Mobile Integrated Health Brings COVID-19 Clinical Trial to Community Members’ Homes
South Shore Health launched its Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) program early last year with a focus on bringing compassionate care to patients in the comfort of their homes.
The original goal of the MIH program was to help patients dealing with chronic conditions get the care they needed remotely, thereby eliminating the need for frequent hospitalizations and improving patient outcomes.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the MIH program expanded its services accordingly, performing hundreds of tests for non-ambulatory patients in the community, including at skilled nursing facilities and long-term care sites.
Now, with the region experiencing yet another surge in cases of COVID-19, the MIH program is participating in an innovative clinical trial that brings a much talked about drug to treat COVID-19 (remdesivir) to patients at home, instead of at the hospital.
As of now, South Shore Health is the only health system in New England participating in this groundbreaking study.
The study, sponsored by Gilead Sciences, Inc., aims to measure the effectiveness of remdesivir as a treatment in an outpatient setting compared to placebo.
Currently, the drug is not approved to treat COVID-19 in patients who are not hospitalized.
Over the course of the pandemic, clinicians have found that COVID-19 can affect patients differently depending on age, comorbidities, and other undetermined factors.
For many patients, COVID-19 may feature symptoms that require treatment, but do not rise to the level of hospitalization.
Patients considered not ill enough to be admitted to the hospital are often sent home following their positive diagnosis to receive care coordinated by the MIH program.
Patients who are eligible and provide consent are invited to participate in this trial where they will receive multiple intravenous doses of remdesivir over the course of three days, or placebo. Details on the patient’s health history, progress and other data will also be collected.
The MIH team will work closely with the Office of Research and monitor each enrolled patient’s progress toward study completion.
With hospital resources across the region already stretched thin by a growing number of hospitalizations, clinical trials like this play a key role in determining the effectiveness of COVID-19 treatment in alternative settings.
Decreasing hospitalizations and increasing COVID-19 care in outpatient settings will potentially help ensure that those with mild COVID-19 illness get the care they need while crucial resources remain available for the critically ill, improving outcomes for all patients.