Powering COVID-19 virtual wards for better patient outcomes

First published:
June 10, 2022
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The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the world's perception of healthcare. With national health systems under increased pressure, digital technology helped clinicians cope with an unprecedented challenge.

Huma worked nationally across England, Germany and the UAE using our award-winning platform to power tech-enabled COVID-19 virtual wards. An evaluation of our technology in the NHS showed it almost doubled clinical capacity and reduced readmissions through COVID-19 virtual wards2. A recent paper published in the Journal of Open Forum Infectious Diseases1 provides further evidence that our ‘hospital at home’ service delivers value for clinicians and patients from our deployments in Rhein-Neckar County and Heidelberg, Germany.

The study compared outcomes between COVID-19 patients with or without using the Coronataxi Digital Early Warning System (CDEW), an outpatient care system consisting of remote patient monitoring via Huma’s technology and medical care delivery to quarantined patients.

Using data from 459 patients, the study demonstrates that our platform supports proactive care, enables early and less invasive interventions, and improves outcomes.

Proactive healthcare in action

While the patients who used Huma's technology were older than the German national average of COVID-19 patients, the study still showed significant benefits, including:

  • 3-4 times lower mortality rate in the Huma cohort compared with non-Huma patients1
  • Reduced length of hospital stays for Huma patients in comparison to the national figure during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (6 vs 10 days)1

Patients enrolled in the remote monitoring system were asked to enter vital signs and symptoms into the Huma app three times a day, including body temperature, oxygen saturation, heart rate, breathing rate, and peripheral blood oxygen saturation. When patients were asked about their experiences using the technology:

  • 98.89% believed they were well monitored1
  • 94.44% who had a fear of COVID-19 felt more reassured after using the app1
  • 92.76% found the app easy to use1

The researchers found that with Huma's technology, the death rate, hospitalisation rate, intensive care treatment rate, and ventilation rate were lower than in other studies involving different forms of outpatient monitoring1.

Evaluating the costs and benefits

Adopting more proactive approaches to healthcare, where patients are monitored remotely and more frequently, can lead to higher hospitalisation rates. In this study, researchers observed a 2.5 times higher hospitalisation rate in the Huma cohort1.

But helping clinical teams to identify and intervene earlier when patients begin to deteriorate can improve patient outcomes. In this study, we found that for higher hospitalisation rates, we can provide benefits, such as shorter hospital stays and reduced admissions to emergency departments, minimising the burden on already overworked clinical teams.

Building the evidence for digital-first care and research

We’re delighted to see more peer-reviewed, published evidence on the benefits our technology can bring and understand more about how patients engage with our app. We believe in evaluating our projects and sharing the knowledge we gain so we can support people around the world to live longer fuller lives.

COVID-19 provides lessons that can be applied beyond the pandemic. Remote patient monitoring offers a powerful solution to address a wide range of healthcare and research delivery challenges, and we’re already applying what we’ve learned to deliver digital-first care and research across different disease areas.

Find out more about our ‘Hospital at Home’ technology.


  1. Lim, A. et al. An Outpatient Management Strategy Using a Coronataxi Digital Early Warning System Reduces Coronavirus Disease 2019 Mortality Open forum infectious diseases (2022) 9(4), ofac063 DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofac063
  2. NHSX report:​covid-19-response/technology-nhs/huma-medopad-evaluation​-remote-digital-care-platform/. The full report is available on request.