- As the medical field pushes toward reforming its practices, changing its reimbursement policies, and implementing a variety of new technologies in effort to improve patient care and boost health outcomes, the healthcare remote monitoring market will make a large impact on the strength and growth of the industry as a whole.
New devices and tools such as biosensors and mobile health technologies could change and potentially strengthen the healthcare remote monitoring market. The Mayo Clinic announced in a news release that the organization is partnering with Gentag, Inc. to create wearable biosensors that could help treat diabetes and assist in weight loss among the obese.
“We are hoping that this technology will be a game-changer. These patch biosensors may help us reduce global obesity and diabetes,” James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and obesity researcher, said in the release. “They are accurate, inexpensive, and can be integrated into the care people receive.”
The wearable devices are in the form of a patch or a small bandage, work wirelessly, and are disposable after every use. Essentially, this biosensor patch is a type of diabetes management system that can communicate and send information to smartphones.
More importantly, this tool can assist healthcare remote monitoring since physicians will be able to track obesity results and diabetes symptoms while their patients reside at home and the doctors are located at the hospital or clinic.
Mayo Clinic and the Gentag, Inc. company have created this tool through a joint intellectual property venture. The two institutions will be working toward creating the next generation of wearable biosensors that could impact the treatment and management of diabetes as well as obesity. Third parties may be brought in to further collaborate on the building of these wearable skin patches.
“We are thrilled to be cooperating with the Mayo Clinic on these amazing new wireless technologies,” John P. Peeters, Ph.D., the CEO of Gentag, said in a public statement. “We look forward to working with the medical device community to get this technology into the marketplace.”
This type of medical device is only one among a variety of tools available in the healthcare remote monitoring market. As time goes on, patient health outcomes will improve significantly with the help of remote monitoring tools, which allow physicians to track patients’ vital signs and symptoms from afar.
As the healthcare remote monitoring space continues to advance, it is important to consider the data implications of sending and storing information through these new mobile medical devices. One major issue that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has previously uncovered is called information blocking.
Essentially, a number of healthcare providers and EHR or health IT vendors could be blocking access to important medical data by increasing costs among patients and other specialty medical facilities. The 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill states that ONC should look toward certifying only products that meet the standards of the meaningful use program and do not block health information exchange among hospital systems.
“ONC should take steps to decertify products that proactively block the sharing of information because those practices frustrate congressional intent, devalue taxpayer investments in CEHRT, and make CEHRT less valuable and more burdensome for eligible hospitals and eligible providers to use,” the bill states.
“The Committee requests a detailed report from ONC no later than 90 days after enactment of this act regarding the extent of the information blocking problem, including an estimate of the number of vendors or eligible hospitals or providers who block information. This detailed report should also include a comprehensive strategy on how to address the information blocking issue.”