SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Some people need to have access to healthcare at all times, and with the help of technology, patients can have 24/7 connection to healthcare providers, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telehealth services have been around the years, but Loretto’s expansion of its program is an absolute necessity during the pandemic.

“The inability to go to their primary care physician and we certainly do not want them in the hospital, so that was one of the drivers to implementing this very quickly,” said Joelle Margrey, Vice President of Skilled Nursing at Loretto.

The partnership is with ImagineMIC, short for ‘monitoring intervention center.’ The telehealth program allows any short-term rehab patients who’ve been discharged to have 24/7 virtual access to healthcare providers.

In the MonitorMe box, patients are given a cell phone, tablet, 2 lead EKG patch, and pulse oximeter.

With this equipment, vital signs, blood pressure, heart rate and even oxygen levels are constantly monitored by medical professionals, but it’s not just helping with physical health.

It’s helping those patients with anxiety and stress too.

I think it reduces a lot of the anxiety that individuals might feel. Just being able to call someone and have that discussion of how they are feeling, the medications they are on, do they have all of their medications, is it the correct dose of medications, are they eating correctly, do they have diabetes…All of that stuff can be monitored and they can assist with all of those aspects of living, not just specifically a medical diagnoses.

An 80-year-old at home has a lot of worries, and if we can take one thing away from that in this pandemic which is new for a lot of us, that’s really the benefit.

Joelle Margrey, Vice President of Skilled Nurses, Loretto

Loretto says its number of patients trying the new telehealth service continues to grow. Nearly 100 of its restorative care unit and PACE Program are taking advantage of the program.

Click here to learn more about ImagineMIC and their healthcare service.