Remote Monitoring: Keeping People Healthy at Home
At Partners HealthCare Connected Health, our early work in remote monitoring focused on congestive heart failure (CHF), which turned out to be well-suited to connected health as an intervention. CHF management is mostly about fluid management, with weight being a pretty good proxy for fluid status. Changes in diet, largely salt and fluid intake, are usually effective at controlling fluid. The 'feedback loop' of providing an individual's daily weight, combined with just-in-time nursing interventions, resulted in improvement of patient care, better informed patients and a decrease in hospital re-admissions, a significant challenge among this patient population.
As a result of this insight, we began designing programs around the idea that objective, numeric feedback is an important part of connected health program success. The development of wireless sensors, mobile apps and shared APIs now support a technical infrastructure that allows us to easily gather numeric data from our patients and feed it back to them, as well as to their clinicians.