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.
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A new Medicare cost-control program aimed at reducing costly hospital readmissions has heart failure squarely in the cross-hairs, and the consequences could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost Medicare revenue for hospitals that fail to meet the new readmission standards. As a result, providers are scrambling to implement programs to assess and reduce heart failure readmissions, and a growing number of device companies are touting a variety of technologies they believe could help them achieve that goal.
For much of the device industry, 2011 was marked by continuing change across the medtech ecosystem, most notably in the economy, the regulatory process, and the financing/innovation model. For 2012, we predict more of the same: the only certainty is continuing uncertainty.