Tag: remote patient monitoring

Validic, Trapollo Collaborate To Deliver Hardware, Software Services To Support Remote Patient Monitoring

Validic, a market leader in solutions for personal health data, and Trapollo, a Cox Business company and a leading provider of managed services for telehealth and remote health monitoring, announced today a strategic collaboration to offer comprehensive hardware and software services supporting remote patient monitoring (RPM). The organizations are working together to meet the market need for a configurable, end-to-end RPM solution – one that supports scaled deployments with access to a broad range of home health devices. The collaboration combines Validic’s strengths in data connectivity and analytics with Trapollo’s strengths in hardware provisioning and logistics.

As leading providers and payers strategize to deploy extensive, scalable RPM programs, more organizations are demonstrating the need for strong device procurement and support alongside broad data connectivity and analytics capabilities. In recognizing this market need, the partnership between Validic and Trapollo offers a uniquely modular and customizable approach to RPM – enabling organizations to implement pieces of an end-to-end solution which best meet their immediate needs.

While some traditional, end-to-end RPM solutions restrict organizations to managing single-condition patients with a specific set of devices, the Validic and Trapollo collaboration offers the flexibility to use a variety of devices to manage several conditions. Together, Validic and Trapollo aim to support more patients, from rising-risk to high risk populations, and especially those individuals who require more hands-on support in the setup and use of their health devices.

“We are proud to work with Validic to offer healthcare companies an award-winning software solution for remote monitoring. This collaboration enables support of patients as soon as they receive and set-up their device, and during monitoring with real-time interventions bolstered by personal health data,” said Trapollo Vice President and General Manager Mike Braham.

Through Trapollo, clients and their patients have access to enterprise support for device provisioning, logistics and technical assistance. This alleviates some traditional device limitations and constraints in RPM – enabling healthcare organizations and providers to best choose the devices suited for their populations’ unique needs. These devices or device kits are provisioned, shipped and managed by Trapollo, who also provides patients with technical support for the setup and use of devices.

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The Role of Telehealth In Medical Malpractice

Skype, Woman, Computer, Laptop, Home

Telehealth has been in practice now for over 40 years, yet in the last 5 years it is seeing considerable growth in all sectors. There are a number of reasons for this, primarily, as the use of the internet and various new technologies are becoming more and more advanced and widespread, this has meant that the cost of using this technology for such purposes has decreased significantly. 

Also, a greater understanding of how best to make use of and implement telehealth has improved overtime, with new uses for it continually being developed. The increase of reliance on telehealth has sparked debate between physicians regarding the pros and cons of its usage, with particular consideration of the role it plays in medical malpractice.

The benefits of telehealth

One of the most obvious benefits of telehealth is the newfound ability to provide healthcare to patients in remote areas who otherwise may struggle to get access, while also being advantageous for elderly or disabled patients with mobility or logistical issues. 

It has the potential also to improve patient coverage given a shortage of physicians in relation to the number of patients in some cases. It also provides the opportunity for patients with rare conditions to get much needed medical advice from long distance specialists.

From a healthcare systems perspective, telehealth has the potential to both decrease costs and improve outcomes, however this needs to be weighed up against the potential risks involved.

It’s drawbacks

Telehealth represents a paradigm shift in medical care, changing the way that doctors operate and deal with their patients, it could be harder for more experienced doctors to adapt to these new ways of working as they were not trained that way, and many want to and are used to seeing the patient in their office. 

This technology removes the physician’s ability to see and interact with the patient face to face. It is natural that physicians will fear their ability to do their job will be reduced at such a distance plus any technological change also changes medical malpractice thresholds. It will be down to malpractice expects such as JJS Justice, and law courts to determine how telehealth and other new technologies relate to the acceptable healthcare provision threshold for patients. Doctors will need to adapt and learn to implement these technologies within these limits.

Other issues involve the quality of service that is being provided using this technology, can patients trust in this? Will they receive a quality of care equivalent to that of a face to face consultation? It also remains to be determined how exactly physicians will be reimbursed for their work done through this method.

The potential for medical malpractice in telehealth

There is still work to be done to ensure that telemedicine is controlled and regulated effectively, to maximise its efficacy and minimise the risk of medical malpractice. The main concerns around the potential for medical malpractice in telehealth include issues around online prescribing, informed consent and state licensure. 

With regard to online prescribing, in some cases it may be insufficient to prescribe medication on the basis of an over the phone consultation or upon review of a patient questionnaire submitted online. It Is therefore important that there are crystal clear guidelines and expectations set around when a physical examination is required. 

Laws around informed consent are different between states, physicians should therefore be au fait with the requirements on this front for the states where they are licensed to prescribe medication to patients. 

Finally, physicians should not operate beyond their jurisdiction, a doctor needs to be licensed in the patient’s home state in order to prescribe them medication. In fact, most malpractice issues in relation to telemedicine involve unlicensed activity. 

To avoid malpractice litigations, it is essential that physicians are licenced, have full knowledge of their duties and responsibilities, receive adequate training and that they have taken a full and extensive medical history of all the patients that they prescribe for.

How Technology Saves Lives Every Day

While you may think of technology in terms of the CT scanner, the advancements made in recent years in cardiac monitors, portable x-ray equipment, sonography, bedside lab testing, even IV needles are all part of how tech is improving healthcare.

Just ask the medical staff of inpatient and outpatient rehab centers. Point of care testing allows blood testing to be done at the bedside. Results for electrolytes, hemoglobin and hematocrit, glucose, blood gases and several other essential blood tests can be in the doctor’s hands in the time it used to take to run the blood to the lab.

Every discipline of medicine is evolving because of the changes in technology. First, there were x-rays then CT scans and MRIs. Now PET scans routinely diagnose very early cancers because they scan the body at a cellular level, often finding tiny areas of increased activity that wouldn’t show up on a CT scan or MRI. Speaking of pets, tech has helped improve the health of our dogs and cats. Whether simply treating a constipated dog or detecting cancer in a cat, the same image scans that serve to help people are being used to help their pets. Robotic surgery sounds like science fiction, but the discipline is gaining acceptance everywhere. Very small incisions have replaced long scars as surgeons control miniaturized instruments from a monitor with magnification that enables very precise work.

Even common health problems, such as diabetes and asthma, are affected by improved technology. Advanced diabetic pumps and monitors help to control blood sugars more exactly as well as improving the quality of life for many diabetics. The newer asthma inhalers deliver a more accurate dose and are easier to use, especially for elderly and young patients.

Computers connect health care agencies and allow researchers to gather data in real time. The diagnosis of a case of influenza or meningitis can be reported to the CDC within minutes to hours, helping to stop the spread of epidemics.

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Looking Ahead: 2018 Prospects and Trends in Healthcare Technology

By Brooke LeVasseur, CEO, AristaMD.

Brooke R. LeVasseur
Brooke R. LeVasseur

According to the Office of Coordination of National Health Information, 50 percent of healthcare dollars are wasted on inefficient processes. Transformative innovation must not only change the current way things are done, it must be disruptive by having a meaningful impact on time, quality, cost and operational effectiveness – it must dramatically simplify and accelerate the process it enables.

There are very exciting ways in which digital technology is creating transformation across the entire healthcare system in areas such as connected health, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, mobile data gathering, analytics, digital therapeutics and remote patient monitoring. All of these technological developments will improve healthcare efficiency, but more importantly they will drive the delivery of individualized care and dramatically improve patient outcomes as follows:

Access to Care

Connected health, or telehealth, is enabling the delivery of care to rural areas, where access is often nonexistent or very limited. It is also being used to address growing medical staff and physician shortages by providing access to timely care through collaborative tools such as eConsults. Telehealth delivers faster, less expensive and more convenient healthcare and in doing so significantly improves patient outcomes.

Patient Engagement

Conventional patient engagement systems display information at the hospital bedside, which is only one of many relevant ways to connect with patients. Companies are now integrating artificial intelligence or ‘virtual’ health coaches into interactive educational platforms, resulting in higher utilization and engagement, and delivering more robust, actionable content.

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)

A vast array of innovative wearables and sensors such as the biosensor bra patch, implantable glucose sensor, electronic tattoos and the cardiac mapping vest are revolutionizing remote monitoring capabilities. These remote monitoring systems have the potential to help achieve triple aim goals by leveraging the latest advancements to collect and analyze patient data beyond the bedside. Patients and providers can use smart phones, tablets and apps to remotely assess, diagnose and monitor their patients. Electronic monitoring can be an effective solution to identifying issues as they happen while also enabling more effective tracking of patients post-discharge, improving compliance and adherence, and reducing the number of re-admissions.

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Medicaid Needs To Lead the Charge in Remote Patient Monitoring

By Juan Pablo Segura, co-founder, Babyscripts.

Juan Pablo Segura
Juan Pablo Segura

In a system that is straining under the pressure of an increasingly sick and aging population, the benefits of digital healthcare are indisputable. Technology has played a crucial role in the industry’s continued transition to value-based care, driving costs down while increasing access to personalized care. But despite the rapid gains that technology has affected, policy-makers have been slow to catch up. Until recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) enforced rules dis-incentivizing doctors to consider using new technologies.

Yet effective January of this year, CMS instituted important changes to their reimbursement policies that encourage the use of digital health tools. Most significant among these changes is the un-bundling of the Medicare/Medicaid CPT code 99091, a decision that specifically affects the adoption and deployment of remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices. In the past, CMS has only offered financial incentives for live, audiovisual virtual visits, excluding RPM—and thus excluding a major demographic from the possibility of affordable and accessible care. With the un-bundling, financial incentives for RPM are not only available, but also are deployed across multiple providers, allowing nurses and care managers as well as physicians to analyze and monitor data, creating efficiencies and lowering costs.

The creation of a code specifically for RPM marks an important shift in the stance towards digital health, establishing it as a standalone benefit with intrinsic value. With this policy, CMS is acknowledging and validating the research that has shown the tremendous benefits of RPM, primarily the economic benefits that come from transitioning the center of care from expensive hospitals and tertiary care clinics to the home.

But while the CPT un-bundling represents an important victory for RPM, it also serves to highlight the policy’s inadequacies and the large margin for growth. With the update, care providers no longer have to worry about fully funding RPM from their original operating budgets, but the reimbursement rate ($60 per patient per month) is still far too low to be effective in most cases. Other requirements, such as a prior wellness visit with the patient and a limit of one charge to the code per month, further restrict its effectiveness.

Perhaps most problematic, while the un-bundling will have an immediate positive impact on patients over the age of 65, a large patient demographic could be outside the bounds of its effects. Commercial plans are under no requirement to follow the updated CPT guidelines, and more importantly, neither is Medicaid. And while Medicaid is the smaller of the two government run-healthcare plans (compare Medicaid’s revenue of $565.5 billion to Medicare’s $672.1 billion), it is outpacing Medicare by 10 percent in rates of spending (increasing by 3.9 percent in 2016 compared to Medicare’s 3.3 percent).

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