News | April 04, 2011

Wireless Remote Monitoring Program Launched to Help Congestive Heart Failure Patients

April 4, 2011 – A wireless remote monitoring program for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) has been launched by Anthem Blue Cross. The program is designed to help patients better monitor and manage the condition.

Through the program, Anthem Blue Cross is utilizing wireless remote monitoring technology to provide real-time information to help those with CHF better manage their conditions and potentially prevent the need to return to the hospital. The company is undertaking this pilot program with members in California who have been diagnosed with CHF.

"We are passionate about developing state-of-the-art solutions for our members to help them better manage their health and to improve communication between them and their healthcare provider that can lead to greater coordination of care," said Kurt Tamaru, M.D., medical director with Anthem Blue Cross. "This is an exciting program as it combines wireless remote technology with clinically driven interventions to help deliver the right care at the right time and in a more effective and efficient way for our members."

Participants in the program who have a history of emergency room visits and hospitalizations will receive a wireless weight scale and blood pressure cuff to help them track their weight and blood pressure daily. Changes in weight and blood pressure are two key indicators of a potential change in their condition that may signal a more serious problem. The program will alert physicians of California PPO members when their patients gain weight that may be caused by fluid retention, which develops prior to patients becoming symptomatic. Identifying these individuals and enabling their doctors to treat their fluid retention in a timely manner, before shortness of breath develops, can prevent emergency room visits and subsequent acute hospital admissions.

The data collected from the monitoring devices is connected to an existing phone line and, using Bluetooth technology, is automatically populated to a secure Web portal that can be accessed by the member, physician, care giver and case manager. If irregularities in numbers occur, the member is contacted for the most appropriate action. Utilizing the latest home-monitoring technology, this program promotes better coordination and quality of care and earlier intervention to help get CHF under control.

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