Remote patient monitoring steps toward new era
In his session at HIMSS15 in Chicago, "Mobility and Remote Patient Monitoring: No More Secrets," Kenneth Kleinberg, will help attendees acknowledge and appreciate the advances in mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets, wireless local area networks as well as broadband and wireless broadband.
Among the topics Kleinberg, managing director of the Advisory Board, will discuss are the algorithms and decision support business intelligence analytics that can be applied to an increasing amount of data that could be collected from people through various monitors and sensors with the hope of improving their care.
"For a provider organization it's increasing their geographic scope and reach. A patient doesn't have to come to their facility, the patient can be a long distance away," said Kleinberg.
A recent HIMSS analytics study from 2014 revealed that 26 percent of provider organizations are doing some form of remote patient monitoring.
According to Kleinberg, remote patient monitoring is improving clinical quality because you're able to pay attention to data from the patient not just when they come into the physician's office that day, but data that can be accumulated over days, weeks and months.
"Potentially, it’s turning out that you can do this at a cost that makes sense. There are different kinds of patients you can monitor in different kinds of situations. You can spend more money on some patients because it would pay off," said Kleinberg.
For example, said Kleinberg, if you have a heart failure patient and they just had an expensive hospital stay you would get reimbursed for that, but if they get readmitted within 30-days, you may pay a penalty.
Kleinberg explained that if you spend $100 a month to monitor patients remotely – over a year it would cost much less then what you would pay if they have to come back to the hospital.
COPD, diabetes, and asthma patients would be among suitable candidates for remote monitoring.
According to Kleinberg, there are two waves of activity. The more traditional top down wave extends the reach of hospitals with FDA approved medical devices that are deployed out in the home by providers by doctors to keep track of these patients.
There is also an increasing consumer wave where people are going out and buying the sensors and devices on their own and tracking their fitness and health and bringing that information to their healthcare providers.
Kleinberg refers this wave as "the quantified selfers" and added that “these two waves are starting to collide."
Some physicians, Kleinberg asserted, don’t need and don’t want that data from the patient and claim that they don't have a place to put the data and they don't have time to look at it.
"There's a push back to this consumer-up bottom-up wave. But over time I think we're going to see that the sensors and the data that’s coming from these devices is going to have more and more value and providers are going to put more faith in it," said Kleinberg. "They're going to look at it and make some sense of it and part of the way they are going to do that is if they have more confidence about that data."
Kleinberg said that he's hoping to frame the discussion around: Can you actually capture this data and get it accurate enough that it can perform some kind of a purpose?
"And that answer, increasingly, is yes, but it's certainly still a big challenge," said Kleinberg.