Improving patient care as the use of telemedicine rises
Topic: Improving patient care as the use of telemedicine rises
A new app, developed by Abbott’s UK-based nutrition business, has already seen more than 2,500 healthcare professionals screen their patients simply and remotely for malnutrition, muscle mass and function loss.
The app has proved beneficial during the Covid-19 pandemic, where many of us have become comfortable doing virtually what we used to do in person, such as doctor’s appointments and health checks. The rise of telemedicine has allowed fellow healthcare providers to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients remotely, when in-person consultations haven’t been possible.
In fact, a recent review evaluating the effectiveness of telemedicine in monitoring chronic diseases, post-operative follow-up and other conditions, found telemedicine can help people with diabetes improve blood glucose control and can be as useful as in-person care in managing heart failure.1
However, telemedicine goes beyond the management of chronic diseases and post-operative care. It also extends to preventive care. With the help of technology and new tools, healthcare providers can provide care normally reserved for the doctor’s surgery, such as effectively screening patients for common conditions related to poor nutrition – which can hinder a person’s ability to fight off disease.
Identifying nutritional status is key to supporting your patients’ health
An editorial review recently published in Clinical Nutrition highlighted the importance of screening patients for nutritional status, especially as more individuals are receiving healthcare virtually.2 The authors proposed a new simple and remote nutritional screening tool, R-MAPP (Remote – Malnutrition App), that healthcare professionals could use virtually to help identify those at nutritional risk by evaluating certain criteria like body mass index (BMI) or unplanned weight loss.
Abbott, who have long emphasised the importance of the role of nutrition in broader health outcomes, wanted to make it as easy and as effective as possible for healthcare providers to screen for malnutrition and muscle health. And they were the first to turn the R-MAPP screening tool – outlined in the Clinical Nutrition editorial review – into an app to support the adoption of the R-MAPP tool by healthcare professionals.
How R-MAPP works for you and your patients
With the app, you can monitor your patients remotely for malnutrition and muscle mass and function loss.
After entering a few key details about your patients, you will screen patients using both the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (‘MUST’) and the SARC-F (five-item questionnaire: Strength, Assistance with walking, Rise from a chair, Climb stairs and Falls) tool.
After completing the screening questions and reviewing the data within the app, you will be able to compare your patient’s ‘MUST’ and SARC-F scores against the R-MAPP guidelines and share the results with your patients virtually.
If your patient is found to be at risk or identified for malnutrition or sarcopenia, you will also have the option to identify appropriate nutritional interventions to support your patients further.
Topic Discussed: Improving patient care as the use of telemedicine rises
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