Updated on 27 November 2012
Initial evidence supports the benefits of remote monitoring. According to the New England Healthcare Institute, when compared to office visits, the use of remote monitoring for heart failure patients reduced re-admittance rate by 32 percent and more than $1,861 per patient.
Second, analytics offers better ways to identify patterns and interpret patient health data. This enables doctors to conduct the appropriate interventions before an acute situation occurs. For example, with home cameras or sensors, clinicians can monitor an elderly person's activities and can apply predictive analytics for identifying patterns of abnormal behaviors or symptoms.
In other industries, predictive modeling techniques have already been developed for detecting anomalies and predicting potential failures in complex systems like aircraft engines and nuclear power reactors. In such cases, they demonstrate significant savings in maintenance costs while reducing downtime for airlines and power companies. As more detailed physiological, behavioral, and clinical data about individual health consumers becomes readily available, a similar analytical approach could be applied to detect anomalies and predict the trajectories of human health, minimizing or avoiding costly acute episodes.
The third promising new technology category covers a broad range of tools, including user modeling, advanced visualization, decision support and collaboration. Collectively, these technologies enable clinicians and health consumers alike to better use the information available for more effective decision making and actions. For example, video conferencing tools can enable clinicians to provide virtual consultations with secondary specialists and for urgent cases, such as stroke care, there exists only a small window of time to treat patients before the outcome is permanent. These technologies enable instant communication while providing the necessary visual intelligence with the right level of detail.
As recent progress has indicated, these technologies offer significant potential for improving patient outcomes and lowering costs. With the continuing commoditization of computing and communications and the rapid maturation of consumer health devices, these technologies will become increasingly versatile and ubiquitous. Recognizing the tremendous untapped potential of these products offers vast promise in improving the healthcare crisis - caring for chronic diseases and the aging population.