News Feature | June 17, 2016

High-Tech, Remote Monitoring Patch Could Help Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Hospital Readmission

Band-Aid-like patch offers efficient method of post-discharge patient monitoring.

Hospital readmissions have always been a concern but have taken on a new significance in light of newly-established rules and fines. Studies have found one factor that can help reduce readmissions is scheduling physician assistants for follow-up visits at a patient’s home after surgical procedures. However, not every hospital can provide this type of concierge service and some patients don¹t live close enough to the hospital to allow for a personal visit.

Remote monitoring is one of the most promising ways technology can potentially improve patient care while also improving efficiencies related to costs and time. One example of the success of such programs is seen in the experiences of the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) Rockford, of Rockford, IL, where, as Health IT Outcomes reported, health system professionals implemented a remote monitoring program to track patients with congestive heart failure.

Remote monitoring often uses applications for smart phones or fitness trackers to send vital signs and other information to healthcare providers for monitoring to anticipate episodes that require treatment. In fact, the global market for biosensors to monitor health projected is projected to exceed $40 billion annually by 2020.

Now, Vital Connect has launched a new, single-use, peel and stick health monitoring VitalPatchM that delivers clinical-grade accuracy in a disposable biosensor to improve the remote monitoring process for patients and helps reduce hospital readmissions. Patients can stick it to their chest like a bandage and wear it for up to three days at a time to send 24/7 feedback on their vital signs and overall health to doctors or nurses. If any signs of infection or other complications are noted patients can be called in for a follow up appointment and ideally avoid readmissions as a result.

“From hospitals to home, medical-grade wearable biosensors have enormous potential to improve patient outcomes, while lowering healthcare costs,” said Vital Connect chairman and DEO Dr. Nersi Nazari. “Ease of use and minimal disruption to established clinical routines are critical for rapid adoption of these devices in patient care settings.”

Powered by Vital Connect’s proprietary VitalCore processor, the lightweight, wireless, adhesive patch continuously monitors and records single-lead electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, skin temperature, posture, step count, and fall detection with clinical accuracy. Through the Vital Connect platform, care teams receive accurate data and notifications to make health decisions and enable timely interventions.

The fully-disposable device has a streamlined, flexible profile that is unobtrusive during a patient’s activities of daily living. With the VitalPatch, patients may be monitored at any location where continuous monitoring offers the opportunity for early detection of patient deterioration and early intervention by care teams.