Grants for Virtual Care Programs

There are three main ways for healthcare organizations to finance a Virtual Care Programs for their staff and patients. They are:  1) earmarking the annual budget to finance such a program ahead of time2) Carving out a certain percentage of profits from monthly reimbursements 3) Use external grants to acquire the funds in order to finance such a program 

This resource is written to address the third option. It will contain all grants available in the market, either from government or private charities, to fund your Virtual Care Program. It will be updated as new information become available. Once should bookmark this page, as a one stop resource to stay up to date with all grants available to finance virtual care programs. It will cover the three markets of USA, Canada and UK, our three biggest markets. 

Country Award TitleIssuerAmountUseDeadlineSource
USAFRS Grant ProgramFoundation for Rural ServiceCeiling of $5000A telehealth program that concentrates on follow-up assessments for patients following an illness or new medical diagnosisSeptember 30th, 2020https://www.frs.org/programs/grant-program/community-grant
USADigital Healthcare Interventions to Address the Secondary Health Effects Related to Social, Behavioral, and Economic Impact of COVID-19National Institutes of HealthCeiling of $750,000Focus on the role and impact of digital health interventions [e.g., mobile health (mhealth), telemedicine and telehealth, health information technology (IT), and wearable devices] to address access, reach, delivery, effectiveness, scalability and sustainability of health assessments. Particularly in populations who experience health disparities and vulnerable populations.March 2nd, 2021https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-20-243.html
CanadaFundingCanada Health InfowayTotal $3.3 million availableSupport the use of specialized platforms for virtual health visits, enabling patients to connect with their care team from anywhere using any available internet connection. Not disclosedhttps://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/5266-solutions/rapid-response-to-covid-19/8670-3-3-million-in-funding-will-support-virtual-health-care-across-british-columbia-during-covid-19-and-beyond
CanadaMulti-Sectoral Partnerships to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic DiseasePublic Health Agency of CanadaA minimum of $200,000 up to a maximum of $5 million. Requires 1:1 matched funding.Multi-sectoral partnerships,must be able to demonstrate measurable results, be founded in evidence and have the potential to be expanded and/or scaled-up into other parts of Canada, or to address other chronic diseases or risk factors.Open. Currently accepting letters of intent.https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/funding-opportunities/multi-sectoral-partnerships-promote-healthy-living-prevent-chronic-disease.html
UKBiomedical Catalyst 2020Innovate UKBetween £250,000 and £4 million.To develop a product or process that is an innovative solution to a health and care challenge.7th October, 2020https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/623/overview
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COPD Education – Onboarding

Objective

To complete a thorough needs assessment / initial evaluation for a COPD patient of an outpatient clinic

Actors
Patient, Educator (Nurse, RT, the Physician could also be the educator)

Timelines
One 60-90 min session with the Educator

Description
  • This protocol should be established for all COPD patients from a given clinic, independently of whether they are new patients or they are known to the clinic. This protocol is the basis to engage the patient into other protocols such as education, exacerbation follow-up, etc.
  • We need to identify patient goals/concerns to guide the interventions
  • A thorough evaluation is carried on, with the objective of understanding where the patient is on their disease journey and follow-up treatable traits: dyspnea, exacerbation or dyspnea and exacerbation.
  • It includes the use of objective questionnaires such as the mMRC, CAT, HADS, Frailty Scale, etc.
  • Identify if the patient needs to be referred to other resources (e.g. Physiotherapist, social worker, occupational therapist)
  • Once Onboarding is completed, the patient continues to the COPD Education workflow
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COPD Education – Continuous Maintenance

Objective 

To cover in depth all the necessary elements of self-management education as per the LWWCOPD, with priorities based on patient goals and identified treatable traits

Actors
Patient, Educator (Nurse, RT or Physician)

Timelines
A number of “Core” educational modules have been identified which cover the basic COPD education from the LWWCOPD program. Additionally, optional modules can be used to respond to patient needs. The timeline (frequency, number of modules to be covered at a given education session) is fully customizable, although we recommend to have education sessions every 2-weeks during the “active” phase of education. Once this is completed, the patient continues to the Maintenance Mode (see below).

Description
  • Launched at the onboarding protocol
  • Provide basic overview of COPD self-management based on LWWCOPD (medication adherence, inhaler techniques, PLB technique & energy conservation) up to the development of an Action plan for early exacerbation recognition and management.
  • Prioritize self-learning by the patient (e.g. watching videos, reading educational materials, completing homework) in addition to live sessions with the Educator. Educational materials are sent to the patient directly via the platform, and become the patient’s own library. The Educator can customize which “homework” the patient receives.
  • Educators have access to “User guides” to standardise their educational intervention. These user guides include: objectives, interventions, suggested questions, evaluation of self-efficacy, and learning contracts for each module.
  • Once the core education is completed, the patient can continue to the Respiratory Status Follow-up Workflow (run in parallel)

The Maintenance Mode
  • As soon as the maintenance mode is engaged, the frequency of visits Educator/Patient is reduced to once every 6 months.
  • During the Maintenance Mode sessions, the educator has access to all the education modules and can choose any piece of content that needs to covered with the patient. 
  • A streamlined evaluation (similar to the initial eval.) is done during each “maintenance” visit to identify any substantial changes on the patient’s needs that will require some adjustment. The patient could come back to an “active” education mode (more frequent education sessions, e.g. every 2 weeks).
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COPD Respiratory Status Follow-up

Objective

Monitoring of stable patients from a clinic in order to identify early any aggravation of symptoms (exacerbation) and implement an action plan

Actors
Patient, Educator (Nurse, RT or Physician)

Timelines
Scheduled regular automated follow-up to the patient symptoms. Intensity/Frequency can be adjusted by the Educator depending on patient needs (e.g. daily, every week, etc.). Ongoing through the year.

Description
  • Launch: Patients who have completed the Core Educational including setting-up an action plan.
  • Regular automated questions allow to identify any change in patient’s symptoms and severity.
  • If an exacerbation is detected the patient gets a reminder to engage their self-management strategies while waiting for the Educator to call back.
  • An alarm is generated for the Educator, so they immediately call back the patient. At this call they will evaluate any further intervention required and schedule additional follow-up.
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