A new study conducted by Baxter International Inc. and published in PLOS ONE indicates healthcare systems in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain see value in supporting remote monitoring technology for chronic health conditions, including end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
The study indicates remote monitoring may improve access to care, decrease hospitalizations and reduce treatment costs by helping healthcare professionals manage patients’ treatments and improve adherence.
''Increasing healthcare costs and a growing number of chronically ill patients are driving the need for more affordable and innovative options, like remote monitoring that may support better delivery of home healthcare,'' said Giuseppe Accogli, president, Renal, Baxter. ''Baxter conducted this study to better understand the perceived multi-faceted value of remote monitoring, and the continued need for supportive funding and policies that may enable more patients to have access to the new technology.''
Baxter has launched AMIA Automated Peritoneal Dialysis (APD) system with SHARESOURCE, a cloud-based, two-way remote connectivity platform that enables remote patient management in the United States, and the HOMECHOICE CLARIA APD system with SHARESOURCE in Europe. SHARESOURCE is designed to provide more timely therapy decisions by enabling healthcare professionals to deliver individualized dialysis care and allowing on-demand access to treatment data while the patient is at home.
The study, ''Remote Monitoring of Chronic Diseases: A Landscape Assessment of Policies in Four European Countries''1 observed a growing number of funding approaches and policies supporting remote monitoring for chronic diseases, such as chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. The study also reports a survey of healthcare payers and policy makers in these countries indicating the value of remote monitoring is perceived to be moderate to high in these chronic diseases, as well as ESRD.
Remote monitoring and telehealth can be defined as the electronic exchange or transfer of a patient’s medical information allowing a healthcare professional to review and make medical or clinical decisions. This information may include cardiovascular and metabolic data such as blood pressure, blood glucose, body temperature and weight. For patients on home dialysis, additional information related to individual treatment results, data history and device settings can be transferred to the healthcare team, enabling earlier identification of problems.
Results demonstrated the value of remote monitoring was perceived to be moderate to high across all the chronic disease states. The most common factors contributing to highest ratings for remote monitoring included situations where patients:
- live in rural areas or without easy access to a doctor or hospital;
- have just been discharged from the hospital and require close monitoring or follow-up; or
- are suffering from rare, more serious or multiple diseases.
The study also explored overall policies and reimbursement for remote monitoring in these countries. Results found several policies and initiatives existed to promote adoption of remote monitoring, and most of the studied countries had initiated regional or national pilot projects to further evaluate remote monitoring. Overall, the study notes a lack of national tariffs. However, regional reimbursement programs for remote monitoring exist in some countries. Although public support for remote monitoring is present in the countries studied, implementation is generally inconsistent. It was also recognized that barriers to wider adoption exist including the need to align incentives and address any potential impact on physician budgets.