As the world grows more technologically advanced, so does the medical field. Doctor-patient communication can happen over the phone or email. Telemedicine abounds. More technology is being pointed towards remote patient monitoring. In a time of COVID-19, this is especially important. This novel coronavirus has nearly 4 million global diagnoses. People are encouraged to stay home to protect themselves and prevent the viral spread.
Remote patient monitoring and connected health devices bridge the gap for patients during this time. But what are these devices? Basically, connected health and remote patient monitoring devices measure and track a patient’s health, and provide that information to doctors.
These solutions provide patients with a sense of support and comfort, while also allowing doctors to alter a medical treatment plan if needed. In keeping patients out of hospitals or medical offices unless they have an urgent need, these technologies are helping to stem the flow of COVID-19. So if you’re interested in some of the companies that are working to improve remote patient monitoring, check out this vendor list below. You can also head to Healthcare IT News for a full list of vendors.
Remote Patient Monitoring Vendors (A-L)
Babyscripts offers virtual maternity care to new and expecting mothers. Formed in 2014, the company seeks to improve obstetric and gynecological care through their mobile application, myJourney. They hope to provide high-quality, supportive care and information to at-risk patients, while also reducing the risk associated with pregnancy.
Patients receive a “Mommy Kit” with weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, and other remote patient monitoring tools. Their blood pressure, weight, and glucose levels are transmitted to their doctors. So, if doctors see a potential problem like high blood sugar, they can contact the patient immediately. Doctor-patient communication is clear, concise, and continuous. As a result, Babyscripts states that patients can reduce prenatal visits from 12-14 visits to 4-6 visits, saving them time and energy. Babyscripts also provides educational materials, research, and practice-specific content.
Bardy Diagnostics focuses on remote patient monitoring within the sphere of cardiology. It focuses on a specific need: discerning the P-wave. In existing cardiac monitors, some cardiologists find it hard to discover. So Bardy Diagnostics created the Carnation Ambulatory Monitor (CAM) Patch to monitor P-waves, which suggest cardiac arrhythmias. The CAM Patch uses a novel design and specialized algorithm to record P-waves. It is worn over the sternum, making it an easy and comfortable choice for patients. The CAM patch can track up to 14 days worth of data. Bardy Diagnostics suggests that the CAM Patch be used for patients with COVID-19 being treated with experimental medications, as these can cause Long QT Syndrome or other cardiac issues.
Blue Spark Technologies
Blue Spark Technologies creates flexible, wearable technology devices. But their TempTraq solution is extremely helpful for remote patient monitoring. TempTraq is a Bluetooth-enabled disposable patch that monitors and tracks temperature changes over a 72-hour period. All data is sent to the app, which can be downloaded on any smart device. Initially, Blue Spark Technologies created TempTraq to give parents an easy way to monitor their sick children. However, it stands to be influential in tracking the health data for patients with COVID-19, healthcare workers, or patients in trials for immunosuppressive drug therapies.
CAREMINDr seeks to improve doctor-patient communication, improve treatment adherence, and allow doctors to modify treatment throughout a patient’s health journey. The company sought to solve the problem of how doctors could keep informed on patient data between visits or treatments. CAREMINDr uses an app in which patients can contribute their health data, and doctors can give potential feedback. CAREMINDR’s app is used in conjunction with blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, pulse oximeters, and glucometers.
Additionally, CAREMINDr is working to combat COVID-19 through a specialized monitoring system. It allows employers to monitor employees with COVID-19 and ensure a safe return to the workplace. Employees report their temperature and symptoms to the app, and employers can decide how to manage from there. COVID-19 data is given to larger health organizations to track potential areas where viral outbreaks may occur.
Current Health blends remote patient monitoring with artificial intelligence. The tech platform tracks vital signs to understand an overview of someone’s health, including vital signs, temperature, posture, and disease risk. Early detection and early treatment can help with disease management. Current Health’s online platform can also be used by medical professionals to adequately distribute medical resources like PPE, workers, and hospital beds. This is especially important during COVID-19 due to the resource scarcity. The company is currently partnering with the Mayo Clinic to understand how COVID-19 develops and how it can be treated.
Eko offers virtual help for cardiologists and pulmonologists through wireless stethoscopes and ECG monitoring. Their telehealth platform allows for doctor-patient video conferencing, as well as conferencing between medical providers. Their AI platform has been cleared by the FBA, and can screen for atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, bradycardia, and heart murmurs.
GreatCall offers simplified smart phones and medical alert devices for older adults. Their Lively Mobile and Lively Wearable2 can both connect elderly individuals with 5Star Urgent Response agents with the simple touch of a button. These agents are trained and certified, and will remain on the line with patients until help arrives. The device offers 24/7 care, GPS, Bluetooth connectivity, and fall detection. For the latter, it automatically notifies an agent if the user falls over, prompting quick and effective care. Additionally, GreatCall collects data and allows caregivers to determine what individuals need more resources or help, allowing for better time management.
iRhythm blends biotechnology, machine learning, and data analytics to monitor and detect cardiac arrhythmias. Patients receive a non-obtrusive wearable biosensor called Zio which records cardiac data for up to 2 weeks. So far, iRhythm collected 125 million hours of heartbeats within their database. They analyze these heartbeats to diagnose arrhythmias and report any potential issues to doctors, allowing for early treatment. If a patient feels an abnormal heartbeat, they press a sensor on the top of the Zio. They then can describe or record what it felt like. After 2 weeks, patients send Zio back to iRhythm, where the data is analyzed.
Next, iRhythm creates a report which shows:
- Heart rate trends
- The relationship between symptoms and abnormal heart rhythms
- Ectopic burden
- Ectopic rhythm occurs when the heart beats too early. You may feel fluttering in your chest, like your heart skipped a beat. So ectopic burden explains if the heart is often beating abnormally and too early.
- Atrial fibrillation burden – the type and length of atrial fibrillation
- Key findings and physician suggestions
Remote Patient Monitoring Vendors (M-Z)
Qure4u connects patients and caregivers through remote patient monitoring devices. Their particular focus is patients with chronic conditions. In some cases, these patients require multiple monitoring devices, which can be burdensome and time consuming. Qure4u’s All-in-One Patient App collects the data from all of these devices, allowing doctors to monitor blood pressure, oxygen saturation, temperature, nutrition, weight, and more. Doctors can then provide specialized, target care plans for disease management. Qure4U also tracks potential risk factors and reports these to doctors. For example, weight gain in patients with chronic heart failure can signal disease progression. So if a patient reports sudden weight gain, the data is quickly sent to doctors to help better the outcome.
Somatix created a wearable remote patient monitoring device called SafeBeing, which uses artificial intelligence to better understand patient health data. AI uses health data to track potential issues like poor sleep quality, a lack of treatment adherence, dehydration, or poor activity levels. Doctors can see whether any patients are worsening and help maintain a strong treatment plan. The company feels that SafeBeing is especially helpful for patients in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or elderly care facilities. Because the elderly are at a high risk of severe COVID-19 reactions, Somatix allows doctors to monitor their health while reducing the need for patients to visit the practice.
Vheda Health assists high-risk, high-cost patient populations who rely on Medicare or Medicaid. Their platform offers remote patient monitoring programs for those with asthma, COPD, hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes, infectious diseases, behavioral issues, and high-risk pregnancies. Patients receive a personalized mobile device and remote patient monitoring device. These can be used to receive technical support, health coaching, or simply education. Patients are matched with a health coach who helps them improve their health status. According to their website, Vheda Health saves members an average of $17,175 per year.
VitalConnect offers the VitalPatch and Vista Solution, wearable biosensors that monitor blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and 9 other vital signs. It is a safe and accessible solution for inpatient and outpatient care. The FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization to VitalConnect to help monitor patients with COVID-19. Emergency Use Authorization is only granted for therapies that can assist patients during a public health emergency. In this case, doctors can measure patient heart rate, blood oxygen, temperature, and respiratory rate. The continuous monitoring limits healthcare worker exposure to COVID-19.