Transforming Healthcare: The Value of Connected Care
TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE: THE VALUE OF CONNECTED CARE
Hannah Syrenne, PatientOne
The current state of healthcare in America is undergoing a massive transformation, and for good reason. Gaps in health data, inefficient transfer of medical records, and inconsistencies among monitoring practices often result in the delivery of substandard care. Additionally, episodic care models lack holistic representation and evaluation of patient conditions, widening the chasm between medical intention and action. In short, one of the keys challenges we now face in healthcare is fragmentation.
Digital innovation in healthcare, however, holds the unique capacity to bridge this fragmentation through enhanced care delivery, data generation, and patient empowerment. Healthcare Interoperability, or the capacity to seamlessly receive and send patient data in real-time across various healthcare organizations and through disparate software systems, is key for the accessible proliferation of value-based care in the United States. In short, the future of healthcare lies with continuous care.
So, how do we get there?
CONNECTED HEALTH DEVICES
The emergence and popularity of wearable wellness devices in America detailed for the first time the general public’s desire to increase involvement in their own health. Fitbits and Apple Watches are worn on the wrists of millions and provide each owner with personal wellness data, such as daily steps and caloric intake. Medical thought-leaders and innovators quickly realized the potential that this near-ubiquitous tech-adoption could have for the healthcare industry, and began rapidly developing wearable and/or portable devices with true, medical clout.
Among the most popular types of these health devices are:
● Blood Glucose Meters
● Blood Pressure Monitors
● ECG Monitors
● Pulse Oximeters
● Diagnostic Biosensors
Through consistent use by the patient, these devices are able to wirelessly generate and transmit datasets with actionable insights for clinical use. The promise for managing chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes is without limit. Synchronous data sharing allows healthcare providers to better understand and identify patterns in patient health, enabling continuous, real-time healthcare regardless of location. This ease of data sharing allows clinicians to operate at their maximum potential and coordinate care with all physicians involved in a patient’s health.
Some newer software technologies, such as PatientOne, provide clinics and care teams with comprehensive, intuitive software that seamlessly integrates with connected health devices. This allows healthcare providers to easily review big data which has been automatically sorted and analyzed in the software’s back-end. Our clinical dashboard generates alerts from the evaluated patient data if a value falls outside of a specified safe range and/or if extreme changes in values occur overtime. Comprehensive, consistent data allows providers to recognize potentially dangerous health trends, engage in proactive risk management, and make the most informed decisions for their patients.
Combined with well defined treatment pathways, the potential for connected devices to improve patient outcomes is staggering. Here is outcome data for a recent controlled study completed with hypertension patients here in Montana (publication is upcoming).
The potentially transformative nature of RPM is indicated by the outcomes of this study. The RPM (PatientOne) group compared to the Standard of Care (SOC) group shows significant improvement in terms of overall control of hypertension, as well as the time required to reach this control. Though, as an industry, we are at the very beginning stages of implementing RPM within patient homes, the possibilities for improving health care and reducing overall costs of care via remote monitoring are truly revolutionary.
How are these outcomes possible? Connected health devices, when used with the latest advanced RPM software, can give remote care teams nearly omniscient insight into patient health trends. Synchronous data sharing allows physicians to better understand and identify patterns in their patients’ health, enabling continuous, real-time care. Additionally, efficient transmission of data enables providers to easily coordinate care amongst each other. According to The Journal of mHealth , “33% of patients experience gaps in health information exchange” and “89% of providers admit electronic data exchange can improve healthcare delivery”. More eyes on more complete data will undeniably translate to safer patient care and an overall better patient experience.
The switch from episodic care to continuous care models is largely enabled through the use of connected health devices and appropriate digital health software. Advocacy from government agencies is propelling this innovation in ways that we have never seen before. In order to remain relevant and provide the highest quality care to the most people, practitioners should strongly consider adopting and implementing a care delivery model which utilizes connected health devices and realize the benefits of continuous care.