From the March 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Challenges facing remote healthcare monitoring
There are many obstacles to navigate and pitfalls to avoid in the adoption of medical-grade wearable devices where various therapies will be initiated based on their medical findings:
• Patient acceptance:
Are patients ready to have their physiological data shared electronically? Some may feel that this is intrusive or won’t want to wear the device all the time.
• Data security:
Health care providers/hospitals will need reassurance that physiologic and personal data is secure. Health care IT security will need to evaluate chosen platforms and minimize risk.
• Data accuracy and processing:
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Providers are dependent on accurate data to make changes to their patient’s plan of care. They must be able to process the physiological data and treat patients based on those findings in a timely, accurate manner.
• Device, platform and disposable item costs:
The device itself is only the beginning. Monitoring will require software and those costs can include initiation of service and/or yearly fees. Disposables can include electrodes or skin prep items.
• Systems integration:
Health care providers want to be able to access a single source for information and, ideally, remote data is contained within the same system.
Medical reimbursement may not yet exist through Medicare or private insurers, depending on the device or physiological specific output providers want to assess. If reimbursement exists, it is often shared between the hospital and device company.
Remote care through wearable devices has the potential to provide many applications in cardiology and beyond in both acute and chronic medical conditions. As our healthcare system moves from pay-per-service to episode-of-care models of reimbursement, this technology has promising applications. Through remote physiological data-gathering, providers will have the ability to intervene earlier in patient care, which will reduce hospital admissions, length of stay, clinic visits, and, hopefully, overall healthcare costs.
About the author: Doug Beinborn is a senior director in physician preference and contract services with Vizient and works closely with industry and hospital members in the cardiovascular, orthopedic and neuro intervention space.Back to HCB News