GE Healthcare, Intel Corporation and Mayo Clinic are investigating a new model of health care delivery for patients at increased risk of rehospitalization that is designed to meet patients' needs where they are, including in their homes.
Mayo Clinic will conduct a yearlong research study to determine if home monitoring of patients with chronic diseases, using Intel's remote patient monitoring technology, will reduce hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits.
This study reflects the commitment of GE Healthcare, Intel and Mayo Clinic to develop new patient-centered delivery care models. With the numbers of seniors expected to rise dramatically and increasing numbers of patients experiencing chronic disease, the current focus on face-to-face clinic interaction with the provider is not 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," says 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."
This research study further illustrates GE Healthcare and Intel's commitment, announced in April 2009, to jointly market and develop innovative technologies for independent living and chronic disease management and to extend care from the hospital to the home. The two companies plan to invest $250 million over the next five years for the research and product development of home-based health technologies. In addition, GE Healthcare is selling and marketing the Intel Health Guide in the United States and the United Kingdom.
"Transforming health care requires more than just health care reform. It requires innovative thinking and the use of technology to change how and where care is delivered," says Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of the Intel Digital Health Group. "We need to go beyond just hospital-and-clinic visits when we are sick - to home and community-based care models that allow for prevention, early detection, behavior change and social support. This study is an example of how we are looking to address this."
Omar Ishrak, president and CEO Healthcare Systems at GE Healthcare says, "Nearly 80 million 'baby boomers' in the U.S. are approaching 'seniors' status, and they expect the best possible care. By joining together with two world-class partners in this research study - Mayo Clinic and Intel - GE expects to gain valuable insight on how we can better deliver technologies that improve the lives of seniors and people with chronic illness. This is an important step in a journey to improve access to quality care while helping lower health costs."