Mercyhealth using at-home technology to treat patients

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A Mercyhealth program is keeping families out of the hospital, and keeping former patients having to return for unnecessary visits.

Mercyhealth's "tele-health" in-home monitoring system helps provide doctors with daily check ups for former heart patients, without having to go to the office for a visit.

The tablets check pulse, blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen levels. If the readings aren't within the recommended range, doctors are alerted, to decide if the patient needs to be seen for a visit.

Illinois Lieutenant Govern Evelyn Sanguinetti says using 21st Century technology to treat medical issues, makes sure families across the state have access to the best doctors.

"There's little access to medical care and these wonderful providers all over the state of Illinois in our rural communities", says Sanguinetti. "Through "tele-medicine" now everyone no matter where they're at in Illinois has access to these world class doctors and facilities. I think it's a win win for all of the people in the state of Illinois."

Mercyhealth says since starting the program in 2011, they have seen an 11% drop in readmission rates for heart patients.