- NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is adding remote patient monitoring to its tableau of telehealth capabilities, via collaboration with multinational technology company Royal Philips.
- NYP's affiliated doctors at Weill Cornell Medicine will deploy Philips eCareCoordinator and eCareCompanion remote patient monitoring software to track patients' conditions and consult with them when needed.
- The aim is to reduce hospital length of stay, preventable readmissions and high-cost emergency room visits, according to Thursday's announcement. NYP-affiliated physicians at Columbia University Irving Medical Center will also be able to use the RPM tools.
Remote patient monitoring is a growing part of the digital health space, fueled by an aging population and efforts to better manage chronic diseases.
In a recent KLAS Research report, a fourth of healthcare organizations said RPM results in fewer ER visits and readmissions, while 38% said it reduces inpatient admissions. The most frequent use cases are heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but remote monitoring of other conditions like diabetes and hypertension are on the rise.
Payers are also recognizing the benefits of RPM. In its 2018 physician fee schedule final rule, CMS unbundled a code for RPM, enabling doctors to seek reimbursement for collecting and interpreting health data generated remotely by patients, digitally stored and sent to providers, with a minimum of 30 minutes of time involved.
Meanwhile, telehealth use generally is soaring — up from 206 visits in 2005 to 202,300 in 2017 among commercially insured patients.
NYP has a track record of using telemedicine and health IT tools with the aim of increasing patient access and enhancing quality of care. In 2016, the nonprofit health system launched its OnDemand suite of digital health services, rolling out Second Opinion, Adult Virtual Urgent Care and Virtual Visits during that year. The last — a collaboration with American Well — lets patients connect with NYP's physician network via a smart phone or computer.
In 2017, the health system added a pediatric telehealth option to OnDemand. Available during nighttime hours seven days a week, Pediatric Urgent Care lets parents video conference with pediatric emergency physicians about common problems such as coughs, vomiting and rashes.
Also that year, NYP partnered with Walgreens to bring telehealth to self-service kiosks at select Duane Read drugstores in New York and through the Walgreens website.
The Philips RPM tools are part of the company's broader catalog of population health management products.
The eCareCoordinator telehealth software platform lets doctors and other healthcare professionals monitor patient vital signs from afar and shoot short surveys their way to gauge their health status. Using the eCareCompanion app, patients can share information on blood pressure, weight, glucose levels and other vitals with their care teams, helping them to make more informed decision about patient treatment and care.
In a clinical pilot, NYP patients with high blood sugar reported 89% satisfaction using the Philips tools. The health system has also started using RPM with congestive heart failure patients and new mothers with high blood pressure. Other use cases, including diabetes and maternal health, are expected to launch soon, the organizations said.
Peter Fleischut, NYP's senior vice president and chief transformation office, touted the collaboration, saying it will "empower patients, who don't need to be in the hospital, to actively monitor their health from the comfort of their home."