Electronic Health Records

Use & Optimization News

Remote monitoring brings chronic disease management home

By Jennifer Bresnick

As the American population ages and stubborn chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, and hypertension spread further and further, both providers and patients are seeking new strategies to stay one step ahead of their healthcare needs.   Remote monitoring through devices accessible from the home environment is proving to be a successful strategy to maintain medication adherence and ensure that patients are taking their disease management seriously, said Mansoor Khan, ScD, Chief Executive Officer of Alere Analytics, during an interview with EHRintelligence at HIMSS14.

“Eighty percent of the issues our health system face today have to do with chronic diseases, and if we can really impact these issues on a population level, we can really make a difference in our ability to deal with both the quality of care and the costs of care,” he said.  “At the core of our mission is to attack the chronic disease epidemic, specifically the transition from the hospital to the home.  How do we keep patients out of the hospital, and preferably out of clinic, but keep them under the care of their provider?  We’re trying to get patients to take care of themselves and create very tight communication with their providers, so that if something happens that shouldn’t be happening, their provider can very quickly intervene.”

Through specialty devices and more general tools like smartphones and tablets a patient may already own, providers are creating a network of watchful eyes that still allow patients their freedom and privacy in the environment they treasure the most.  “Mobile technologies are key if you want to go into the home, because people don’t want to be tied down,” Khan said.  “But we have to balance that with privacy, HIPAA, and security requirements.  There’s a fine balance around the regulations around privacy and the freedom you want to give patients.”

“We now have the ability to deploy devices in the home, so that when patients take a blood sugar reading, or they take their weight or their blood pressure, that data is uploaded within seconds and is run through our analytics engine, and then all of that data is made available both through the physician portal and through EHRs,” he added.  “The richness of the data available to care providers is increasing exponentially and is going to grow even faster over the next couple of years.”

Watch the full interview with Dr. Khan by clicking on the video below.

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