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Remote Patient Monitoring: Roadblocks to Full Adoption

Executive Summary

Recent advances in patient monitoring technology present a number of opportunities for remote monitoring and self-monitoring of patients outside the clinical setting. While the data captured during real-life situations is of value, not every segment of the health care market is rushing to embrace the latest technology advances in this area, for a variety of reasons. In particular, the market for implantable cardiac rhythm devices sticks out as an area where many physicians (and manufacturers as well) are simply not sure how to utilize all the data that could be harvested via the latest remote monitoring technology.

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Wireless and Mobile Monitoring: Bringing Health Care Home

The recent proliferation of smart phones and mobile apps has put everything from face-to-face meetings to comparison shopping into the palms of our hands. Wireless technology is changing the way we communicate and do business, and proponents say it could soon have a similar game-changing impact on health care. Indeed, hundreds of mobile health apps are already available for relatively simple tasks such as logging and tracking blood pressure measurements, caloric intake, and sleep habits, but this is only the beginning of what could be a pervasive and increasingly sophisticated technology trend in the years ahead.

Wireless and Mobile Monitoring: Bringing Health Care Home

The recent proliferation of smart phones and mobile apps has put everything from face-to-face meetings to comparison shopping into the palms of our hands. Wireless technology is changing the way we communicate and do business, and proponents say it could soon have a similar game-changing impact on health care. Indeed, hundreds of mobile health apps are already available for relatively simple tasks such as logging and tracking blood pressure measurements, caloric intake, and sleep habits, but this is only the beginning of what could be a pervasive and increasingly sophisticated technology trend in the years ahead.

CardioNet: The Promise and Perils of Wireless Medicine

CardioNet created the first product in a new category: mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry. By enabling the continuous monitoring of ambulatory patients for up to 30 days, CardioNet proved - and validated in clinical trials - that it could substantially improve the diagnosis of arrhythmias more effectively than what was then the standard of care. In 2009, the company was approaching profitability when the local Medicare carrier upon which its business depends unexpectedly slashed reimbursement for the company's core product. The management of CardioNet is frustrated. CardioNet has tried to do things the right way. The company validated its technology in a 300-patient controlled clinical trial proving superior efficacy against a gold standard in a disease where early and accurate diagnosis can clearly improve outcomes. Clinicians recognize the value of CardioNet's product, as evidenced by the 50% growth in patient volumes the company enjoyed last year, and the 30 to 40% growth it's expecting for this year. Yet the company fights for the recognition of payors, and for its life. Now, in the face of these reimbursement pressures, CardioNet's number one priority is to gain Medicare reimbursement at the national level, at a rate, it hopes, that recognizes both the costs and value of long-term 24/7 ambulatory monitoring, thereby both validating the company's strategy and supporting the development of wireless medicine as a whole.

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