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Most donors to IU Health Foundation point to a personal reason for their gift. Bill and Sue Ringo point to multiple personal reasons for their recent gift to support remote patient monitoring—the use of technology so healthcare providers can monitor patients’ health outside of a healthcare facility.
One experience was Bill’s receiving care via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. He and Sue saw how technology can serve as a bridge between patient and physician. “I don’t feel like I missed anything by not being physically in an office with my doctor,” said Bill, an IU Health Foundation Board member who spent his career in healthcare.
The Ringos also saw this technology benefit their grandchildren. When the little ones had ear infections, for example, they were examined and received prescriptions for antibiotics without having to “run back and forth to the doctor’s office,” Sue said.
Even with these family experiences, though, a story the Ringos heard from a friend really sold them on remote monitoring. One day after their friend, a heart patient and a physician himself, was playing with his children, he got a call from his doctor who had seen unusual numbers in his remotely monitored cardiovascular data. “What did you do today?” the concerned doctor asked. While he seemed a little embarrassed to have alarmed the doctor by being more rambunctious than usual, the Ringos’ friend said the call made him feel incredibly cared for.
“That opened our eyes,” Bill said.
As they’ve learned more, the Ringos have also been inspired by the potential of remote monitoring to help patients who live far from a healthcare facility and those who might simply be better off healing at home. “This is a great boon to them,” Sue said.
Results from a remote patient monitoring pilot project support this. Among more than 1,600 patients receiving care, the pilot recorded lower-than-average emergency department utilization and fewer hospital readmissions.
Even without their personal connections, though, the Ringos might have been inclined to support remote patient monitoring. They saw how technology proved to be so important during the pandemic, and they are aware that people are increasingly accustomed to doing everything over a smart phone or computer.
“It’s the wave of the future,” Bill said, with Sue adding, “It’s only going to get bigger and bigger, and I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
If you’d like to support advancements in telehealth, contact IU Health Foundation Vice President Heather Perdue at 317-962-2207.