The Value of Real-Time Patient Data From the Home

October 1, 2012
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Increasingly, real-time data generated from a patient’s home is becoming an integral part of the telehealth revolution.

Increasingly, real-time data generated from a patient’s home is becoming an integral part of the telehealth revolution. As Americans spend more time at home than in the hospital or doctor’s office, a shift towards using technology within a home-based, care-management model optimizes quality-of-care and solves systemic financial woes.

Today’s in-home health records are primarily paper forms or outdated phone systems with minimal functionality that are of limited use diagnostically. Creating an intuitive, user-friendly system that facilitates data entry is the future of better care management.

By utilizing technology already present in the home, such as a smart phone, tablet, personal computer or electronic telemonitoring device (e.g. blood pressure monitor, weight scale, pulse oximeter, glucose meter, etc.,) healthcare providers can analyze and respond to clinical and behavioral data input entered by caretakers and patients.

Whether tracking behavior, vital signs or daily habits, creating a digital healthcare record from the home of a senior or a person with a chronic condition is radically changing healthcare outcomes for the better.

If leveraged correctly, real-time home-generated health data can also play a critical role in preventing health deterioration and controlling chronic conditions. By tracking and analyzing trends in clinical and behavioral measures, such as blood sugar and diet patterns for diabetics, healthcare providers can prevent medical complications prior to a crisis, signaling savings for both patients and providers.

As healthcare costs continue to rise, home-generated health data programs will become an attractive, cost-effective solution for healthcare businesses as well. By giving practitioners a more accurate picture of patients’ health, actionable, real-time health data produces improved diagnoses and personalized treatments. For patients, this means reducing the need for expensive and recurrent hospital stays. For healthcare providers, it means reducing costly Medicare penalties associated with avoidable readmissions, while at the same time stratifying which patients require immediate interventions to avoid high-cost services.

Yet, despite all the clear benefits, there are still plenty of challenges that must be overcome to make this solution worthwhile. It will take a concerted effort from patients, caretakers, physicians, nurses and other providers to enact these changes in order to reap the benefits of this new frontier.

 

This article recently appeared in Billian’s HealthData Healthcare Intelligence Hub Newsletter.