This article was originally published in Start Up
For children, the elderly, and other diabetics who have difficulty in complying with glucose monitoring regimes, Kivalo Inc. offers hope in the form of technology that automatically reads glucose levels from any commercially available monitor, then wirelessly transmits that data to parents or caregivers to notify them of an impending crisis.
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Companies with new, often implantable devices that enable the remote monitoring of patients aim to enable a new, more efficient kind of disease management. However, one of the biggest hurdles to adoption of disease management to date has been lack of reimbursement. The patients that can most benefit from disease management--sufferers of congestive heart failure, for example--tend to be elderly people that are covered by Medicare, which has no mechanisms to reimburse for disease management. So, beyond the usual hurdles that device companies face, of working the kinks out of technology and proving its clinical value to physicians, patient monitoring companies also need to find the right delivery model that helps them get paid for their technology.
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