Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Telehealth Helping Older Adults

The Center for Technology and Aging awarded their second round of grants for $500,000 to provide remote patient monitoring technology to help older adults remain independent. The Center expects to identify and share other strategies from successful diffusion programs throughout the U.S. as well as from overseas.

The funding of $100,000 along with matching funds of $655,330 will help AltaMed Health Services and Stamford Hospital implement an evidence-based model of RPM for older adults across different systems of care including a community clinic model of care and program of all-inclusive care for the elderly.

The plan is to deliver the technology intervention to 150 patients and to 75 patients in Stamford, Connecticut in their home setting. They will use the Honeywell HomMed Genesis DM Remote Patient Care Monitor and peripheral devices. The technology will measure blood pressure, pulse, weight, and oxygen saturation levels.

After each reading, the data will be automatically transmitted to an encrypted server via telephone link or broadband and monitored daily by a member of the participant’s healthcare team. Data falling outside the normally accepted ranges will trigger intervention by a registered nurse or other appropriate care provider.

The California Association of Health Services at Home Foundation is going to use the funding of $100,000 and $140,322 in matching funds to provide patients with the Intel Health Guide. The patients will be monitored that have chronic disease conditions.

Intel’s Health Guide combines an in-home patient device with an online interface allowing clinicians to monitor patients and remotely manage care. The Intel technology can connect to specific models or wired and wireless medical devices, including blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, pulse oximeters, peak flow meters, and weight scales. Patients using the Health Guide can monitor their health status, communicate with care teams, and learn about their medical conditions.

Centura Health at Home funding of $100,000 plus matching funds of $88,000 will help blend their 24/7 call center technologies with telehealth. This project will modify the call center’s approach so that it will use a clinical business model to support a more robust telehealth program. There will be 14 telehealth call center technicians who can actively and adequately assist with the monitoring and questions.

Also, those individuals at highest risk will receive video monitoring. In those cases, the home telehealth video/call center monitoring program features a nurse stationed in an office with a server and monitor that allows for real-time connection to a patient. A second tier of patients receive assistance via an electronic home monitor and when connectivity is established, daily physical peripherals will be downloaded for review by the RNs.

The New England Healthcare Institute will use the $100,000 in funding along with $662,000 in matching funds to promote the broader adoption of home telehealth technology by treating patients suffering from CHF and by driving policy change in Massachusetts and nationally.

Each patient will receive the electronic house call system (EHCS) equipped with digital scale, an automatic blood pressure cuff, and a pulse oximeter. The device will be used to transmit the patient’s daily weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and information on key cardiac symptoms to a secure telemonitoring web portal through the telephone line or broadband.

EHCS will be programmed to ask specific questions related to medication use on a daily basis and the patient’s input will then be sent to the web portal. Once the web portal receives the data, an automated computer algorithm will check the patient’s data with acceptable ranges. If problems indicate an impending hospitalization or need for physician-directed intervention, then alerts will be generated.

Sharp HealthCare Foundation received $100,000 in funding with $200,000 in matching funds to reduce readmissions by utilizing remote patient monitoring technologies on a wider patient population with multiple chronic conditions. The goal is to reduce 30 day unplanned readmission rates by 30 percent during the grant term among senior patients and improve the quality of life for patients managing multiple co-morbidities by keeping them well managed in the home utilizing remote technologies.

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