GE Healthcare, Intel, and the Mayo Clinic are teaming up to test a new prototype for healthcare delivery, bringing care into the home for patients at risk for re-hospitalization.
The year-long study, led by the Mayo Clinic, will involve 200 high-risk patients over the age of 60. It will explore and evaluate whether GE/Intel remote monitoring devices might reliably be put to use in reducing hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
Each day, the patients will use the devices to measure their vital signs – blood pressure, pulse, weight – and respond to questions about their diseases. This data will then be reviewed by a clinical care team working with their primary care provider.
The technology, which includes videoconferencing capabilities, will allow the care team to assess patients for signs and symptoms that suggest clinical deterioration, and facilitate early medical intervention. The hope is that early recognition and treatment of changes in clinical status will reduce the need for unnecessary hospitalizations.
With the numbers of seniors due to rise dramatically, and increasing numbers of patients experiencing chronic disease, the GE, Intel, Mayo team figures such technology could enable new care models to replace the existing unsustainable focus on face-to-face clinical interaction, and should help rein in costs and improve patient outcomes through personalized care and ongoing disease management at home.
"To meet evolving patient needs and broaden its reach in the 21st century, Mayo Clinic will build on its model of care to provide products and services to people in new ways," says Gregory Hanson, MD, Mayo Clinic Department of Primary Care Internal Medicine, one of the principal investigators in the study. "We're excited to move forward with this research study in collaboration with GE Healthcare and Intel."
This past April, GE Healthcare and Intel announced plans to jointly market and develop innovative technologies for independent living and chronic disease management, and a commitment to extend care from the hospital to the home. The two companies plan to invest $250 million over the next five years into the research and product development of home-based health technologies.
"Transforming healthcare requires more than just healthcare reform," says Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel Digital Health Group. "It requires innovative thinking and the use of technology to change how and where care is delivered. We need to go beyond just hospital and clinic visits when we are sick – to home and community-based care models that allow for prevention, early detection, behavior change and social support."
"By joining together with two world-class partners in this research study," adds Omar Ishrak, president and CEO for healthcare systems at GE Healthcare, "GE expects to gain valuable insight on how we can better deliver technologies that improve the lives of seniors and people with chronic illness. This is an important step in a journey to improve access to quality care while helping lower health costs."