Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Boston hospital tests remote patient monitoring

Steve Rogerson
December 20, 2016
 
A pilot at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, USA, aims to evaluate how technology and home-based care delivery can be leveraged to treat patients who would otherwise be admitted to the hospital.
 
The hospital will use a combination of technology developed by Illinois company PhysIQ and California-based Vital Connect to evaluate how clinician visits to home, when coupled with advanced continuous patient monitoring, can potentially replace hospitalisations for common medical admissions.
 
As part of the randomised controlled trial, patients diagnosed at the BWH emergency department with exacerbation of heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, cellulitis or complicated urinary tract infection are provided with a home monitoring kit for continuous physiologic insight and daily clinician visits.
 
The pilot is being led by David Levine, a physician at BWH.
 
“The evolution of digital medicine makes us even more confident in the home hospital model for our patients,” said Levine. “The purpose of this study is to show how we can deliver superior outcomes at a lower cost for patients who otherwise would be hospitalised. We are in a very exciting era of medicine where clinical-grade biosensors and analytics are capable of delivering continuous physiological insight that was traditionally only available in the hospital environment.”
 
The technology includes the Vital Connect VitalPatch biosensor that will continuously stream patient vital signs to be analysed by, and viewable through, the PhysIQ personalised physiology analytics platform.
 
The first phase of the initiative has started and involves up to 60 patients, half of whom are receiving traditional in-hospital treatment, whereas the other half are receiving treatment at home. Following successful implementation this year, the pilot will scale up to 500 patients in early 2017.
 
The primary aim of the implementation is to demonstrate reduction in hospitalisation costs for the at-home population, along with improvement in a series of outcome measures including health-related quality of life, patient safety and quality, and overall patient experience.
 
“It’s been our mission from day one to provide clinical-grade physiological data through an FDA-cleared wearable biosensor,” said Nersi Nazari, CEO of Vital Connect. “We see this initiative as proof of a new era of medicine, one where transformational models of care delivery are enabled by continuous ambulatory monitoring technology.”
 
The PhysIQ data analytics platform can process multiple vital signs from wearable sensors to create a personalised dynamic baseline for each individual. By mapping vital sign relationships this way, the analytics detect subtle deviations that may be a precursor to disease exacerbation or change in health.
 
“It’s extremely gratifying to know that leading institutions like Brigham & Women’s Hospital are embracing the transformational potential of digital medicine and we are thrilled to be a part of this exciting initiative in collaboration with our partners at Vital Connect,” said Gary Conkright, CEO of PhysIQ.