Wireless Health Blog

The power of many. An open, collaborative, health care ecosystem will change the world. The power of many. An open, collaborative, health care ecosystem will change the world.

27 June 2017, Written by Rick Valencia, President

In almost every interview I do, the conversation invariably comes around to how connected health can solve for the major challenges we are facing in health care. I have a consistent and emphatic answer for this question: leaders in health care need to embrace a collaborative and interoperable ecosystem. In fact, McKinsey recently reported that up to 60% of the economic value of the IoT will hinge on interoperability. It’s an idea I speak about passionately, and with good reason. For our health system to evolve and be effective and sustainable, an open ecosystem isn’t just nice to have–it’s essential to our future.

Health data is still mostly locked in silos, despite great efforts over the last eight years around Meaningful Use and PHRs. Unfortunately, a lot of device and sensor data is also siloed and not universally accessible. This is an issue that exists across every health care setting, from the hospital, to doctor’s offices to the patient’s home.

For our health care system to evolve to more intelligent, sustainable models of care, it must be built on an open and vendor-neutral infrastructure. New solutions must be able to integrate into this infrastructure easily and inexpensively so we don’t keep creating new silos. And even beyond this, health care systems and manufacturers have to embrace a spirit of collaboration and co-creation. We are now seeing the integration and collaboration amongst traditional players like insurance, retailers, hospital and device and drug makers, along with new entrants like apparels companies, wearables and tech companies. This integration results in entirely new categories and new insights we never before imagined.

Qualcomm Life and its ecosystem collaborators are invested in the future of our health system, especially the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), which is breaking down care barriers and giving patients the freedom to access care wherever they are. The IoMT fabric will create a connected, interdependent environment for exchanging services and knowledge. This integration, plus recent advances in natural human interfaces, wearables, sensors and smart devices, will enable cloud-based analytics and machine learning that change the way providers and patients receive and act on health information.

Our open, vendor-neutral ecosystem gives our customers a medical-grade network and infrastructure that they can build on. This approach allows companies to connect and create clinical context and value not possible on their own. Companies connected through the Qualcomm Life ecosystem can realize and promote horizontal connected capabilities while still focusing on and investing in their vertical expertise. For example, Philips is leveraging our 2net™ Platform to serve as the medical device connectivity solution for Philips HealthSuite, the company’s cloud-enabled health ecosystem of devices, apps and digital tools. By joining the Qualcomm Life Ecosystem, Philips has access to a wide array of connected medical devices including medication dispensers, medical grade biosensors, ventilators, blood pressure monitors, point of care self-tests, and blood glucose meters for their remote care programs. We also work with UnitedHealthcare to power the connectivity for UnitedHealthcare Motion, a wellness program that provides employees with activity trackers at no additional charge and enables them to earn up to $1,500 per year by meeting certain goals for the number of daily steps.

We allow our partners to expand their offerings across care settings to serve new patient populations and disease states, and with our proven Qualcomm Life Platform, are helping major health care companies across the globe deploy their solutions securely and at scale. This isn’t just a good investment for these companies; it’s a good investment in the future of our health system. At Qualcomm Life, we embrace our vision of connecting the world to health care anytime, anywhere. This approach will create a world where health care is timely, intelligent and personalized. It will not only lead to higher-quality care but will help address health care inequality right at home and around the globe.

I’d like to thank all of our Qualcomm Life ecosystem members for recognizing the value of an open collaborative approach. I am interested in hearing from you on how the power of many can substantively change health care delivery and the patient experience.

1 McKinsey Global Institute, Unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things, June 2015

Three steps to launching a successful Remote Patient Monitoring program Three steps to launching a successful Remote Patient Monitoring program

16 February 2017, Written by James R. Mault, M.D., F.A.C.S., Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer

If your practice isn’t using remote patient monitoring (RPM), it should be considered a mission critical goal for 2017. Chronic disease incidence is on the rise, and with the shift to pay-for-performance reimbursement models, a scalable RPM program can help you successfully take on and manage polychronic patients and the recently discharged.

A recent survey showed that 66% of healthcare organizations have an RPM program in place, and more than 80% of the clinicians surveyed are employing mobile devices to support recently-discharged patients with common chronic conditions.

Remote monitoring can help prevent readmissions, allow patients to heal from the comfort of their own home, and motivate them to practice better self-care.

But how do you start?

Deploying a comprehensive RPM system is like deploying any new care model and requires forward thinking and planning, a focus on details, and the establishment of a scalability roadmap.

We’ve outlined three main steps to help you get started with RPM:

Step one: Establish overall program goals

Will your RPM program be driven by population health, readmission prevention, reimbursement optimization, or other goals? Much of this will depend on your patient population. A program serving younger, tech-savvy patients will have different goals than one for the elderly.

You’ll also want to determine when and via what means you will enroll your patients, what metrics and data you want to track, and whether you’ll seek reimbursement for your program or use RPM as a cost savings vehicle to reduce penalties and total cost of care.

Step two: Implement patient enrollment

Enrollment typically occurs in two types of settings: In the hospital prior to discharge, or during an office visit as part of a self-management plan. In the first case, hospital staff can stress the benefits of the program and instruct the patient how to use the necessary equipment. In the second case, clinic staff is responsible for the enrollment, but the patient may require additional sessions in order to be fully onboarded.

In either setting, the patient should come away with a clear understanding of the program’s goals, onboarding and usage requirements, and where they can turn for help. Follow-up will usually be required, whether in person or over the phone.

Because enrollment and onboarding can be tricky, many practices bring on a third-party organization to manage it, so staff can focus on monitoring. As programs scale, so do logistics. Fortunately, third parties can handle this as well. If you run a lean practice, you may want to consider partnering with an outside expert to ensure your RPM program runs smoothly and cost effectively.

Laslty, some practices will begin with a small test population of patients and physicians before rolling RPM out practice-wide. This can help you work out the kinks, and scale more efficiently.

Step three: Engage providers

Patients aren’t the only ones who need to be sold on the benefits of RPM. Providers must be shown that it will add value, fit with their workflows, and improve patient outcomes. If you can make the case for RPM, establish the appropriate workflow, and build on providers’ trust, you’re more likely to succeed.

Setting up and deploying a scalable RPM roadmap is a lot like establishing clinical practice guidelines. It can take time, especially in the planning stage, but it will be worth it. To survive in our new outcomes-based economy, a RPM program is mission-critical.

Find out more about RPM, and see examples of successful deployments by downloading our free white paper, “Successfully Navigating Mobile Challenges in the Health Care Landscape,” available in our online knowledge center at http://www.qualcommlife.com/white-papers.

Remote Patient Monitoring: Overhyped or overdue? Remote Patient Monitoring: Overhyped or overdue?

02 February 2017, Written by James R. Mault, M.D., F.A.C.S., Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer

Remote patient monitoring, in one form or another, has been around for nearly 50 years, beginning with a Nebraska hospital that debuted interactive-video-enabled telemedicine back in 19671.

Since then, remote patient monitoring (RPM) has become firmly entrenched in modern medicine, but its role and effectiveness continues to spark debate. Some would argue that remote technologies haven’t lived up to their promise or potential, and are inferior substitutes for in-person care. However, many others feel they have tremendous potential to solve the biggest challenges facing our health system, and that remote care initiatives should be given greater priority.

Is remote care overhyped, or overdue? Let’s examine some evidence from both sides of the argument.

In the decades since the Nebraska experiment, remote monitoring has expanded from the hospital to the home, and other non-clinical environments. The range of technologies has also grown, from complex interactive video systems to discreet wearable sensors. Communication has evolved from synchronous reporting to real-time feedback and trend analysis that both the patient and provider can interpret.

So far, remote patient monitoring has proven to improve care access and reduce costs, but is RPM also improving clinical outcomes? Evidence and opinions are mixed.

The New England Journal of Medicine took a somewhat skeptical view of early telehealth solutions, claiming that when compared to in-person care, remote monitoring could impact the trust in patient-physician relationships, and in some cases even lead to inappropriate care2.

However the same article admits these conclusions were based on “outdated technologies (and an) asymmetric flow of information,2” and these older trials did not reflect or leverage the true potential of modern remote monitoring solutions. Devices such as implantable sensors and smartphone apps tend to promote adherence and give patients a greater sense of control. Newer technologies also support near real-time asynchronous communication, enabling clinicians to recognize and intervene quickly at the first signs of deterioration.

Additional studies that combine home monitoring with clinician-led care have shown to improve self-management for heart failure and hypertension management3,4 as well as reduce caregiver burden for heart failure patients post-discharge5, compared with usual care.

These, and similar studies, point to the growing benefit of remote monitoring in the home, especially those who would otherwise be forced into a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or other step-down facilities. Successfully managing patients at home will require some diligence on the part of the clinicians, caregivers, and health systems.

In an editorial for Healthcare IT News, Chilmark Research analyst Tim Sullivan calls for certain tenets of remote monitoring to be established to ensure its success – including the need for managing, analyzing and making actionable the large amounts of biometric data generated by these leading-edge monitoring technologies.

Fortunately, the progression of technology is making this possible, increasing the viability of remote monitoring programs for elderly, rural, and underserved patient populations. Innovative monitoring solutions, aimed at patients with common chronic conditions (such as diabetes, heart failure, and COPD) are entering the market at a staggering rate. And leading-edge health data management platforms, such as Qualcomm Life’s 2net, are enabling these solutions to scale to meet the growing demand.

The full potential of remote patient monitoring is derived from capturing patient data from sensors, wearables and medical devices and transmitting it to clinical systems that can apply clinically-validated rules-logic to monitor and manage large populations of patients at scale. This approach can unquestionably flip the cost curve and deliver better care to vastly more patients at a fraction of the cost.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.

1 Benschoter R. Multipurpose television. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1967;142:471-478.
2 N Engl J Med 375;2 nejm.org July 14, 2016.
3 Margolis KL, Asche SE, Bergdall AR, et al. Effects of Home Blood Pressure Telemonitoring and Pharmacist Management on Blood Pressure Control: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial.
4 Radhakrishnan K, Jacelon C. Impact of telehealth on patient self-management of heart failure: a review of literature. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 2012 Jan-Feb;27(1):33-43.
5 Chiang LC, Chen WC, Dai YT, et al. The effectiveness of telehealth care on caregiver burden, mastery of stress, and family function among family caregivers of heart failure patients: a quasi-experimental study. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2012 Oct;49(10):1230-42.

Evolution of Digital Health: Then & Now Evolution of Digital Health: Then & Now

15 December 2016, Written by James R. Mault, M.D., F.A.C.S., Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer

This week Qualcomm Life is at the Connected Health Conference in Washington, DC. Since the conferences inauguration in 2009 we have seen a digital health evolution before our eyes. The health care landscape is transforming at an accelerated pace, with 67 percent of payers and providers anticipating that half of their contracts will be value-based by 2018. Medical device data is now powering insights and evidence, which this new health care economy demands. Investments in digital health has more than tripled in the last five years, reaching $3.9 billion in the first half of 2016 and electronic health record adoption has increased to close to 96 percent. Qualcomm Life too has expanded, growing our own ecosystem to over 2,300 members and connecting up to 900 connect devices across the care continuum.
See the infographic below for a breakdown of the digital health progression in the industry and from Qualcomm Life over the past five years – and follow the conversation along on our Twitter channel @QualcommLife.

Closing the Loop. An important first step towards patient-centered care. Closing the Loop. An important first step towards patient-centered care.

25 October 2016, Written by James R. Mault, M.D., F.A.C.S., Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer

In 2001, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) defined patient-centered care as "providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions."

Patient-centered care is more than a trend and has moved from academic vision to implementation, with many early models demonstrating improved outcomes, including improvement in net revenue per adjusted admission1 and lower total cost of care.2,3 Patient- centered measures are also playing an increasingly important role in the transition from volume to value. The advent of CMS’ national hospital value-based purchasing program and the program’s incentives to measure and improve the patient experience4 have created an additional catalyst to embrace patient-centered care.

On the surface, the concept appears simple, but patient-centered care is not precisely defined, although individual components can be measured and tracked to help establish standardized milestones. One of these patient-centered components is patient communication and patient engagement. There is a significant body of evidence demonstrating that better communication can lead to improved clinical outcomes in the management of diabetes, hypertension and cancer.5

One of the biggest opportunities in patient-centered care is activating and motivating the patient by closing the communication loop. With the majority of patient activity happening outside of the hospital or clinic, improving communication and data fluidity represents and immense opportunity to personalize care. Connecting patients and providers has proven to have both an emotional and behavioral affect effect on patients. Patients that are remotely connected and monitored report reduced anxiety and physiological symptoms associated with anxiety.6 In addition to this emotional security blanket, remote monitoring and communication is a powerful stimulus for accountability and has proven to significantly improve self-care and adherence by as much as 56% in obstructive sleep apnea patients.7

Technology can play a pivotal role in closing the communication loop by providing near real-time patient surveillance and asynchronous communication between the patient and the entire care team. This feedback loop and connection with their care team enables patients to respond and act in the moment, allowing providers to encourage ideal behavior, course correct and further stratify patients and execute dynamic and personalized care plans.

When we can consistently close the loop on communication and patient data and enable "always-on" care that is tailored to the individual, we’ll make great strides in delivering the patient-centered care that our patients need and want. It’s something to think about this month, during Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month.

What are your thoughts on patient-centered care, and do you think closing the loop and liberating health data can indeed make a difference? Share your thoughts in the comments below.







1 Robison J. What is the "patient experience"? Hospitals are becoming increasingly frustrated - and wasting money - trying to hit the wrong target. Gallup Management Journal Online. 2010:1-3.

2 Stone S. A retrospective evaluation of the impact of the Planetree patient-centered model of care on inpatient quality outcomes. HERD. 2008;1(4):55-69.

3 Charmel PA, Frampton SB. Building the business case for patient-centered care. Health Finance Management. 2008;62(3):80-5.

4 HCAHPS fact sheet (CAHPS hospital survey): Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; 2010 [updated 2010/09/15/].

5 Levinson W, Lesser CS, and Epstein RM. "Developing Physician Communication Skills for Patient-Centered.Care." Health Affairs 29 (7):1310–18, 2010.

6 Centura Health remote patient monitoring program. Developing a Successful Remote Patient Monitoring Program. Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review. October 04, 2013

7 Nurit F, Hirsch-Allen AJ, Goodfellow E, et al. The Impact of a Telemedicine Monitoring System on Positive Airway Pressure Adherence in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Sleep 2012 Apr 1; 35(4): 477–481.

Connect 2016: Five years of looking forward. Connect 2016: Five years of looking forward.

04 October 2016, Written by Rick Valencia, President

Connect 2016 was our fifth annual ecosystem conference, and by far our biggest yet. The conference attracted many of the world’s leading health companies and executives in beautiful Coronado, California. We heard from some of the top minds in connected health and covered pressing issues including security, converting data to insight and best practices in creating a more seamless care continuum.

The growth and interest in the connected care space has been nothing short of phenomenal with our ecosystem rapidly expanding to over 2,300 device and drug manufacturers, payers, retailers and health systems. It was increasingly apparent at this year’s conference that connectivity has permeated all aspects of health care with our members demonstrating innovative and novel ways to deliver patient-centered care.

The theme for this year’s conference was the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), which spurred lively discussion during the meeting and online. Some of the highlights that emerged for me:

  • The IoMT – and its nodes of intelligence and contextual data -- will influence precision medicine and traditional care models
  • Patient-generated data is the new vital sign
  • Health care is becoming decentralized as health care is delivered wherever the patient may be
  • And without a doubt, outcomes has become the new currency of health care

Qualcomm Life made two major announcements at Connect 2016. The first was to welcome Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals as the newest member of the Qualcomm Life Ecosystem. One of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies, Boehringer Ingelheim, is leveraging our 2net Design service to develop the connectivity solution for RESPIMAT®, the platform inhaler for the Boehringer Ingelheim family of respiratory therapies to allow patients and providers to track and share COPD data to improve outcomes.

We also announced a new strategic collaboration with Philips, a global leader in connected devices and health informatics. Our 2net Platform will power the medical device connectivity for Philips remote monitoring and home health programs. Data from the 2net Platform can also now be hosted in Philips HealthSuite, a cloud-based health ecosystem of devices, apps, and tools. This collaboration marks a pivotal moment in health care – two leaders in the industry coming together to leverage each other’s respective strengths, ultimately validating the need for open, scalable ecosystems in health care.

One of the first implementations of this connectivity collaboration recently went live with Philips’ Trilogy ventilator family and Care Orchestrator care management application, which aims to advance care for patients with COPD and other respiratory conditions.

After this year’s meeting, it became clear to me that connected health is turning a corner. It’s both exciting and humbling to see what these new technologies are doing to improve health care as we know it. In just five short years, we’ve made great strides in creating a world where medical-grade, intelligent care is accessible anywhere–in the hospital, at home, and all points in between.

Thanks to everyone who was able to join us in Coronado!

Small data, big possibilities. Could predictive analytics become the gateway to personalized medicine? Small data, big possibilities. Could predictive analytics become the gateway to personalized medicine?

28 June 2016, Written by James R. Mault, M.D., F.A.C.S., Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer

In the health care industry, big data receives a lot of attention, promising to improve everything from readmissions to medication costs. But there’s another type of data that has equal promise. “Small Data,” a term coined by author Martin Lindstrom in the book of the same name, represents a data set that applies to one specific item – or in the case of health care, one person. Small data is occurring at the transactional level of an individual patient in real-time and is relevant, predictive and everywhere -- across the care continuum.

For more than two thousand years, dating back to Hippocrates, medicine has aspired to be personalized. But delivering that quality, personalized care has become increasing more challenging requiring the knowledge and experience to read and interpret a growing set of health data and compare that to individual patient profiles to determine the best possible treatment. This is why predictive analytics and algorithms applied to small-personalized data is so promising and is the next big thing in patient-centered care. Predictive analytics is the process of learning from historical data in order to make predictions about the future and for health care, predictive analytics will enable the best decisions to be made, allowing for care to be personalized to each individual.

Small data analytics uses statistical methods to scour and analyze tremendous amounts of medical data, then compare it with a patient’s own biometric data to predict numerous possible outcomes – medication responses, recovery time, the likely cause of disease and ultimately targeted interventions.

Using techniques such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, predictive modeling creates a unique, individualized algorithm (known as a prediction profile) for each patient. As more data becomes available, the profile becomes more accurate; making associations the human brain may never arrive upon. Unlike evidence-based medicine, prediction modeling does not rely on a bell curve, nor does it make assumptions based on a “typical” patient. In the world of small data, treatment guidelines become much clearer because the evidence is collected and applied to a data set of one.

Predictive analytics can greatly increase the accuracy of diagnoses, allowing physicians to see patterns more easily and quickly. It can also be used to identify at-risk populations, almost down to an individual, so physicians and payors can target them with disease prevention or early interventions. It can also help create cost transparency around individual patients and similar cohorts.

Patients will benefit most of all from this new form of hyper-personalized health care, and data shows they are ready and willing to embrace this new era of health care. In fact, 90% of consumers said they would be willing to share wearable or app data with medical providers[1]. Physicians will be able to offer more definitive diagnoses and more effective treatments for all sorts of conditions, and they’ll be better able to prevent or tamp down complication associated with many common diseases like diabetes and COPD. Patients will become more informed and seeing the “writing on the wall” could activate patients to take more responsibility for their health.

Where do you see the future of small data and predictive analytics going? Will it deliver on the promise of truly personalized medicine? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


[1] Accenture Research. Patients Want a Heavy Dose of Digital. 2016.

Enabling Improved Remote Monitoring for Chronic Patients in the South of France Enabling Improved Remote Monitoring for Chronic Patients in the South of France

25 May 2016, Written by Laurent Vandebrouck

Qualcomm Life’s 2net™ technology is selected by the URPS Médecins to power its PASCALINE program

I am excited to share that Qualcomm Incorporated, through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Life, Inc., announced today that it was awarded, together with its collaborators, the request for proposal by URPS Médecins supported by the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region’s Health Agency (ARS), for the national project “Territoires de soins numériques” (TSN) and its PASCALINE program focused on coordinated care delivery and digital innovation.

Qualcomm Life is collaborating with industry leaders on this project, including Gfi Informatique, one of the main IT service firms and systems integrators in France, and P2link, which provides a multimodal telemedicine platform. In the program, Qualcomm Life’s 2net technology will securely connect medical devices to P2link’s cloud-based platform, enabling health care professionals to more efficiently care for chronic patients remotely. Qualcomm Life made the announcement at the industry-leading annual HIT Congress, taking place in Paris at the Porte de Versailles May 24 – 26, 2016.

 

Running until March of 2017, The PASCALINE project includes equipping approximately one hundred chronic patients, or those patients who are at risk for chronic conditions, with a connected weight scale, blood pressure cuff and activity monitor to remotely monitor the patients and ultimately measure the impact on the care. Using Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform, data from the connected medical devices will be collected, transmitted and aggregated in near real-time, and visualized in P2link’s web-based platform, enabling health professionals to more easily and remotely monitor and make informed interventions.

 

By remotely monitoring patients outside the framework of a consultation, the project aims to reduce the frequency of required face-to-face visits between care providers and their patients, and to reduce the instances where “white coat syndrome” may affect patient’s biometric readings. The platform will also enable improved communication and coordination between health professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, biologists and physiotherapists. The Regional Union of Health Professionals of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region is also set to carry out a study aiming at measuring the impact of connected health on the practices of health professionals.

 

Additional Program Details

Gfi Informatique is the project management lead and will coordinate between URPS doctors from the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region and the industry collaborators responsible for implementing the technical solutions, and will manage the data stored at IDS, the authorized health data host.

 

Around twenty health professionals joined the PASCALINE program, whose challenge is to empower and educate patients to manage their own health and to enhance the information exchange between care professionals. The main differentiators of the solution that Qualcomm Life, P2link, and GFI are delivering include:

  • Convenient and timely operations and implementation;
  • Medical-grade, secure connected medical devices;
  • Effortless connected experience for the patients;
  • Qualcomm Life’s scalable, open ecosystem allows for future devices to be integrated as needed;

 

Qualcomm Life at the HIT Congress

We hope to see you at the HIT Congress this weak in Paris. Qualcomm Life and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Capsule, will be exhibiting at the HIT Congress with P2link in Stand C40. Qualcomm Life is also hosting an Industry Roundtable for conference attendees focused on the benefits of connected health across the care continuum on May 25 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm CET in Space 2000, Room F.

 

2netTM is a registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United-Stated and other countries. 2netTM is a solution by Qualcomm Life, Inc.

 

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