Baltimore officials are expanding a telemedicine program in the Park Heights neighborhood that helps people older than 60 monitor their health from home.
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana S. Wen announced Thursday the expansion of the Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors.
The program, which originated in New York, has operated out of the Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging since April and has 100 people enrolled.
Technology monitors blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels and weight. Nurses talk to patients remotely and ask questions about recent hospitalizations, changes in medication and recent falls.
The expansion will allow the program to reach an additional 250 people per year.
“By utilizing the benefits of telehealth capabilities, we can ensure that many of our older citizens who may be unable to make regular visits to their medical professionals will have access to essential monitoring with the aim of identifying issues before they become more serious,” Pugh said in a statement.
The program is a collaboration between MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital’s Center for Successful Aging, the Westchester Public/Private Partnership and the Baltimore City Health Department.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is giving $120,000 over two years for expansion of the program.
Nationally, emergency room and hospital visits by participants in the program have declined by 35 percent.
Under the program, participants also get diabetes and heart health education. The Baltimore City Health Department screens them for eligibility for benefits and other resources. Participants are also connected with social services and other benefits.