Chronic Diseases to be Monitored with Telehealth Technology
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced Tuesday that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Life, Inc., Valued Relationships, Inc. (“VRI”) and Tri-City Medical Center (“TCMC”) have signed an agreement to leverage Qualcomm Life’s 2net™ Hub to help further reduce hospital readmissions. The project, spurred by TCMC’s focus on delivering high-quality, coordinated care to its community, will provide Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform and Hub to patients in their homes within 48 hours of discharge.
“The ability to track a patient’s vital signs via the 2net Hub post hospital discharge provides care centers the opportunity to drastically cut costs and improve overall outcomes associated with readmissions,” said Rick Valencia, vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Life. “The plug and play nature of the 2net Hub pairs well with TCMC’s and VRI’s commitment to remote monitoring, and given the fact that the Medicare 30-Day Readmission Rule is now in effect across the U.S., this effort could not be timelier.”
Tri-City Medical Center is number one in San Diego County and among the top 1 percent in the nation for reducing readmissions for heart failure and heart attacks. This new offering at TCMC will consist of hospital representatives spending time with patients post-discharge to ensure they are accustomed to operating the devices and tracking their vitals. In parallel, TCMC will work with a third party, VRI, to monitor the data output so the project is not taxing on the patient or existing clinical personnel.
“Several administrators at hospitals across the country are struggling to figure out how to provide services in the home to reduce readmissions. Tri-City Medical Center has thought about it differently by deciding to send a trained technician to the patient’s house to install Qualcomm Life’s easy-to-use 2net Hub and peripherals,” said Andy Schoonover, Executive Chairman of VRI. “We are proud to have been chosen to work as a technology collaborator with TCMC and Qualcomm Life to deliver this innovative service.”
TCMC will leverage VRI’s telehealth services as part of a broader disease management initiative for newly discharged patients with chronic conditions such as Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), diabetes and Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI). Once installed, the weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters and glucose meters will enable caregivers to monitor the progress of patients along their care plans, as well as respond to actionable alerts. Family members in different locations can also be more involved in the care of their loved ones by reviewing their health progress via a web-based portal.
“Advancing patient care with innovative technologies is one of our core values,” said Larry Anderson, chief executive officer at Tri-City Medical Center. “This collaboration will enable us to further reduce our hospital readmission rates that are already some of the best in the country. By better coordinating care for our patients, we’re better able to keep them going about their daily activities from the comfort of their own homes.”
The program is slated to start in January 2013.