AstraZeneca tracks adherence rates for COPD inhaler
LONDON – AstraZeneca is working with Quintiles to find out if medication reminders help COPD patients adhere to therapy. The two companies have embarked on a clinical study involving 380 people who will use Symbicort inhalers connected to a BreatheMate patient support tool. BreatheMate monitors daily inhaler use and sends the data via Bluetooth to a phone. One group in the study will also receive audio-visual reminders to take their medication, while a second group will not. Leaders of the study report that COPD patients with lower adherence rates tend to have higher overall healthcare costs, and those with higher adherence rates experienced fewer hospitalizations and have lower healthcare costs.
Ascensia’s new glucometer clears FDA
PARSIPPANY, N.J. – The Contour Next Link 2.4 Blood Glucose Monitoring System has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is now available to diabetes patients as part of the Medtronic MiniMed 630G system with SmartGuard technology. Introduced by Ascensia Diabetes Care, a new business unit created this year when Panasonic Healthcare Holdings acquired Bayer Diabetes Care, the Contour Next Link 2.4 is a fingerstick glucometer that sends data wirelessly to Medtronic’s MiniMed 630G insulin pump. The MiniMed630G’s SmartGuard technology triggers an alarm when glucose level reaches a preset low threshold and suspends insulin delivery automatically if the user is unresponsive to the alarm. The Contour is the only FDA-cleared glucometer that connects to a pump. Ascensia renewed its alliance with Medtronic in June to develop and market innovative diabetes management solutions for patients worldwide.
Fallon Health partners with Healthsense, expands remote monitoring for seniors
WORCESTER, Mass. – Fallon Health will partner with Healthsense to provide passive, remote monitoring for members of its NaviCare program. The health insurance and care provider decided to expand the monitoring based on a recent 12-month study that found using Healthsense’s remote monitoring services in connection with its model of care for seniors reduced total medical expense by $687 per member per month. Healthsense uses wireless sensors in the home to monitor everyday living activities and gathers the information to establish individual patterns. The proprietary technology evaluates the data and updates users with timely information so caregivers can act proactively when they spot the early onset of a health event. NaviCare is a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan and a Senior Care Options program for adults age 65 and older. “The early results are encouraging and we believe remote monitoring is a new and promising tool we can use to meet our clinical objective to keep our frail dual-eligible members safer and in the community for as long as possible,” said Dr. Thomas Ebert, Fallon Health’s chief medical officer, in a statement.
Salesforce adds telehealth capability
SAN FRANISCO – Salesforce has added a telehealth capability to its Health Cloud patient engagement solution. The solution now enables a two-way video chat that gives patients the ability to connect face-to-face with their care teams from any mobile device. Powered by Salesforce SOS, the solution offers care teams the ability to deliver more timely, convenient and contextual care by allowing them to automatically pull up the patient’s medical profile, including cases, records and family data. “By bringing two-way video to Health Cloud we can both help patients get the engagement they’re craving and enable providers to improve outcomes at lower costs,” said Dr. Joshua Newman, general manager, Salesforce Healthcare and Life Sciences, in a statement announcing the solution.
VA expands telehealth services
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding its telehealth services to meet the growing needs of its patient population. The VA conducted more than 2 million telehealth visits in 2015, reaching more than 677,000 veterans. The agency reported that home telehealth reduced hospital bed days of care by 58% and hospital admissions by 32%. VA telemedicine falls into three categories: clinical video telehealth, home telehealth and store-and-forward telehealth.