A newly developed wireless application that allows health care providers to transmit patient data and digital photos to consulting physicians at major medical centres and clinics may change the way home-care services are provided.
Pixalere ("pix" for pixel and "alere" meaning "to tend to") is a web-based wireless application designed to manage home-care patients on-site, reducing or eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming trips to their GP or the emergency department. Physicians and home-care nurses in British Columbia are being outfitted with pocket PCs equipped with Pixalere to securely transmit patient reports and compressed digital photographs to consulting nurses or doctors at a central facility.
Remote management of patients with the Pixalere device would be particularly beneficial for nursing home residents for whom it can be difficult or expensive to travel to a clinic to be seen for a few minutes and for relatively routine ailments, such as minor wounds, bedsores and burns, that could be treated locally by nurses on-site. Instead, using a handheld device or laptop computer, a home-care nurse in rural Northern B.C., for instance, will be able to transmit patient data and colour photos for immediate review by consulting specialists in Vancouver efficiently, easily and inexpensively.