News | February 23, 2010

Can Remote Monitoring Reduce Patient Rehospitalization?

February 23, 2010 - Nearly 80 million baby boomers in the United States are approaching seniors status and will need treatment for chronic illnesses. To address the growing need for elderly care, Mayo Clinic will conduct a yearlong study to determine if home monitoring of patients with chronic diseases, using remote patient monitoring technology, will reduce hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits.

Mayo will investigate a new model of healthcare delivery for patients at increased risk of rehospitalization that is designed to meet patients' needs where they are, including in their homes.The study, done in collaboration with GE Healthcare and Intel Corp., is designed around a patient-centered delivery care model. With the numbers of seniors expected to rise dramatically, face-to-face clinic interaction with the provider may not be a sustainable delivery model. Technology could enable new care models to help rein in costs and improve patient outcomes through personalized care and ongoing disease management at home and in the community.

The research study will involve 200 high-risk Mayo Clinic patients over age 60 who receive care in Rochester, Minn. The goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of daily in-home monitoring technology in reducing hospitalizations and ED visits compared with usual medical care. Patients will measure their vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse and weight, and respond to questions specific to their diseases on a daily basis, with all data reviewed by the clinical care team working with their primary care provider. The technology, which also includes videoconferencing capability, allows the care team to assess the patient for signs and symptoms suggesting clinical deterioration to facilitate early medical intervention. The hope is that early recognition and treatment of a change in clinical status will reduce the need for ED visits and hospitalizations.

"To meet evolving patient needs and broaden its reach in the 21st century," said Gregory Hanson, M.D., Mayo Clinic Department of Primary Care Internal Medicine, one of the principal investigators in the study, "Mayo Clinic will build on its model of care to provide products and services to people in new ways. Mayo Clinic is evaluating several approaches to remote monitoring of patients. We're excited to move forward with this research study in collaboration with GE Healthcare and Intel."

GE Healthcare and Intel plan to invest $250 million over the next five years for the research and product development of home-based health technologies. An Intel spokesperson said home and community-based care models allow for prevention, early detection, behavior change and social support.

For more information: www.mayoclinic.com

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