Thoughts for health systems considering remote monitoring solutions

Medical technology companies have been looking for a foothold in the remote monitoring solutions space with little impact to patient outcomes and utilization. Over the last 4 years, Spry Health has learned to approach remote monitoring in different ways:

Driving physician acceptance

Physicians need information--not more data. Many healthcare startups have discovered that they are unable to move past an initial pilot trial because physicians are wary to trust the underlying technology. Spry Health approaches data analysis using evidence-based models backed by clinical research and physician best practices. For co-founder Pierre-Jean "PJ" Cobut, using physician-trusted methods is key to achieving buy-in from clinicians. PJ says, "to gain physician acceptance, you must simplify data and provide relevant information. The healthcare ecosystem is already inundated in data and the last thing physicians want is more data". However, providing actionable information is not enough. "Using analytical rule sets that physicians understand, trust, and can trace is just as important. When lives are on the line, clinicians need to trust the models that are making recommendations to them. Any black box analytics solution isn't going to do the trick," Cobut argues.

Increasing patient compliance

Medtech companies have traditionally focused most of their efforts on the technology and clinical application of their products to drive reimbursement. However, patient experience has been much less of a focus. Patients seeking peace of mind and freedom from worry over their illness have instead been tasked with monitoring vitals several times a day with multiple devices. Nobody is satisfied with this process, and nobody wants a twice-daily reminder of their own condition. Building a product that blends into a patient's life requiring little to no habit change is of utmost importance to maximizing compliance. Patient compliance cannot truly be assured unless patients are asked to change as little as possible in their daily routines.

Thinking through security concerns

When considering the patient experience, tech companies often miss the mark and worry exclusively about health data privacy. What we hear from patients with chronic conditions is very different - the more eyes, the better - and worrying about health data privacy is a luxury for the fit and healthy. The power of sharing data was best illustrated to us by Don, a man in his 60s with Stage 4 COPD, when he said: ““If a doctor had access to my data and called me, that would take the worry away.” Shawn, who cares for his father with congestive heart failure said, “sharing data and constant monitoring by professionals would be a big safety net with no need to ask so many questions [to my father]. Being in the dark is our biggest frustration and this would help.” Ultimately, chronically-ill patients recognize that sharing their health data with clinical professionals can save them and alleviate much of the communication pains between patients and the people who care for them. Having a medical professional examine their data provides a safety net. Their concerns are what the next day is going to look like, not whether their data is hosted on a secure server.

Spry Health is a Palo Alto-based digital health solutions company out of the Stanford-affiliated StartX incubator. The company creates a new channel of information from the most vulnerable patients using wearable technology. Spry Health provides health care organizations with actionable information to allow for better care of their patients, decrease hospital admissions, and reduce spending.

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