Innovations in mobile technology have brought remote healthcare management to the forefront of advanced medical care. The ability to record the cardiac activity of a patient at home has been available for some time. But that method utilized a recording device worn by the patient, which needed to be brought in to a hospital or doctor’s office for a healthcare professional to analyze. Today, real-time monitoring in the patient’s home is a reality.
Three of the telecommunication giants have stepped into wireless healthcare management arena in efforts to provide advanced medical care through new digital delivery systems. Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have created partnerships with health care monitoring vendors to provide in home services to chronically ill patients. Valued Relationships Inc. a healthcare monitoring vendor, works with AT&T to provide services patients with chronic breathing and heart illnesses.
"Health plans and hospitals will no longer have to actively monitor the information because VRI's call center will monitor it for them. VRI will only contact them in a case in which a clinician is needed to give the care required to keep them from being hospitalized." 1
Medical and technology professionals have forecasted the home based delivery model will continue to grow. This method of care presents some questions and concerns for potential patients. Some wonder if this type of healthcare will replace or minimize the need for an individual to visit the doctor or attend an appointment at the hospital. New technology could minimize the human interaction and jobs that are currently necessary to deliver a high level of care many people have come to expect. As expected, healthcare administrators have already identified the tremendous cost benefit opportunity from remote healthcare management. “At the same time, hospitals are seeking to reduce readmission rates as a way to lower healthcare costs. Research that examined the re-hospitalization rates of Medicare beneficiaries indicates that nearly 20% of Medicare patients are re-hospitalized within 30 days after discharge, at an annual cost of $17 billion. Hospital readmissions carry huge costs for hospitals and add greatly to the cost of healthcare. Remote patient monitoring has the potential to prevent many such readmissions.” 2
Ultimately, the software, equipment and cloud solutions the companies and vendors provide will have to demonstrate a high quality of security and reliability. Patients’ private medical data as well as their lives are at risk in this new arena of technology.
The use of mobile technology in the healthcare industry has exploded in the last ten years. Mobile health or mHealth, provides an entire new aspect of the relationship between patients and their doctors and other medical providers. Mobile devices place important and critical information into a medical professional’s hands in real-time. Doctors can monitor a patient’s condition more frequently, allowing them to make better...