Philips connects care with new monitoring devices
STAMFORD, Conn. – Royal Philips has launched an ecosystem of connected wearable technologies for people who want to take control of their health. The company has made available medical-grade health monitoring devices—a health watch, connected scale, blood pressure monitor and thermometer—and a fully integrated companion HealthSuite Health app. The company says the new devices are designed to help those at risk of chronic disease to measure and monitor their health, and to stay motivated. “We combine deep clinical know-how and rich data, consumer insights and advanced technology to craft solutions which help individuals along the whole of their health journey,” said Jorgen Behrens, business leader, personal health solutions. The company says the launch represents a new era in connected care for consumers, patients and providers, as health care continues to move outside hospitals, and into homes and everyday lives. The devices can be purchased directly from the Philips website or through Amazon. The app is free and available on iOS and Android.
WellCare launches telehealth monitoring system
WILMINGTON, N.C. – WellCare Home Health has joined forces with Health Recovery Systems to provide a telehealth remote monitoring program to its patients in 43 North Carolina counties. WellCare will use HRS’ new Clinician Connect and Caregiver Connect mobile apps to combine monitoring capabilities, alerts, education and activities for patients. Nurses in the field, as well as the patient’s family members, can receive high-risk alerts from tablets that monitor and engage patients. Nurses and family members will be able to conduct video calls, make phone calls or send text messages directly to the patient’s tablet, which is provided at no cost to WellCare patients who are on Medicare home care and who have chronic illnesses such as heart failure, COPD and hypertension. “Having access to real-time data will allow our specialized nurses to proactively provide care interventions using best practice protocols to avoid hospitalizations and improve quality,” said Wanda Coley, WellCare COO.
Telemedicine parity laws increasing across states
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have telemedicine parity laws for private payers, according to a recent report by the American Telemedicine Association. What’s more, of those, 22 have earned a Grade A or B, meaning they authorize state-wide coverage without any provider or technology restrictions. The so-called “Big Five” commercial payers (Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare) all cover telemedicine, but their coverage can vary state to state, according to the report.
Singapore consumers want self-directed healthcare
SINGAPORE – More than half of Singapore consumers want self-directed healthcare driven by digital technologies, according to a recent report from Accenture. Consumers surveyed said they would rather have a virtual visit with a physician if it would enable them to be seen sooner, and also said they trust themselves to take charge of their own health. Compared to consumers surveyed in Australia and Japan, those in Singapore were most excited about innovations like health coaches and virtual assistants. Consumers said they are prepared to complete procedures using devices at home to monitor their health, and said they would be prepared to pay for such devices themselves, provided they were linked to the right mix of benefits. “By implementing digital technologies more broadly, the health industry will be able to augment human labor, personalize care and free up time for clinicians to focus on where they’re needed most,” said Julian Sham, M.D., who leads Accenture’s health practice in Singapore.
NeuroMetrix to collaborate with Premera Blue Cross to pilot pain relief technology
WALTHAM, Mass. – Through a collaboration with NeuroMetrix, Premera Blue Cross will pilot the Quell Wearable Pain Relief Device within their organization. Premera will provide the devices to selected employees with chronic pain, then assess their response to the technology and its impact on their pain and quality of life. Quell’s smartphone app will be used to capture data such as device utilization and sleep metrics. “Quell’s connectivity provides a unique opportunity to leverage data that we hope will help us assess how wearable devices could improve the lives of our employees and customers,” said Katy Greve, director of strategic planning for Premera.
Biotricity selects AT&T to power wearable devices
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Biotricity Inc. has selected AT&T to power the company’s medical devices, including its flagship product, bioflux, which is expected to launch by the end of this year. AT&T will power Biotricity’s wearable medical devices with near real-time connectivity for data transmission, supporting the company’s vision of creating an Internet of Things (IoT) for wearable medical devices. “IoT will support a new generation of medical devices capable of transmitting data on an ongoing basis that help push care outside of the hospital and allow for continuous care virtually wherever the patient goes,” said Steve Burger, assistant vice president of business development and connected health, AT&T IoT Solutions. “By wireless enabling their devices, Biotricity will help enable caregivers and healthcare institutions to use their patients’ data in near real time to make informed and timely decisions.”
Wellness apps and devices safe from FDA scrutiny
SILVER SPRING, MD – The Food and Drug Administration will not examine apps and devices that promote general wellness and pose a low risk to the safety of users. The agency’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health gave final guidance this week on the devices, which include wearables, apps, video games and software programs. There are two categories of general wellness products, said the FDA: those that aim to improve overall health but don’t make any references to specific diseases or conditions; and those that do reference specific conditions or diseases. Though they will not be examined, the FDA said disease-related general wellness claims “should only be based on references where it is well-understood that healthy lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of a chronic disease or medical condition.”
KanTime releases analytics tool for home health and hospice agencies
CLEARWATER, Fla. – KanTime Data Sciences has released its analytics tool for home health and hospice agencies, a tool that can be customized for the back office administrative staff. Powered by Power BI by Microsoft, the tool encompasses three primary categories including business, operational and cost analytics. Within each category are metrics like admissions, patient census, financials, referrals, episodes of care, and more. “Many home health and hospice agencies in today’s market do not harness the true power of data analytics because the tools are designed only for upper-level management,” said Sundar Kannan, CEO of KanTime Healthcare Software, in a press release. “KanTime Data Sciences is unlike any other data analytics tool available for the post acute industry because it gives you the ability to drill down into the reports so you can affect change.”