As Cox Communications and the Cleveland Clinic cement their ground-breaking deal to provide in-home remote patient monitoring, one of the fastest growing sectors of the digital health market takes a big step forward.
A joint venture announced recently by broadband and cable TV provider Cox Communications that it had forged a deal with the Cleveland Clinic to create Vivre Health, “a groundbreaking strategic alliance to bring world-class healthcare to the home through innovative telehealth and home health solutions” puts the partnership right on trend.
The Atlanta-based Vivre Health will help satisfy consumer demand for more accessible health solutions and helps Cox expand its reach beyond its traditional telecommunications offerings as well as in-hospital patient monitoring.
$5B RPM trend
A recent report by IT Health Outcomes on Feb. 12 predicted that the patient monitoring market in the US would exceed $5B by 2020, and that disease conditions management via telehealth would comprise more than 50 percent of the telehealth market. The publication was quoting a study released by iData Research.
"The demand for customized health care solutions and increased chronic illness amongst the aging population are a few drivers that will fuel the adoption of remote patient monitoring technology," the company said in a news release.
How the Cox-Cleveland Clinic deal will work
Under this new telehealth innovation, in-home remote patient monitoring and treatment would be enabled via broadband video consultation and the use of home equipment that would help patients monitor and manage their recovery from surgery. Not only would such monitoring help patients feel more confident in their recovery, it could reduce expensive visits to the hospital post-surgery.
Healthcare transformation will be led by organizations that embrace innovation and collaboration. This alliance will accelerate the creation, development and delivery of solutions that will improve and extend human life. - Dr. Thomas Graham, chief innovation officer at the Cleveland Clinic.
RPM trend growing in Canada too
Meanwhile, a recent study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information showed that home health monitoring technology presents “an important opportunity” to reduce hospital readmissions, especially for patients with chronic, debilitating diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, diabetes or congestive heart failure.
HHM empowers these patients, who are frequent users of the healthcare system, to monitor their own health from the comfort of their own homes, and to provide their healthcare teams with detailed information about their health in real-time. Healthcare providers can closely monitor patients and take action before situations become acute, averting the use of costly emergency visits or hospital readmissions.
Benefits are many
"The current research in HHM clearly demonstrates that HHM reduces readmissions to hospitals, decreases average length of stay and emergency room visits and, ultimately, results in fewer deaths. In addition, patients who use HHM services are consistent in reporting high satisfaction with the technology,” wrote Dr. Michael Guerriere in Canadian Health Care Technology in April 2014.
Dr. Guerriere went on to summarize some key findings of other studies that demonstrate the fiscal and health benefits of home health monitoring. One study in particular from Montreal, Quebec, showed significant cost savings and high patient satisfaction.
- In a study of 95 patients with chronic diseases over a 21 month period (patients were equipped with a touchscreen computer and modem so they could transmit their daily health reports), savings of 41% savings of $1,557 per patient per year were realized
- There was a 34% decrease in patients visiting an ER, a 66% decrease in hospital stays and 75 fewer ER visits
- Patient satisfaction with this home health monitoring was also high, with 80% of respondents saying they wanted to keep the telemonitoring system
Boomers want HHM
As our population continues to age and younger Baby Boomers are still not quite ready to retire, the need for remote patient monitoring is significant. As a result, the Cox-Cleveland Clinic collaboration is a promising development in a dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the digital health market.
My father is a 95-year-old Second World War veteran and he visits me regularly so I would very much welcome any such remote health monitoring innovation for peace of mind, if nothing else. The fact that it may save the taxpayer and health care system money is icing on the cake.
Whether such monitoring is provided by local cable companies or digital health innovators already working in the space may be moot to Boomers like me. Whoever offers the best, most reliable, most affordable home health monitoring service is of greater value than who is doing the providing. It may just be possible that in an industry that is poised to reach $5B in just five short years, the potential for capturing the market may be as much as about starting first as finishing first.
The nuviun industry network is intended to contribute to discussion and stimulate debate on important issues in global digital health. The views are solely those of the author.