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Breathing easier with remote care management

Aug 26, 2016 By Nate Treloar IN Health, IN connected health, IN RCM

Remote care management (RCM) for those suffering from chronic conditions is one of the main areas where digital health care solutions are starting to play an important role in providing care that is both more effective and more cost efficient. I was reminded of just how effective and efficient such approaches can be when I came across a post on Health Affairs. In his piece, Alan Snell noted that remote care management programs are taking off as part of the transition to value-based (vs. fee for service) healthcare. He then writes: 

Providers are working to keep the health of an individual from rapidly deteriorating once they develop a chronic condition(s). Two prominent barriers to providers’ efforts to keep their patients healthy are the providers’ intermittent contact with patients and limited access to clinical data. Remote care management addresses these barriers. RCM programs have the potential to extend a provider’s reach and perspective into the daily lives of patients. (Source: Health Affairs)

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There are a number of ways in which RCM helps get results. One is by improving the awareness and understanding of those facing high-acuity health challenges, training patients to recognize events that can be handled at home, when they need to make an appointment to see their physician, and when they need to head to the ER. With RCM, clinicians can monitor a patient’s condition, and step in as needed.

Dr. Snell backs up his views on the benefits of RCM with reference to studies, including one he and his team conducted that was aimed at reducing hospital readmissions for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) via RCM.” Snell’s study showed that, with RCM, a hospital could experience a 60 to 70 percent decline in readmissions for CHF and COPD when compared with the national average.

Results like these are no surprise to those of us at Orbita, where we’re committed to enabling home healthcare solutions that improve outcomes, reduce costs, and minimize risks for those suffering from chronic conditions, or experiencing chronic post-acute healthcare needs. 

One of the clients we’ve recently begun working with is PN Medical. For nearly forty years, the company has offered Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT) devices designed to help patients with a number of chronic conditions, including COPD and CHF. PN Medical is now stepping into the digital world with the Breather+™, a Bluetooth-enabled respiratory muscle training (RMT) device.  For its new product, PN Medical is leveraging Orbita’s unique digital platform to enable clinicians to better monitor and support patients undergoing therapy for these conditions at home. Orbita offers the first secure (HIPAA-compliant) cloud-based platform for digital home healthcare apps. For Breather+, embedded sensors will capture lung function and patient adherence data, which will be instantly sent, via the Breather+ mobile app, to the Orbita-powered practitioner dashboard. The Breather+ will improve the quality of life for patients and reduce hospital visits – the same types of result that Dr. Snell saw in his study of COPD and CHF patients.

PN Medical is just one of the healthcare innovators that we’re working with. Stay tuned for more stories we’ll be sharing with you on how our clients are solving important healthcare challenges by providing solutions that result in more effective and more cost-efficient care.

Nate Treloar