- Philips Healthcare has inked a nonexclusive patent licensing agreement with the U.S. Air Force for use of integrated, real-time patient monitoring software, TechLink reports.
- The Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit, or Batdok, involves wearable technology that lets medics monitor multiple field casualties via a smartphone or tablet.
- The Andover, Massachusetts-based medtech giant wants to adapt Batdok for telemedicine uses. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The technology uses wireless sensors to alert medics or other care providers when the wearer's condition changes, such as with heart rate or other vital signs.
"By combining exceptional mobility, user experience, and reliability, Philips will use Bartok to improve patient monitoring," Kirk Hendler, vice president of business development for government solutions, told TechLink. "This all-in-one mobile solution will enhance care delivery by bringing critical data to decision makers."
The military can be a good testing ground for new medical technologies because of the ability to control study populations and monitor results. In 2015, the Defense Department formed a consortium with more than 160 companies, nonprofits and universities to develop flexible hybrid electronics, including wearable health-monitoring devices for soldiers in the field.
The next step for remote monitoring is smaller, less-intrusive devices that are also easy to use and reliable. A recent Rock Health report found that 90% of Americans use digital health tools, but a notable share of those owning wearables stopped using them because they were weren't effective in helping them meet personal goals.
According to one study published earlier this year, remote patient monitoring had no statistically significant impact on six reported outcomes: body mass index, weight, waist circumference, body fat percentage, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. For the best results, RPM should be tied to health behavior models and personalized coaching, the researchers said.
Still, the push toward population health and less costly care delivery models will keep remote monitoring and technologies like it in the forefront of healthcare R&D efforts. Tools that allow doctors to keep track of their patients' progress, seamlessly relay reliable data and are easy for patients to use could help improve outcomes while driving down costs.