Minus the WSJ snark, MarketWatch reviews various wireless health initiatives and pilots and finds them nearly ready for consumer prime time, with the usual caveats: the promise of cost savings and hurdles of insurance payment and provider reimbursement stall adoption. The proof of effectiveness is accumulating, but is wireless health at a tipping point for consumers, insurers and the Feds? Highlights:
- MedApps/Microsoft/Cleveland Clinic: this long-term (3 months to over one year) test of over 250 patients, evenly divided between mobile and non-wireless vitals reporting, is finding improvement in control of chronic conditions–diabetics and hypertensives increased the number of days between physician visits by 71% and 26% respectively. The dramatic study of the hypertensive long-distance truck driver who uses MedApps for monitoring that leads the article is a great example of the portability of M2M systems.
- Another trial of 300 patients by CardioNet of their MCOT (Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry) that uses small sensors and a transmitter to monitor during everyday living, reported that MCOT is three times more effective than prior technologies in detecting cardiac arrhythmias. [See Telecare Aware 20 Jan 2009]
- Jitterbug developing simple ‘out of the box’ applications such as LiveNurse and Samsung/American Heart Association’s text message tips.
- Dr. Eric Topol of the West Wireless Health Institute predicting a wristband that will send all your vital signs continuously to your phone (but who will be looking at them?)