database.
Step 4: The doctor’s care will be done by communicating with the patient on Line. The patient will send information about vital signs including oxygen, temperature, heart rates, in intervals as instructed by the hospital. The doctor team will treat the patient accordingly”.
Asst. Prof. Denpong Soodphakdee added that this system has been emergently developed to be used at Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University. “The system was designed from real cases. Therefore, we can be confident about its usage. The system is to supplement the hospital and enables the hospital to easily and rapidly accept more patients into the system, without having to add more beds or personnel. The system is expected to have a capacity of 100% in Covid-19 patient treatment.
“Now, Khon Kaen province by the Provincial Public Health Chief Officer orders all hospitals in the province to use the ‘Home Isolation Management System’ of Khon Kaen University, no matter if the patient goes to the hospital or not. However, the hospital needs to get ready to accept the patient, who could be from a ‘red’ or ‘deep red’ zone, to the home isolation system. The hospitals outside Khon Kaen such as Sutthewech Hospital in Mahasarakham, Huay Mek Hospital in Kalasin, Sub-district Health Promotion Hospital in Roi-et, Langsuan Hospital in Chumporn and a hospital in Ranong, are now under the stage of system installation,” said Asst. Prof. Denpong Soodphakdee.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen Univesity said that the ‘Home Isolation Management System’ of Khon Kaen University meets the CSV policy, which is directed towards social responsibilities and dedication through the use of knowledge and expertise of the University. “Khon Kaen University is pleased to have other hospitals use this system. We are happy to install the system without any expense and offer guidance for the use. If you see the benefits of the system, please contact Khon Kaen University,” said KKU President.
If interested, obtain more details of Home Isolation of Khon Kaen University at: https://homeisolation.kku.ac.th/
KKU Home Isolation Platform https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i1X3J6bJuI
Explanations from real users of the system: Home Isolation https://th.kku.ac.th/71576/