Patient monitors: a segment poised for growth and innovation

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | May 19, 2016
Health IT Patient Monitors
From the May 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Technicians have to watch telemetry systems all night and listen for alarms that go off, but Steinhubl thinks that with wearables there will be much more personalized care with better data analytics, so clinicians get earlier warning signs of any pending deterioration.

He believes the monitors and the information obtained won’t change, but how that information gets to the monitors will change and the type of information will most likely improve. In the ICU, most patients don’t have continuous blood pressure monitoring, but if it can be done noninvasively then all patients should be able to benefit from it.

Philips entering the market
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In late February 2016, Philips Healthcare announced that it will introduce a wearable biosensor solution for at-risk patients in low-acuity hospital settings such as the general ward. The biosensor monitors heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature and other factors and then transmits the data to a clinical decision support software application to notify the clinician when the patient is deteriorating.

The idea for this biosensor came as a result of conversations Philips had with providers that were looking to help at-risk patients in low-acuity hospital areas through recovery and transition to home care. Philips has plans to launch a portfolio of integrated solutions that connect with analytics tools. “It’s less and less about the actual data — you sometimes think this data does a great job because it’s so big and great — but they are after actual situation data, which is predictive and helps them to save lives and costs,” says Carla Kriwet, CEO of patient care and monitoring solutions at Philips.

Integrating with EMRs
“It is no longer about just collecting and presenting information at the bedside or at the central stations. Information now needs to flow seamlessly to the EHR,” says Jeff Corliss, marketing executive of medical devices and informatics at Mindray. According to MD Buyline, 85 percent of patient monitors purchased today are bought with integration in mind. Major vendors like Philips, GE Healthcare, Nihon Kohden, Welch Allyn, Spacelabs and Mindray are able to integrate with leading HER vendors like Cerner, Epic and MEDITECH.

“It’s ridiculous to spend that much money buying a new telemetry system or upgrading a current system and not having device integration,” says Crow. “It’s such a time saver and a patient safety factor that it pays for itself.” It’s not a costly investment because it mostly involves software and wireless connectivity. With hardwire monitors, it’s not a big project because those are plugged into the network, but telemetry systems can cost about $1,000 per monitor.

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