Healthcare Technology Featured Article

January 06, 2014

Mobile Telehealth Solution Offers More Choices for Chronic Disease Patients

Telehealth solutions used to assist with the care and management of those who suffer from chronic disease have been valued for their ability to enable at home care and for reducing the need for emergency visits while allowing patients to maintain more regular life routines.

Home monitoring, just a piece of the telehealth space, has been linked in numerous studies to increased morality. While improvements are still needed, the reduction in healthcare costs is also a driving force behind continued adoption.

The 2013, the “Internet and American Life Project” by PEW Research uncovered that 45 percent of U.S. adults had one or more chronic conditions but did not have mobile devices and internet connections needed to realize the full potential of telehealth services.

Today, with most of the world on the go and connected solely through mobile devices, the healthcare market and the non-connected user, are under pressured to adopt these solutions.

The PEW Research Center also noted that nearly 80 percent of seniors are living with chronic illness and ninety percent of seniors today are more active outside the home but still do not have a mobile devices.

(Image via Shutterstock)

A new, complete mobile telehealth solution to address this specific need in the market has now been made commercially available by Bosch Healthcare and GreatCall that promises to make it easy for patients to connect instantly with their doctors and care needs, without having to sit at home by Wi-Fi or an Internet connection.

“Health Buddy Mobile is designed to help those patients for whom our home-based Health Buddy device and our browser-based Health Buddy Web patient interfaces are not optimal. We want to reach more individuals and help them improve their quality of life. In doing so we can impact the disproportionate healthcare utilization and costs associated with chronic illnesses,” Micha Kirchhoff, president of Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems said.

The solution, being shown at CES 2014 this week, is the first offering resulting from the strategic partnership announced last year. Conditions most difficult to handle and with the highest costs and hospital admission rates have been tackled first. This includes patients who suffer from various heart failure issues, COPD and diabetes.

Users get GreatCall’s Jitterbug Plus easy to use cellphone with preconfigured tools from Bosch Healthcare to perform tasks like vital sign data collection, medication compliance, and mental health questions as well as offer feedback and coaching for the patient.

Thanks to reduced healthcare costs and better managed care offered by these solutions, the market ahead looks like a promising one. InMedica and IHS predict that as more healthcare providers look for ways to cut down on readmission rates and track and improve disease progression, the market for telehealth will reach 1.8 million patients worldwide by 2017.

“By going wireless and using the Jitterbug, Health Buddy Mobile is an effective out-of-box solution for these individuals,” David Inns, president and CEO of GreatCall said.

Edited by Ryan Sartor
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