Mobile adoption just keeps marching forward, but someone had best solve the payment issue sooner rather than later.
The move toward accountable care organizations and Medicare’s denial of reimbursements for certain preventable readmissions certainly will put some of the onus on hospitals and integrated delivery networks to keep post-discharge patients and those with chronic diseases healthy. It is starting to make economic sense for health systems to invest in remote monitoring for managing complex cases in patients’ homes rather than in costly hospital settings.
Grants and government subsidies can help, too, up to a point. This week, Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff, Ariz., announced that it was collaborating with Qualcomm, Verizon Wireless, Zephyr Technology and the National Institutes of Health to monitor patients with congestive heart failure via 3G broadband connections across much of Northern Arizona.
The program, dubbed Care Beyond Walls and Wires, will employ Zephyr home medical devices such as weight scales and blood-pressure monitors to capture patient data, then send readings to the hospital daily via Motorola Droid X2 smartphones on Verizon’s network. Flagstaff Medical Center will choose 50 participants who had been hospitalized with CHF or a related heart condition and are at high risk of readmission.
A hospital spokeswoman indicated that many of the potential patients are on far-flung parts of Indian reservations that never had landlines and heretofore have not have much in the way of cellular coverage, either. Nor have they had regular access to ongoing care for their chronic diseases.
This is all great, but let’s look across the pond for some longer-term perspective. Keep reading>>