News | February 24, 2012

Remote Patient Monitoring Helps Improve Care Coordination, Lower Healthcare Costs

February 24, 2012 — Hospital readmissions continue to be a challenge nationwide. It has been estimated that chronic diseases such as asthma, congestive heart failure (CHF) and diabetes account for over 80 percent of hospital inpatient stays. CHF alone is the leading cause of hospital admissions for Americans over the age of 65.

Remote patient monitoring solutions are able to help patients spend more time at home than in the hospital, as well as improve care coordination and lower costs.

AT&T and Intuitive Health are working together to pilot a home-based remote patient monitoring solution that helps engage patients and family members in their own care, while seamlessly involving healthcare providers through integration with their clinical information systems. The goal is to help reduce hospital readmissions and healthcare costs, and increase quality of care and patient satisfaction.

AT&T provides wireless connectivity to send data from unobtrusive personal health devices including tablets, weight scales and pulse oximeters to a cloud-based, device-agnostic, software platform from Intuitive Health that engages patients in their homes and enables the data gathered to be shared with caregivers in a highly-secure manner.

To measure the effectiveness of the solution, AT&T and Intuitive Health have been collaborating with Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. Texas Health's research arm, Texas Health Research & Education Institute, is leading an Institutional Review Board-approved study to measure reductions in heart failure readmissions. The study went live in April 2011 and is scheduled to conclude in December 2012. Preliminary results of the study indicate positive patient feedback and reduced readmissions.

The Texas Health Research & Education study monitors CHF patients for 90 days from their hospital discharge, provides the patients with tools to participate in their own care and helps identify potential issues early that could result in complications and re-admission. The overarching goal is to keep the patient in their home environment and functioning at the highest level possible while reducing the cost of re-hospitalization.

"Allowing providers and patients to interact remotely helps improve access to care and makes the likelihood of timely interventions much more possible," said Randall Porter, assistant vice president, AT&T ForHealth, AT&T Business Solutions.

"Innovation is desperately needed outside the four walls of the hospital," said Eric Rock, CEO and founder of Intuitive Health. "In order to increase our nation's quality of care and gain control of our healthcare spending, patients of all ages and technical ability must be given intuitive tools to improve their own health, while remaining engaged and monitored by their caregivers remotely."

Healthcare providers can see a demonstration of the remote patient monitoring solution at booth 3829 at the Healthcare and Information Management Systems Society 2012 (HIMSS12) in Las Vegas, Nev., from Feb. 20-24, 2012.

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