Darshan, who lives with asthma, used Hospital at Home to overcome pneumonia
Darshan Naidoo, who has chronic asthma, tries to avoid hospitals as he's at high risk of picking up new infections. But when he recently fell ill with swine flu and then pneumonia, he needed hospital-level care. Much to his relief, he qualified for admission to Discovery Health Hospital at Home.
"I've had chronic asthma since I was 18," says Darshan Naidoo (32). "In June, I got ill with swine flu. I finished a course of antibiotics at home but I still wasn't feeling well. My GP, Dr Sudeshan Govender, took X-rays, which showed that I'd developed pneumonia.
Dr Govender knows my health history and told me about Hospital at Home. I was keen to try it out because I don't like going to hospitals. Also, I knew that swine flu was going around and I was really worried that I could possibly pick it up again during a hospital admission."
- Hospital at Home was launched in January 2022, giving eligible patients access to high-quality medical care in the comfort of their own home, avoiding hospital admission.
- Hospital at Home offers 24/7 treatment and monitoring (both in person and virtual) by a dedicated care team.
Darshan would have resisted going to hospital
"I am so glad that he gave me the option to be treated at home. I think that if he'd told me I needed to go to hospital, I would've resisted.
Dr Govender is always at the forefront of technology. He embraces technology because he knows that it makes accessing care that much more convenient for his patients. These days, jobs have become more demanding. People are busy and, since COVID-19, they are also scared to visit their GP's rooms in case they pick up a serious virus. I was one of Dr Govender's first patients to do an online consultation through Discovery Health's Connected Care app. Since then, we do online consultations whenever possible. So, like Dr Govender, I am definitely an early adopter of healthcare technologies that really make a difference."
- Discovery Connected Care is a digital platform that connects you to a range of home-based healthcare services, including online doctor consultations.
"While I was admitted to Hospital at Home, I was monitored 24/7 through the Biofourmis device on my arm and the mobile app that it was connected to. Dr Govender regularly checked in with me via the app to see how I was doing, if I was comfortable and whether the medicine was helping."
- Patients admitted to Hospital at Home have access to an app that is linked to the remote-monitoring Biofourmis device. It continuously monitors 22 physiological signals, such as blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and heart rhythm. It shares these in real time with the care team and a 24/7 control centre.
- Read more about how Dr Govender uses Hospital at Home to treat his patients.
"I would definitely be admitted to Hospital at Home again, should I need hospital-level care in future
Besides Dr Govender, the team of doctors who were monitoring me remotely were also really good. They phoned me regularly to ask how I was doing and to see if I needed anything. They would phone me in the middle of the night to tell me that my breathing rate was too high or my oxygen levels were too low and asked if they needed to come out to assist me. They were so alert and it was comforting to know that I was getting the best care possible.
Being admitted to Hospital at Home was an extremely pleasant experience. The two nurses who cared for me were professional and friendly. They always explained everything to me so that I knew what to expect. I am scared of needles, and they made me feel so comfortable that I didn't feel any pain when they put my drip up.
They were also flexible. They knew that the cold affects my asthma, which means I struggle early in the morning. Knowing this, the nurses agreed to come an hour later than they would usually have each morning, to accommodate me.
Their care and compassion were the best. They always had my best interests at heart. I can tell that nursing isn't just a job to them, but rather a passion. Thanks to the amazing care I received from them, I would definitely be admitted to Hospital at Home again, should I need hospital-level care in future.
A physiotherapist also came to my home to help with my recovery. It was so convenient.
Being at home sped up my recovery
Being at home while I was sick made me feel mentally stronger than I would've felt in hospital. I think that this definitely helped to speed up my recovery. I live with my parents, and they also felt better that I was at home where they could check up on me all the time.
In hospital you're confined to the bed and you're not in your own environment. Being at home with the additional support of my parents was really nice.
I think that this is a great initiative and I've told me friends, family and colleagues about it. Many of them mentioned that they would want the opportunity to be treated at home if they ever needed to be hospitalised."
For Reona Naidoo, the Hospital at Home programme has made getting sick regularly (post a surgery in 2019) more bearable. She now has access to 24/7 treatment and monitoring, giving her peace of mind about her health - and also about avoiding separation from her two children for days on end.
As an early adopter of the Discovery Hospital at Home programme, Dr Sudeshan Govender reports back on the significant benefits for his patients - including access to cutting-edge remote monitoring technologies and top healthcare teams, and more.
Physician Dr Elton Joseph was pleasantly surprised after using Hospital at Home for the first time to successfully manage a medically complex patient. He plans to continue using the service and encourages his peers to try it too.