- Chronic diseases affect a large percentage of the patient population across the nation. From diabetes and obesity to heart disease, new technologies from the mobile health industry could potentially improve the management of these chronic conditions. In particular, remote monitoring technology could play a large role in boosting patient health outcomes and strengthening healthcare delivery.
mHealthIntelligence.com reported previously how remote monitoring technology can actually reduce the number of hospital readmissions among patients with heart disease. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as well as countless other medical facilities have begun adopting remote monitoring technology to better track patients’ health while they are residing at home.
Equipment is sent directly to patients’ homes and installed to send patient data to the hospitals. With patients’ vital signs at their fingertips, physicians are then better able to assign medication and change prescriptions if needed to improve heart conditions. This type of technology and clinical decision making enables hospitals to cut the number of readmissions and improve care.
Clearly, remote monitoring technology aids doctors and healthcare providers in meeting the requirements set forth by the federal government such as pay-for-performance initiatives and the need to reduce hospital readmissions for those patients who were discharged within the last 30 days.
Whether it is heart disease, diabetes, asthma, or another chronic condition, hospitals are focused on helping patients live healthier lives with the help of remote monitoring technology while residing at home. Healthcare providers unable to reduce hospital readmission rates may end up with lower reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
New innovations, however, help providers meet the goals of better patient care. For instance, the Mayo Clinic will be working with Gentag, Inc. to create wearable biosensors to assist with treating diabetes and helping obese patients lose weight.
Essentially, disposable patches will be used to help manage diabetes by collecting and sending information directly to smartphones. This communication system may be a key way for receiving vital data to improve the health outcomes of diabetes patients.
According to The Brownsville Herald, the University of Texas healthcare system has a new program that also utilizes remote monitoring technology for strengthening patient care. Several medical facilities and groups including the Valley Baptist Medical Center and the City of Brownsville are working together to develop this program meant to treat diabetes patients.
The project is also positioned to close some of the typical gaps in healthcare found in this particular location.
“We have a window of opportunity where we can see these patients, and then based on what’s found, there’s another huge gap, on who we can send them to for continued care,” Brownsville City Commissioner Dr. Rose Gowen told the source. “It’s one thing to get care for those that are really ill and another thing to get care for people on the verge of getting ill.”
Project Diabetes and Obesity Control (DOC) is set up in a way that would ensure the stable recuperation among the patient population after a hospital stay by uniting both clinical and analytical methods for managing diabetes.
“You can make a list of 10 things wrong and 10 solutions for those problems. Our approach is different,” Lynda Chin, UT System’s Sssociate Vice Chancellor for Health Transformation and Chief Innovation Officer for Health Affairs, told the news source. “We’re still addressing the need, but it’s deeper than that. Fundamentally, the health care system is wrong for taking care of diseases like diabetes.”
“It is more than an app, because an app doesn’t change health care. A device doesn’t change health care, an analytic doesn’t change health care,” Chin continued. “It is when people use those things and the use of it translates to a different behavior and that change is a good change — that is when you impact health care.”