August 3, 2009 – IDEAL LIFE Inc. said today its wireless remote monitoring devices were selected for a state-funded healthcare project to home monitor heart failure patients in six rural North Carolina communities.
The $870,000 grant is the largest phase II Health Disparities Grant awarded by the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission (HWTF), which utilizes North Carolina’s share of the national tobacco settlement to fund programs that promote preventative health. The grant provides funds for phase II of a HWTF Health Disparities Initiative; phase I was a successful three-year telehealth program that recently concluded with positive outcomes and high patient satisfaction levels.
Over the next three years, approximately 400 Medicaid patients with heart failure or cardiovascular disease will monitor their weight fluctuations with the IDEAL LIFE Body Manager, a digital body weight scale and blood pressure device. The program provides timely intervention for individuals who have a sudden increase in body weight, which is associated with hospitalization for heart failure. Each blood pressure device and scale wirelessly and automatically sends readings to healthcare professionals who monitor the data and intervene if necessary by contacting the patient’s primary care provider. This can help avoid costly visits to the emergency room or rehospitalization.
“No other remote monitoring vendor could provide customized reports or integrate with our current EMR system, and that’s what we needed to obtain future NC Medicaid reimbursement,” said Bonnie Perry Britton, telehealth clinical network director/development director for North Carolina’s Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center (RCCHC) in Ahoskie, N.C. “The cost savings was a significant factor, too. IDEAL LIFE has definitely broken the price point glass ceiling.”
RCCHC was the first federally-qualified health center in the nation to implement a community-based telehealth network. The newly awarded HWTF Phase II grant will replicate the program’s successful Phase I in six community clinics in North Carolina. Participating community health centers include Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, Bertie Rural Health, Greene County Health Services, Kinston Community Health Center, Rural Health Group, Tri-County Community Health Center, and Cabarrus Community Health Center.
“We’re confident that IDEAL LIFE will help us deliver better healthcare to one of the most disadvantaged regions in the U.S.,” said Kim Schwartz, CEO of RCCHC. “Remote monitoring is an extremely cost-effective way for us to extend the reach of our rural healthcare workers and improve public health.”
IDEAL LIFE’s Bluetooth-enabled products are designed for use with any mode of communication, including cell phones, telephone lines, and the Internet.
For more information: www.ideallifeonline.com, www.rcchc.org, www.HealthWellNC.com.