A remote heart monitor to detect irregular heart rhythms that secured 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration could lower healthcare costs by reducing the time patients spend in the hospital when they are diverted to cardiac care and away from the emergency room or orthopedics surgery.
The device sticks to the skin around the chest by the heart and is designed to detect irregular heart beats and monitor ECG and respiratory rate. Wearing one around the mHealth conference earlier this month, I barely felt it until it was time to take it off, which felt a bit like removing a band-aid. Happily, the experience was uneventful.
In an interview with MedCity News at the Summit, Scott Burrichter, a Preventice co-founder, said the Rochester, Minnesota-based company didn’t set out to be a device company. Instead, it has focused on the mobile health market, developing apps to spur behavioral change with nearly 40 applications that span prescription medication management, cardiac care, sleep apnea and diabetes management.
As it gears up for the commercial release of the Body Guardian, which it developed with the Mayo Clinic, it’s continuing to conduct clinical studies to assess the use of remote monitoring to manage default hospital admissions. It’s excited by the ability of the device to reduce hospital admissions since patients can be monitored remotely without having to be admitted to a cardiac ward.
One of the things it will track, Burrichter said, is syncope, which could indicate a serious underlying heart condition like congestive heart failure — a chronic condition that’s among the costliest for healthcare systems to treat. Its primary clients are payers who are trying to better manage these patient populations.
Mayo Clinic, Sanpietro Clinic in Milan, and the Bordeaux Hospital University Center in France to analyze and quantify the clinical impact of advanced monitoring for remote transmission of ECG signals and centralized analysis of significant amounts of data. Trials are currently being conducted with post-surgical cardiac patients to evaluate how monitoring their cardiac rhythms remotely influences all phases of hospital recovery. The device is also being used for patients with congestive heart failure to assess delivery of more timely interventions
that can prevent more serious and expensive complications.
In 2010, the estimated total costs of cardiovascular diseases in the United States alone were $444 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control.