Mobile Future

Healthcare, Wireless &

In the United States, the treatment of chronic disease accounts for more than 70 percent ($1.7 trillion) of the country’s $2.4 trillion in total healthcare spending. But continued proliferation and adoption of mHealth technologies can help people stay on top of their healthcare regimen and alert a specialist in case of a problem.

That’s the conclusion from a new report released by Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. The report cites some interesting examples:

• Researchers at Kaiser Permanente in Colorado discovered that 58 percent of hypertension patients using mPHRs (personal health records embedded in mobile communication devices) lowered their blood pressure to healthy levels within six months, compared to 38 percent receiving conventional treatment.

• At the Cleveland Clinic, diabetic and hypertensive patients who used smartphones to transmit vital signs reduced their number of doctor’s office visits as compared to patients who did not track readings.

• Austrian investigators found that congestive heart failure (CHF) patients, who typically require extensive hospitalization, had fewer and shorter hospital stays when they used a wireless system to transmit vitals, medication information and health status to their physicians.

The potential for wireless to expand cost-effective healthcare solutions has been a favorite topic of our’s for years (See here and here.) Moreover, as The New York Times reported nearly two years ago in an article on seniors’ attempts to avoid nursing homes, the cost of a wireless monitoring system is about $100 a month, compared to a nursing home, where the costs to taxpayers can exceed $200 a day.