ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. – Mobile monitoring, health and medical data company OneLife Technologies has acquired certain intellectual property rights from Yinuo Technologies related to wearable products, designs and work. “The acquisition of Yinuo’s wearable and tricorder assets is yet another milestone for OneLife as we continue to execute our business strategy,” said Robert Wagner, CEO of OneLife Technologies, in a statement. “Owning the intellectual property of these assets further strengthens our company and its position in the rapidly growing remote patient monitoring and telemedicine marketplace.” OneLife plans on launching its newest medical wearable device later this year with a strategy of developing a complete, intuitive mobile health care solution, he said.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Biotricity is preparing to add its Biopatch to the portfolio of telehealth and remote patient monitoring devices that is creating a shift in health care delivery to outpatient care.
Biotricity expects to release its Biopatch electrocardiogram wearable patch, which provides wireless arrhythmia monitoring for patients who are either at risk for, or diagnosed with, certain cardiac issues, early next year.
“With the right technology and infrastructure, physicians can care for many patients remotely,” said Waqaas Al-Siddiq, CEO Biotricity. “The intersection of new technology and the patient-consumer is driving health care offerings to become more diversified, while also delivering enhanced care at a lower cost.”
By 2020, an estimated 36 million patients will be remotely monitored by devices like the Biopatch and others, according to research by market research firm Berg Insight.
As care moves out of the hospital and into the home, interoperability will be key to ensuring quality care and positive outcomes.
“Care coordination and communication must be synchronized, and tests, procedures and results have to be available to everyone in the chain of outpatient care,” said Al-Siddiq. “When patient data is collected in real time and stored on the Cloud, physicians from various points of care can access this information. Combined with a patient’s medical history, which can also be stored on the Cloud, physicians and care centers are better equipped to offer faster, more accurate diagnoses.”
Ultimately, patients today are consumers that insist on having options and making informed decisions about their health care, said Al-Siddiq. The shift to outpatient care caters to the patient-consumer, because it aims to offer patients options that can give them convenient access to the closest location that can care for them.
“Informed patients with options are engaged patients, and engaged patients take a more proactive role in the management of their own health,” he said.
‘We have to adapt and scale our solutions or the system will not be able to sustain the trends we see’
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Remote patient monitoring is increasingly being seen as a standard of care, especially as industry experts predict the number of adults age 65 and older to double by 2060.
Nersi Nazari, CEO of VitalConnect, provider of the VitalPatch wireless biosensor, shared his thoughts on what’s behind the rapid growth in remote patient monitoring.
HHTN:The remote patient monitoring market is growing fast—Researchandmarkets.com predicts it will grow to$31.326 billion by the end of 2023. What’s driving this growth?
NAZARI:As a result of increasing health care costs, an aging population and demonstrated improved patient outcomes with advanced remote monitoring technologies, health care providers are beginning to shift eligible patients toward home care programs, including remote patient monitoring.
HHTN:Some providers are still skeptical about the benefits of remote patient monitoring. What are the challenges to a wider adoption?
NAZARI:Part of the problem has been that quality care like that traditionally found in a hospital has not been technologically or economically possible outside hospital walls on any significant scale until now.
HHTN:Now that it is, what will health care delivery look like in five years?
NAZARI:Technology is changing incredibly fast for health care right now—there are so many new concepts and ideas to approach the age-old issues of health care. I think we will see the use of technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning, biosensors and early warnings scores used commonly in all aspects of health care. Ultimately, all of these technologies should contribute to a reduction in the burden of caring for large numbers of patients efficiently and effectively. We have to adapt and scale our solutions or the system will not be able to sustain the trends we see in chronic disease, aging patients and costs. I think we will see progress toward this in the next five years, but likely it will take longer than that to make broad significant changes.
HHTN:How are the recent changes announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to open a path for reimbursement for remote patient monitoring going to impact the industry?
NAZARI:The changes from CMS to unbundle care for remote patient monitoring will encourage care organizations to build programs with these technologies because they can now bill for the time it takes a caregiver to review data from patients.
HHTN:How are these technologies impacting home health care?
NAZARI:The technology is enabling at-home programs to grow to meet the rising demands of quality home care. Within home care environments, “admit-to-home” patients receiving remote and continuous monitoring have shown a reduction in readmissions and an overall decrease in cost of care as compared to a traditional hospital stay. Enabling patients to be admitted to their homes, rather than the hospital, has been shown to decrease health care costs while improving patient outcomes.
LEUVEN, Belgium and HARTFORD, Conn. – Dr. Robert Lerman has joined LindaCare, a digital health company specializing in remote patient monitoring for chronic disease management, as chief medical officer and vice president of clinical operations. He was most recently corporate vice president of Dignity Health. “I’m tremendously excited to join LindaCare,” said Lerman, in a statement. “Remote monitoring of cardiac implantable devices provides earlier detection of actionable events, reduces health care visits and provides high patient satisfaction. The LindaCare software and service model aggregates and prioritizes patient data from all major manufacturers into one straightforward platform, improving the quality and efficiency of patient care.” Lerman will work closely with LindaCare’s customers focusing on clinical workflow, product optimization, research and the adoption of the company’s OnePulse solution globally. He will also lead the clinical operation of the organization’s remote patient monitoring service.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Atrium Health Foundation will use a $1.1 million grant from The Duke Endowment to establish the “Perfect Care: Personalized Cardiac Care and Collaborative,” with a focus on engaging cardiac patients and their families through remote monitoring.
“We are the first health system in the country to implement this patient-centered monitoring approach with a multi-institutional learning collaborative for cardiac services,” said Dr. Kevin Lobdell, director of regional cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery quality, education and research at Atrium Health, in a statement.
The initiative, which will be piloted at Atrium Health’s Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, seeks to address the specific actions or activities that must occur at each phase of a cardiac patient’s care following surgery. It integrates newer technologies such as wearable passive monitors to assist in achieving high-quality outcomes. The program will emphasize post-acute care to those with limited social support and financial resources by bringing health care directly to patients outside of hospital walls.
In year one, the program will launch at Carolinas Medical Center, Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville and Carolinas HealthCare System Northeast, with the intent to expand to three other major Atrium facilities over the next two years.
As the initiative expands, Perfect Care aims to develop a collaborative for health care teams around the Carolinas to learn together and continuously improve the quality, safety and value of cardiac care. Teams will develop new patient reported outcomes and continuously improve the PROs, as well as mortality and morbidity rates.
“Once developed, this approach could serve as the standard for the peri-procedural home both within Atrium Health’s 40-plus hospitals and for other health systems across the country,” said Dr. Lobdell.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently proposed changes to the Home Health Prospective Payment System that could pave the way for home health agencies to be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring under Medicare—and while it’s a positive move forward, industry experts caution that more needs to be done.
“It’s exciting to have CMS open the door to reimbursement for remote patient monitoring,” said Gigi Sorenson, chief clinical offider at telemedicine software/hardware provider GlobalMed. “Those institutions that blazed the path of remotely monitoring their chronically ill patients while absorbing the capital outlay should be praised. Now, with a clear path to reimbursement, it is likely more providers will launch RPM programs.”
CMS made the proposal as part of a larger group of changes to the HHPPS, which include allowing the cost of remote patient monitoring to be reported by home health agencies as allowable costs on the Medicare cost report form.
Under the proposed changes, home health agencies will not be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring services, but will be able to instead factor the cost of RPM into the costs-per-visit.
The proposed changes could boost a provider’s bottom line and will encourage a wider adoption of RPM in the industry, said Arlene Maxim, a home health expert and speaker.
“In the past, home health agencies have attempted to use telehealth with little success,” she said. “This will all change when the cost is mitigated and potential revenue can be generated.”
The proposals “would give doctors more time to spend with their patients, allow home health agencies to leverage innovation and drive better results for patients,” said Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, in a statement.
CMS expects the proposed changes to help foster the adoption of emerging technologies by home health agencies and result in more effective care planning, as data is shared among patients, their caregivers and their providers.
CMS is accepting comments on the proposed home health rule until Aug. 31.
‘This is a very small step’
WASHINGTON – The home health care industry is cautiously optimistic about Medicare’s proposals to reimburse home health agencies for remote patient monitoring and pay physicians for virtual visits.
In the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program unveiled last week, CMS proposes allowing the cost of remote patient monitoring to be reported by home health agencies as an allowable cost on the Medicare cost report form. It also proposes paying physicians for virtual check-ins with patients and evaluations of patient-submitted images.
Industry experts want to make clear that, while the proposed changes are a step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go.
“This is a very small step toward recognizing the value of remote patient monitoring, as future reimbursement policy considerations will now have the benefit of data regarding cost,” said William Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
While the proposal would position remote patient monitoring as an allowable charge, home health agencies still won’t be reimbursed for them, said Joy Cameron, vice president of policy and innovation at ElevatingHOME and the Visiting Nurse Associations of America.
Still, “as an ‘allowable’ cost under Medicare, agencies will be able to denote those services and costs in their annual reports and it will be a cost of care, rather than additional administrative costs or seen as a surplus when margins are calculated,” she said.
Cameron believes RPM is an increasingly important tool home health agencies can use to collect data on patients.
“This data can be used to monitor issues and concerns, and to help provide data to care planning modifications and needs,” she said.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week proposed changes to the Home Health Prospective Payment System that would allow home health agencies to be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring under Medicare. The agency made the proposal as part of a larger group of changes to the HHPPS, which include allowing the cost of remote patient monitoring to be reported by home health agencies as allowable costs on the Medicare cost report form. The proposals “would give doctors more time to spend with their patients, allow home health agencies to leverage innovation and drive better results for patients,” said Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, in a statement. Verma said the proposed changes are expected to help foster the adoption of emerging technologies by home health agencies and result in more effective care planning, as data is shared among patients, their caregivers and their providers. CMS is accepting comments on the proposed home health rule until Aug. 31.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Biotricity’s Bioflux cardiac monitoring system has won the MedTech Breakthrough Award 2018 for Best Remote Patient Monitoring Solution. MedTech Breakthrough is an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global health and medical technology market, and designed the awards to recognize those companies that have succeeded in pushing ingenuity and exemplify the best healthcare technology solutions across the globe. “We consider this recognition a true testament to the hard work and passion of the Biotricity team and, more importantly, the impact our remote patient monitoring device is expected to have on the lives of patients,” said Waqaas Al-Siddiq, founder and CEO of Biotricity, in a statement. The Bioflux system is designed to be a complete solution for cardiac monitoring and diagnosis, consisting of the Bioflux device, proprietary software and a 24/7 monitoring center that merges with physicians’ existing platforms and workflows, extending the support a patient receives at a care facility into the their home. The device monitors a patient’s ECG in near real-time, constantly analyzing and collecting data on the device and periodically uploading to the cloud via embedded cellular technology.
PLANO, Texas – BrightLife Services is almost ready to launch a new technology for seniors and patients with chronic conditions that connects multiple home health devices to an all-in-one remote monitoring platform.
As a strategic partner and customer of Sensogram Technologies, BrightLife Services is integrating the Sensoscan vitals tracker and Vital Band fall detection smart watch into the platform. It will also incorporate other devices like Bluetooth scales, glucose monitors, smart pill caps and more.
“They’re bringing all the necessary elements together to make virtual care as good as, or better, than an office visit,” said Pete Ianace, corporate development board member of Sensogram Technologies.
BrightLife Services is a device-agnostic home health platform featuring a 10-inch tablet as its hub. The tablet connects to most digital health devices and features artificial intelligence technology, audio/video and voice capabilities, health care and lifestyle apps, and customized educational content for the user’s condition.
The platform connects to a call center for emergencies, as well as to a network of some 9,000 partner health care providers so users get a dedicated care team.
The new platform is expected to launch on June 1.
Ianace said the announcement that Medicare will begin reimbursing physicians for telehealth visits has opened up the market for remote monitoring.
“Remote care hasn’t been effective in the past because there was no way for doctors to be compensated to treat patients at home,” he said. “Now you’re probably going to see 10 more companies doing this kind of service in the next year.”
BrightLife Services will be offered directly to consumers at different levels on a monthly subscription basis—no long-term contracts. The company will send a representative to the user’s home to install and set up the equipment, and then it’s ready go.