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Remote Monitoring Technology Boosts Patient Engagement

By Vera Gruessner

- Patient engagement has been on the checklist for healthcare providers over the last several years, as Stage 2 and Stage 3 Meaningful Use requirements of the EHR Incentive Programs have pushed forward the goal of having patients engaged with their health and wellness. Along with the typical patient portal and secure messaging tools, remote monitoring technology as well as mobile health apps could affect patient engagement throughout the nation.

Remote Monitoring Technology

Dr. Raj Khandwalla of Cedars Sinai Medical Center spoke with mHealthIntelligence.com to offer his opinion on how patients interact and engage with remote monitoring technology in an effort to improve their overall health and fitness. He spoke on the capabilities of data analytics from the stored data on remote monitoring technologies.

“It all comes down to data streams including which ones are predictive and what data streams are not predictive,” Khandwalla began. “If you look broadly at the term data stream, you can get data streams from biosensors that are implanted, biosensors that are wearable, and labs that are checked on a regular basis. Biomarkers that would come from those labs could potentially have even more predictive power.”

“The way I see it evolving is data streams coming from implantable or wearable devices as well as regular testing of biomarkers, which will come in the form of lab tests,” he continued. “As lab tests become easier to obtain, that will be another very powerful data stream. Once we find biomarkers being tested on a regular basis, it will lead to new biosensors to test blood tests noninvasively. The labs will lead to new sensors being formed and all of it will lead to more data streams. Over time, those data streams will become more predictive of people’s health.”

“I think that cardiology is going to be the first field to have these advances,” he explained. “This is because cardiovascular health is so dependent upon a patient’s mobility and how much he/she exercises. There is increasing literature about the relationship of inactivity and an increase in cardiovascular disease. If we’re able to use activity monitoring to increase people’s basic movement, it would be an early win in this data of evolution.”

As more users of remote monitoring technology begin to utilize wearables and motion sensors, it will lead to greater patient engagement with health and fitness and goals. In addition to remote monitoring tools, telemedicine services could also potentially increase patient engagement.

UMass Memorial Health Care, a medical provider based in central Massachusetts, has implemented telemedicine in the form of virtual patient visits for diagnosing and treating typical health problems, according to a press release from the organization.

“We are excited to give more patients access to fast, affordable mainstream medicine in minutes," said Eric Dickson, president and CEO of UMass Memorial. "The Zipnosis platform will allow us to make high quality care from our own clinicians available to patients where and when they want to receive it, at an affordable price. This new service is an important component of UMass Memorial's commitment to growing our virtual medical capabilities. We've long offered cutting-edge virtual care for the most serious conditions – for instance we remotely monitor patients in more than 14 intensive care units across the state through our eICU program, and our Teleneurology program which covers eight hospitals, representing 887 inpatient beds. Our partnership with Zipnosis will help us bring virtual care to patients with simple medical needs."
 

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