Category Archives: Disease management

mHealth trends

In this digital era healthcare industry is changing towards a more mobile and efficient system: mHealth is the future. What are the ongoing trends in this industry? An article in the Beckers Hospital review gives a top 10. I would like to highlight some items:

“Mobile devices and apps are becoming an integral part of telemedicine. Telemedicine crosses the geographic expanse and connects providers to patients, even providers to other providers, to extend services to underserved areas. Many major telemedicine companies are offering telemedicine apps as a means for patients to connect and communicate with physicians remotely and on-the-go. It’s an increasingly popular service — 84 percent of young adults age 18 to 34 said they would prefer a consultation via a mobile device. While more hospitals and health systems are toying with telemedicine, the service is also coming under fire as the industry debates payment and reimbursement practices and what telehealth services should be used for.”

As a telemedicine company, we think further than only digital consultation. We understand that if patient, non-patient or care professional need support, that can be provided by technical solutions. Like support with medication treatment or monitoring heart rhythm after an operation.

The cost benefits of mHealth may be enormous. If a patient is tracking his or her symptoms and those symptoms are being wirelessly transmitted to a clinician in the hospital, that patient just saved a trip to the clinic and the hospital saved costs associated with treating that patient. With mHealth comes a more comprehensive, accessible and data-driven industry that helps utilize resources more efficiently and effectively.”

Vitaphone Netherlands daily collects thousands of vital signs and presents the results to healthcare professionals and sometimes patients too. Further investigation might translate all these efforts into a financial result.

Author: Indy Kavelaars

Source: Beckers Hospital Review

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‘Zelfredzaamheid’ en ‘eigen regie’ bij ouderen

In Nederland zijn grote hervormingen gaande in de langdurige zorg. Het doel is om de zorgkosten bij een steeds groter wordende groep “ouderen” te verminderen. Een overzichtsstudie uitgevoerd door Nivel onder mensen tussen de 57 en 77 jaar geeft een beeld van de wensen en mogelijkheden voor wonen, welzijn en zorg voor ouderen en toekomstige ouderen. De overheid zegt in te zetten op meer “eigen regie” en “zelfredzaamheid” bij ouderen.

Deze hervorming berust op vier aannames:

  1. Dat ouderen zo lang mogelijk zelfstandig willen wonen;
  2. Dat zij zelf meer willen en kunnen betalen voor ondersteuning en zorg;
  3. Dat mantelzorg en vrijwilligerswerk professionele zorg grotendeels kunnen vervangen en;
  4. Dat ouderen door technologie langer zelfstandig kunnen wonen.

Wel is de overheid van mening dat wanneer mensen niet meer zelfstandig kunnen blijven wonen er professionele opvang moet zijn. Uit de resultaten van de Nivel studie blijkt dat deze aannames iets genuanceerder liggen. De verschillen tussen ouderen zijn groter dan de overheid verondersteld. Niet alle (toekomstige) ouderen zijn in staat eigen regie over het leven te ervaren en willen niet allemaal zelfredzaam zijn.

Erg interessant is de indeling van ouderen in deze studie:

  • De pro-actieve ouderen (46%). Deze mensen vinden het belangrijk om over hun eigen leven te beslissen en zelf te bepalen wanneer ze zorg en ondersteuning nodig hebben. De pro-actieve ouderen regelen hun zaken graag zelf. Zij wonen vaak samen met hun partner en dicht bij hun kinderen, hebben een hoge kwaliteit van leven en een goede algemene en psychische gezondheid. Ze hebben relatief veel financiële middelen en een goede opleiding. De vier genoemde beleidsaannames passen het best bij deze groep ouderen.
  • De zorgwensende ouderen (28%) hebben het gevoel dat zij zelf kunnen beslissen over hun leven maar zij vinden, in tegenstelling tot de proactieve ouderen, zelfredzaamheid niet erg belangrijk. Zij hebben een goed sociaal netwerk, veelal een goede opleiding en ruime financiële middelen. Hun gezondheid en kwaliteit van leven zijn relatief goed. Als hun gezondheid achteruit zou gaan en ze hulp nodig hebben, is het voor hen min of meer vanzelfsprekend dat anderen hen ondersteunen om die hulp te krijgen.
  • De afwachtende ouderen (10%) hebben het gevoel niet zelf te kunnen bepalen hoe hun leven eruit ziet; het leven overkomt hen. De afwachtende ouderen hebben vaak een slechte kwaliteit van leven en psychische gezondheid en een laag opleidingsniveau. Deze groep heeft minder financiële middelen en een beperkter sociaal netwerk dan de eerste twee groepen. De afwachtende oudere hecht weinig belang aan zelfstandigheid, stelt zich afhankelijk op en accepteert gemakkelijk hulp.
  • De machteloze ouderen (16%) hebben ook het idee dat het leven hen overkomt. Zelf beslissingen nemen over de invulling van hun eigen leven lukt vaak niet. Zij wonen vaak alleen, hebben weinig geld, zijn laag opgeleid en hebben een lage kwaliteit van leven. Ze wonen vooral in stadswijken met een lage sociale status. Deze ouderen willen zo lang mogelijk zelfstandig blijven, maar zij kunnen dat niet zonder professionele ondersteuning.

De toekomstige ouderen verschillen dus niet alleen in hoe zij in het leven staan maar ook in de mogelijkheden die zij hebben om zelf hun zorg te regelen. Ongeveer een kwart van de ouderen (de ‘afwachtende’ en ‘machteloze’ groepen) heeft weinig regie over hun leven en zal het niet lukken om op eigen kracht zo lang mogelijk zelfredzaam te blijven.

Vitaphone Nederland zorgt voor eenvoudige oplossingen bij zowel mensen thuis als in zorginstellingen om de zelfredzaamheid te verhogen en de zelfstandigheid te bevorderen. Dit doen wij enerzijds door het ondersteunen van de zorgverleners en anderzijds door het ondersteunen van de zorg behoevende. Wij zijn er van overtuigd dat ouderen langer zelfstandig thuis kunnen blijven wonen door het slim inzetten van de juiste technologie.

Auteur

Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Bronnen

Overzichtstudie Ouderen van de Toekomst door Nivel

Skipr, Kwart van de ouderen ervaart weinig eigen regie

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Is Dutch Healthcare Ready for Self-measurements?

Dutch version >

The Nictiz* publication ‘self-measurements in Dutch Healthcare’ makes clear that these activities are not correctly implemented in the mainstream healthcare process. Self-measurements have two different starting points; initiated by healthcare professional or by a patient/person. To ensure that self-measurements are used correctly, Nictiz presents several recommendations;

  • The introduction of self-measurements in the usual care process is helpful and offers many opportunities to improve treatment efficiency. We confirm this statement. We provide tools and services so that many persons can measure and send their bio-sensor information in a fast and easy way.
  • There’s a big need for standardization of data to accomplish a better exchange of information; international standards like HL7, IHE and Continua Health Alliance, are the starting point.
  • Specific certification is needed for self-measurement devices; especially for the devices (sensors, mobile devices and apps) that save data, to ensure that the data is absolutely reliable.
  • Besides healthcare industry and consumers, healthcare professionals also need to make a move. One move should be that care professionals must gain more knowledge about self-measurements.

Healthcare community and industry are partly ready for further implementation of self-measurements, but it is clear that we still need many improvements.

Author: Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Source: Whitepaper ‘Zelfmetingen en de Nederlandse gezondheidszorg’ door Nictiz

*National IT Institute for Healthcare in The Netherlands

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Connecting pharmacists with healthcare insurers, an improvement?

“There’s a missing connection in the health insurance exchange debate that could push mHealth to the forefront: pharmacists.” This is a valid point of Robert Oscar, president and CEO of RxEOB. Pharmacists help people with healthcare questions when they’re not in a doctor’s office. They are the ones that have data on medication adherence. Adherence to medication predicts how well treatment will work and if future (health)problems can be expected.

More and more pharmacists are looking for ways to achieve better services. These are services next to the medication adherence support. Monitoring blood pressure is a way to check effectiveness of the provided medication. The pharmacist can discuss the results with the physician and optimise the therapy (if needed). Better results stimulate patients to adhere, so it cuts both ways. Pharmacies and insurers should be connected to make rewards possible for pharmacies that achieve the best support on monitoring and adherence. Insurers and pharmacies become more aware that they need to cut into the nation’s healthcare bill and that they must provide tools to optimize patients treatments.

Do you think that pharmacies and healthcare insurers should work together more intensively? Please leave your comment below!

Author: Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Source: mHealth News

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Why not attach a telemonitoring service to statin medication?

Is this the best proof that telemonitoring should be used in most chronic disease (medication) treatments? We think so! Lifetime statin provision is effective if it’s attached to a telemonitoring service, like a home weight scale and a patient portal that guides the person through his/her actual condition. This only costs a few dollars/euro’s extra per month, but it brings so much added value. Why is the healthcare community not acting?

Author: Rene Stenvert @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Bron: Medscape

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New technologies that makes outpatient treatment safer

Inpatient volumes continue to decline and the experts think this trend will not change.[1]

There are several reasons for this development:

  • Elective admissions, which never recovered after dropping during the Recession;
  • Pressure to reduce readmissions as a result of the Affordable Care Act;
  • Hospitals building clinically integrated networks to emphasize prevention and proactive care;
  • New technologies that makes outpatient treatment safer.

The last two factors can drive down inpatient volumes and therefore decrease total healthcare costs. Vitaphones’ new technologies make outpatient treatment safer: we provide tools to optimize diagnoses and care by using telemonitoring solutions.

Author:
Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands
Source:
[1] Fierce Healthcare

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Infographic: Prescription drugs in the US

A great infographic about prescription drugs in the United States. Some highlights:

  • Prescription drugs account for 10 percent of the US health expenditures. Society must ensure that this money will be spent efficiently and effectively. To accomplish this, the level of medication adherence should be improved.
  • It’s not enough to register if a prescription is fulfilled. A control if and when medication has been taken by the patient is essential.
  • Patients with conditions like diabetes, hypertension and congestive heart failure benefit from taking prescribed medications; saving is $1.200 to $7.800 per patient annually.
  • 89.000 deaths prevented by high blood pressure medication.

Conclusion: medication adherence must be optimized. This is possible with a medication adherence support system or a prescription drug monitoring program!

 

Infographic Prescription Drugs Cost US

Infographic Prescription Drugs Cost US by Clarityway

Author: Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Source: Clarityway

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Guest blog: vitaphone USA: Silencing the Silent Killer in 30 Days

Over thirty percent of the US population has hypertension, and fewer than half of those with hypertension have it under control. Many people never know they have high blood pressure, suitably dubbed “the silent killer.” Is it any wonder then that the prevalence and hospitalization rates of congestive heart failure (CHF) have continued to rise, when the majority of patients have hypertension, very likely uncontrolled, before developing CHF? How can we get ahead of the CHF curve? In a 30 day pilot, vitaphone’s patient engagement and mHealth solution empowered cardiologists and patients to drive the average systolic blood pressure down by 20 points in just four weeks, dropping it a total of 30 points by week five.

In the newly-published study 30 Days to Make a Difference, vitaphone shows how Los Angeles area physicians’ use of remote patient monitoring and patient engagement and education by a Telemedicine Service Center (TSC) greatly shortened the provider feedback interval, facilitated more precise medication therapy, and left patients feeling more confident in their ability to manage their conditions. vitaphone’s international expertise in using similar methodologies to reduce admissions for CHF patients was a powerful ally to physicians who wanted to see if it could also address a frequent precursor to CHF: hypertension.

Interested to engage, educate and monitor patients remotely? Pick up your copy of the peer-reviewed, Journal of Healthcare Information Management (JHIM) publication 30 Days to Make a Difference: Evaluating the 30-Day Effects of a Comprehensive Remote Patient Monitoring, Shortened Provider Feedback Interval, and Patient Engagement and Education Program on Hypertensive Patients in Orlando, Florida, February 24-27, at the HIMSS14 vitaphone health solutions kiosk, Qualcomm Life Pavilion, booth 6489. Or, contact us at 702-374-1270 / btritle@vitaphoneus.com HIMSS members can also access the mobile health JHIM edition digitally at http://tinyurl.com/ohp68sw

Author: Brad Tritle, vitaphone USA

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Telehealth saves anually $2,931 per COPD patient!

Research was conducted to determine if “self-monitoring via home-based telehealth equipment could, when combined with ongoing remote monitoring by a nurse, reduce the incidence of hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) presentations for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).” The vital signs monitored were; blood pressure, weight, temperature, pulse, and oxygen saturation levels. These vital signs were automatically sent to the telehealth nurse by telephone. If recorded measurements were out of patient’s normal parameters, specified by their GP or specialist, it triggered an alert to the nurse and he or she would undertake action. Vitaphone supports this type of setup to manage chronic diseases. Especially because it results in cost savings as demonstrated in this report.

An important result is that the telehealth group visited the hospital 10 times less as the control group did; 26 visits in the control group versus 16 visits in the telehealth user group. This resulted in 77 less hospital stay days over 6 months; 162 hospital days in the control group vs. 85 hospital days in the telehealth group.

The participant satisfaction in this research was also great:

“Approximately half felt that the telehealth intervention had reduced the number of times they had been to the hospital. Participants commented that in the past they may have gone to the hospital because they were worried or anxious about breathing difficulties, but being able to take their own measurements reassured them that their measures were within normal limits.”

“Participants generally agreed that receiving telehealth monitoring had provided reassurance and peace of mind knowing that a nurse was monitoring their results daily. Participants described having more control over their condition and being more confident in self-managing their condition as they were now more conscious of what their body was doing.”

It is great to see these numbers and the satisfaction level proof, what we advertise… go telehealth, go!

Author: Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Source: Telehealth Remote Monitoring for Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, by Kristen De San Miguel, BSc, Joanna Smith, BPsych, and Gill Lewin, BSc Hons, MSc, MPH, PhD, Published in Telemedicine and e-Health, September 2013

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