Considerations for making home monitoring a standard of care for poly-chronic disease patients
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Michael Reitermann, COO of Siemens Healthineers, recently shared his thoughts following a panel discussion on the topic of Personal Monitoring for Disease Management at the third annual World Medical Innovation Forum (WMIF). Panelists shared perspectives on the opportunities and risks with scaling home monitoring specifically for cardiac patient care.
Reitermann notes that in personal monitoring, he believes there are three issues prevalent today that will only increase in importance over the next decade:
- Automated analytics
- Operational reliability
“Precision: can we get the same lab-quality measurements in home monitoring environments compared with clinical lab solutions in terms of speed and precision?”
For poly-chronic disease patients, the collection of biometric data such as blood pressure, heart rate, weight and sleep patterns are vital to monitoring long-term quality of life, safety, and proving drug efficacy claims. Providing patients the opportunity to report this data from the comfort of their own home is known to remove potential biases and other confounding issues more prevalent in a clinical setting. In addition to establishing more realistic expectations of how the drug process will work in a real-world setting, in-home monitoring can improve patient experience, increase engagement, and, ultimately, capture more consistent, real-world data.
However, precision is often at the mercy of the devices collecting that information. At spencer Health Solutions, LLC, we see a real opportunity to capture high-quality biometric data, and connect patients, caregivers, and care teams with those insights. Wirelessly connecting monitoring devices to spencer provides a way to automatically record, or push, data to the cloud, making it available to all connected parties in one place. In turn, recorded data allows care providers to proactively manage patient care and improve outcomes.
“Automated Analytics: Can we discover deep-learning algorithms that will process the massive amounts of data that home monitoring will generate?”
Hundreds of thousands of patient experiences across disparate systems have generated tons of data to be analyzed. How can we take learnings from these past experiences and predict what is likely to happen when someone follows the same path? While deep learning strategies can identify potential health issues before they occur, the reality is that monitoring different systems and functions in real-time won’t happen overnight.
Working with organizations like HL7 gives us the opportunity to be part of the leading force of healthcare technology innovators establishing standards for data integration and sharing across providers. By analyzing medications patients are prescribed, adherence rates, how they’re using spencer to better engage with care providers, how often they’re engaging with spencer, and other patient insights, we can alert patients to potential issues and proactively coach patients on their health.
“Operational Reliability: Finally, and most importantly to patients and their caregivers, can home monitoring devices be designed for simple, safe and consistent use?”
Consistent, reliable operation and interactions with spencer is critical to success. But how do we make sure we’re not losing data integrity? spencer wirelessly connects to the cloud, allowing for HIPAA-compliance, secure data upload to the device and coming back to spencer. A built-in battery ensures spencer is powered in event of power loss.
Initial results from a pilot program show that by and large, patients are very responsive to spencer, responding to personalized health questions at an average rate of up to 80 percent. In addition to consistent engagement, preliminary data shows a 90 percent rate of taking medication as directed.
As Reitermann notes in his recap, “If clinical, operational and financial progress can be made on these issues, then I expect this will accelerate adoption and ultimately improve patient care—making home monitoring a standard part of the post-acute phase for nearly all cardiac patients.”
In my estimation, I think home monitoring deserves to be a routine standard of care for any poly-chronic disease patient, not just cardiac patients. We know that those managing more than one chronic condition and taking multiple prescription medications are at an increased risk of hospitalization. With the adoption of in-home technology, including monitoring, patients can better self-manage their health routines and increase medication adherence, ultimately reducing hospitalizations and decreasing overall healthcare costs.