Henry Ford Health System Develops CovidCare Kits for COVID-19 Patients Recovering at Home

The Henry Ford Innovation Institute of Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System today announced it has created CovidCare kits for patients who are diagnosed with the virus in the system’s emergency rooms but are sent home to recover.
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CovidCare kits
Henry Ford Innovation Institute is sending patients who have COVID-19 home with CovidCare kits. // Photo courtesy of the Henry Ford Innovation Institute

The Henry Ford Innovation Institute of Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System today announced it has created CovidCare kits for patients who are diagnosed with the virus in the system’s emergency rooms but are sent home to recover.

The kits are rolling out to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, and Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township. Most people with the virus will recover, and sending those healthy enough home frees space in hospitals for those who cannot.

The kits include:

  • A pulse oximeter, which measures pulse rate and amount of oxygen in blood. They are provided through support from HoMedics Inc. in Commerce Township. Rapid pulse and low blood oxygen are signs of respiratory distress.
  • Gatorade, which has electrolytes that help treat dehydration.
  • Hand sanitizer, which was contributed by the Detroit Pistons.
  • Face masks to protect others from infections.
  • A symptoms log, warning signs list, and number to call if warning signs appear.

The kits are designed to be used in conjunction with Henry Ford virtual care.

“We’re really fortunate to have developed our telemedicine program prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows our caregivers to interact with higher-risk patients outside of a hospital setting,” says Dr. Scott Dulchavsky, CEO of the Henry Ford Innovation Institute.

Dulchavsky leads the innovations team, which works to develop new supplies that transform patient care and health care delivery. The institute has moved to a near 24/7 response to address and prevent shortages, trying to find supplies.

“We’ve moved from a heavy focus on technology and our project work to sourcing and tapping into external relationships,” said Lisa Prasad, senior advisor at the institute. “We’ve had various levels of success with sourcing supplies from factories around Detroit, small businesses in Hamtramck, larger manufacturers.”

The institute is also manufacturing face shields, operating a surgical mask makerspace, providing thermal cameras for temperature detection of employees, assisting with UV sterilization of N95 masks for re-use, and connecting a pop-up radio station for emergency broadcasting on the campus.

“It’s remarkable to see a shipment come in or pieces come together to build those supplies,” says Prasad. “It’s something to celebrate because we know how needed it is, but then it’s back to the next need, the next problem to solve, the next solution to find. It might be the CovidCare kits that can provide patients care at home and peace of mind or it might be landing thousands of masks and shields so that front line workers can continue to care for patients with confidence.”

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