“Connected Health” Prevention Could Cut U.S. Healthcare Costs By Up To 40 Percent - Survey
Posted Sep 18 2009 10:20pm
The information below in the press release addresses a couple of items I speak of frequently on the blog….education and awareness for starters. This is a survey conducted to determine where technology can effectively help save money. Cambridge Consultants is seen regularly here on the blog usually when I speak of some of their new developed connected technologies and devices (i.e. the blue tooth inhaler) , and the Center for Connected Healthcare is a division of Partners Healthcare in Boston which represents the connected and IT side of their current program and offerings. My own feeling reflected below on education, and more:
Through “connected care” and telehealth the study advocates a pretty large base of potential savings, money and time. I talk quite a bit on the blog about “devices that transmit data” and how they will be implemented into healthcare, where the data goes, who gets to see it, and how the software accomplishes all of this. There is also a study ongoing at UCLA regarding participatory sensing as relates to medical data devices. The survey focuses too on how nobody is accountable as one common group and my feelings on this is that we are too fractured and the laws need to be more algorithmic centric, spell it out with technology and not just words as that only makes money for the lawyers. Algorithms built within the laws will make enforcement a simpler task for all with a “hands on formula” available for testing. BD
Ok now my comments are out of the way and here’s the study….BD
Respondents reveal potential for new Connected Health technologies while also identifying a knowledge gap and slow adoption rate
Cambridge, MA (September 18, 2009) – A patient-centered and coordinated approach to healthcare could save billions, according to a survey of leading healthcare providers, patients, payers and technology enablers. Focus on patient well-being will improve overall health outcomes and care coordination will reduce wasteful spending in defensive medicine, inefficient claims processing, medical errors and E.R. services, according to results released today by the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC) and Cambridge Consultants, a leading technology product design and development firm.
The MassMEDIC and Cambridge Consultants Connected Health survey findings come on the heels of an August report issued by the accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute, which found that wasteful spending in U.S. healthcare is estimated at $1.2 trillion annually, comprising over half of the $2.3 trillion spent in total. The greatest areas of excess, according to the report, are found in defensive medical practices ($210 billion) such as redundant, inappropriate or unnecessary tests and procedures, followed by inefficient healthcare administration (up to $210 billion) and the cost of care necessitated by preventable conditions ($100 billion). In many cases, healthcare specialists are motivated to employ tests or procedures based on concern over liability or increasing their income over the needs of a patient.
Of the survey respondents who were familiar with the Connected Health approach, 75 percent predicted that this new preventative practice could cut health care costs by up to 40 percent. An integrated Connected Health approach advocates an end to end solution, giving patients control as well as responsibility and connecting them with a wide network of healthcare professionals and online applications. This integration can be achieved through a range of technologies, beginning with electronic medical records (EMRs) and expanding outside clinical settings via connected devices such as glucometers and inhalers. This approach can improve medication adherence, enable early detection, reduce long-term treatment costs, and improve patient access to, and interaction with, healthcare providers.
Given the perceived benefits of a Connected Health future, the survey also reveals a worrying lack of knowledge about the new approach, with 40 percent of respondents saying that they were “not aware of Connected Health solutions or examples.”
“It is apparent that the survey results call for a concerted national educational campaign, for the medical community and the public at-large, on the virtues of using connected health solutions to improve patient adherence, engagement and clinical outcomes,” said Dr. Joseph Kvedar, Founder and Director, Partners Healthcare Center for Connected Health. “As early adopters of this philosophy at Partners, we have seen improvements in operational efficiencies in our hospitals, and with insurers and pharmacies alike, not to mention more active, engaged and, ultimately, compliant patients.”
While many respondents view Connected Health as a cost-saving alternative for U.S. healthcare, the great majority (90 percent) of those who responded to the question, believe widespread adoption will take at least four and potentially up to fifteen years. A narrow view of the Connected Health concept was also uncovered, limited in many cases to electronic medical records or remote monitoring.
“Effective and innovative Connected Health technologies exist in the market today, albeit in an uncoordinated and piecemeal fashion,” said Vaishali Kamat, Group Manager at Cambridge Consultants, and organizer of the survey. “But if we adopt a Connected Health mindset and improve interoperability, costs for linking patients with providers will come down and ignite realization of the explosive market potential cited in the survey. We are already seeing new players entering the healthcare space, deploying smart solutions targeted directly at consumers. We cannot ignore the potential that this has to improve the outcomes for all the stakeholders in the healthcare world.”
According to the survey, a leading factor holding back adoption is that no single owner is accountable to drive the solutions. Larger incumbent organizations such as insurers, institutional medical care providers, and drug or medical device companies are skeptical and slow to move, waiting to see the outcomes of recent political and other market developments.
“Fixing healthcare in this country should be our government’s highest priority,” said Thomas Sommer, President, MassMEDIC. “And we know that even with all the technology in the world, the political will must be there as well. Elected officials need to know about the incredible potential of Connected Health before it is too late as we begin to design new cost-saving measures into the healthcare system.”
Concurrent with the release of the survey results, MassMEDIC and Cambridge Consultants will today host “Delivering on the Promise of Connected Health,” a program highlighting the potential benefits that Connected Health could bring. Taking place at the Massachusetts Medical Society headquarters in Waltham, MA, the event will feature expert panelists that will provide in-depth analysis by presenting their experiences with Connected Health and a moderated discussion that will address key study findings and debate the challenges ahead.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology critical issues for clients worldwide. For nearly 50 years, the company has enabled its clients to turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies.
With a team of over 300 engineers, designers, scientists and consultants, in offices in Cambridge (UK) and Boston (USA), Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, transport, energy, cleantech and wireless communications. In 2009, the company was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. For more information visit: www.CambridgeConsultants.com.
Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, the European leader in innovation and high technology consulting. The Group’s 17,500 consultants, operating worldwide, cover the entire range of engineering specialties, including electronics, information technology, quality and organization. Altran offers its clients ongoing support throughout the innovation cycle, from technology watch, applied basic research and management consulting to industrial systems engineering and information systems. The Group provides services to most industries, including the automotive, aeronautics, space, life sciences and telecommunications sectors. Founded in 1982, Altran operates in 20 priority countries. In 2008, it generated a turnover of €1,650 million. For more information visit: www.altran.com.
The Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC) is the voluntary grassroots association of medical device manufacturers and associated companies in the Commonwealth. MassMEDIC is the only organization in New England dedicated solely to promoting the unique interests of the medical device industry. Visit us at www.massmedic.com.
The Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare in Boston, develops innovative and effective solutions for delivering quality patient care outside of the traditional medical setting. The Center engages in pioneering research in a wide range of connected health-related areas and works to advance the field through its convening and publishing activities. Its programs - which are being offered by large self-insured employers who wish to help employees better manage their health, to contain healthcare spending and to improve productivity and satisfaction - use a combination of remote-monitoring, online communications and intelligence, and technology applications to improve patient adherence, engagement and clinical outcomes. Participants are patients and providers at Partners-affiliated practices and hospitals throughout New England. Partners HealthCare was founded by Brigham and Women's and Massachusetts General Hospitals in 1995. For more information, please visit www.connected-health.org.