Intel grant will help health tech firm with Covid response

By Leila Hawkins
New Mexico's Electronic Caregiver will use the funding to free up hospital beds...

Tech giant Intel have awarded a grant to digital healthcare company Electronic Caregiver to assist with their COVID-19 relief efforts. 

Based in Doña Ana County in New Mexico where a surge in cases has put a strain hospitals and healthcare staff, the funds will go towards the company’s COVID to Home programme, which addresses the critical needs of hospitals and patients. 

Under the programme, patients are discharged to their home or to a designated hotel with an Electronic Caregiver 'Pro Health' smart health hub – a voice-driven, easy-to-use connected console. The device allows patients to monitor their healthcare thanks to a daily survey that assesses symptoms, a pulse oximeter, non-contact thermometer, and blood pressure cuff. 

Clinicians and clinical volunteers can use a HIPAA-compliant web portal to assess patient results remotely and administer care. Patients can also use the Pro Health devices for virtual consultations with a doctor, medication reminders, and round-the-clock emergency response. It uses Intel technology both in on-site workstations and cloud-based servers from Amazon Web Services.

Intel's grant is part of the organisation's commitment to help with access to technology that can fight the pandemic and aid scientific discovery to handle future crises. The funds will help the company purchase equipment for the COVID to Home program; create a version of the COVID-19 survey and vitals capture using Electronic Caregiver’s Virtual Caregiver, named Addison; create five portable demo “kits” to showcase at events/venues; create a video testimonial of the programme; and publish a white paper on programme structure, goals, and outcomes.

“The major impact of this programme is the number of hospital beds it has freed up for patients that are really sick,” said John Andazola, MD, Program Director of the Southern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency Program at Memorial Medical Center. “It truly represents the best in local collaboration, and we are pleased to play a role.”

The option to implement Electronic Caregiver’s COVID to Home programme exists throughout the state and the country. “We’d be thrilled to partner with anybody, anywhere, to be able to replicate this programme and be able to drive a similar type of outcome,” said Electronic Caregiver’s Chief Digital Health Integration Officer Mark Francis. “If folks want to come together and deal with this critical public health issue, we’re here with the proven solution that’s driving demonstrated outcomes, that is simple and easy to implement, and can save lives and benefit communities.” 

In April 2020 Intel committed $50 million to fund the Pandemic Response Technology Initiative (PRTI), to support point-of-patient-care solutions. Since it began, the programme has supported hundreds of organisations around the world.

“We chose to support Electronic Caregiver’s project because of its scalable use of remote monitoring that leverages Intel technology to meet the needs of underserved communities in New Mexico” said Chris Gough, General Manager of Intel Health & Life Sciences.

COVID to Home is jointly funded by Doña Ana County and the city of Las Cruces, at no cost to patients. A month after the programme launched it had supported over 100 patients. The company says it has increased critical care capacity in the region by 30 per cent.  

“COVID to Home has allowed us to maintain capacity in our hospitals, while providing effective community-based care to people recovering from COVID” Jamie Michael, Director of Health and Human Services for Doña Ana County said. "It also allows providers to interact with patients safely and allows people to recover in their home.”


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