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Remote Patient Monitoring: 9 Promising Technologies

From telemedicine robots to toilet sensors, remote patient monitoring technology continues to win venture capital. These nine startups have landed funding in the past year.
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BAM Labs provides an FDA-approved sensor mat that is placed under mattresses to monitor a patient's presence, sleep pattern, heart rate and breathing rate. The clever part is that the patient isn't connected to any wires -- the "smart bed" does all the work. The mat can be used in a hospital or home setting. Data collected is transmitted online to an app viewable on any Internet-connected device. Doctors and caregivers can monitor multiple patients at once from the app.

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rikwarren
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rikwarren,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2015 | 8:05:18 AM
re: Remote Patient Monitoring: 9 Promising Technologies
Chris, you are correct, in my estimation at least, that FDA isimportant. But I disagree about phone only service, it is very difficult to produce accurate repeatable results without a direct patient interface of some type. I.e. AliveCor ECG, Otoscope and others. Camera diagnostics are innovative but often lack the sampling speed (frames per second) to capture the real true meaning of the observed behavior. Convergence will produce next generation medical-grade devices which offer accurate results and ease of use. 
rikwarren
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rikwarren,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2015 | 7:59:12 AM
sensor convergence
To be truely effective the RPM technology must operate in the home as well as clinical environment. Posters are correct that compliance is the key to good data. But it is not the single most important factor. First is accuracy, without it the data harvest is a less reliable indicator. Ane there is a great deal of variance from device to device. For this reason FDA certification is important. Once accurate data is captured analysis can be preformed and the results trusted. As you see in the ViSi Mobile device (in clinic only) many sensors are now converging into one form. This stops device proliferation and contains all readings into one portal. This is easy for the user, care giver and the provider. Last is comfort, power management and price. Sensogram has a truly portable wireless sensor set which fits upon the finger and continuously monitors blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, heart and respiration rate.
Sam2010
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Sam2010,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2013 | 7:00:09 PM
User compliance is a big issue
Both Independa and Vivify use bluetooth devices talking to tablets/smart phones- just like Intel, Hommed and a host of others similar solutions. Users need to keep the tablets/phones powered, have the app running, keep bluetooth on and THEN take readings. They also need to keep all devices in the SAME room since bluetooth only goes so far! All this complexity significantly drops user compliance. Then there is realted shipping/training/support costs which makes the solutions quite expensive.

Blipcare, Fitbit, Withings offer WiFi scales which can be kept in the bathroom. Blipcare even has the WiFi Blood pressure monitor. All the user has to do is take readings and the user compliance is radically higher. Patient followup can be done via automated phone calls and text messaging e.g. Silverlink, Eliza. Total cost remains low and you get more and better data. Extra bells and whistles don't make better solutions. They only add complexity and cost while reducing overall compliance. 

 

 
mHealthTalk
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mHealthTalk,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/24/2013 | 11:54:08 AM
Toilet Sensors
The use of sensors should ideally be unobtrusive, so I liked the the TLC mattress sensor by BAM Labs, but I saw no example of toilet sensors, even though the author hinted that there were some. Anyone interested in that should check out http://www.mhealthtalk.com/2011/04/smart-toilets-a-royal-flush-for-home-healthcare/. 

One example can measure, record, show and report important health data like blood pressure, sugar levels, body temperature, weight, and body mass index. Another learns who you are by estimating your weight and percent body fat and then chemically analyzes your output and reports it to a health monitoring service.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
8/14/2013 | 10:16:28 PM
re: Remote Patient Monitoring: 9 Promising Technologies
It'll be interesting to see if providers turn to simpler tools than these to tackle readmission -- like simple self reporting smartphone apps rather than more sophisticated monitoring and reporting tools. One of the big bets by the venture firms is that this requires "FDA grade" gear and apps.
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