Kamat says that medical device OEMs should take advantage of Connected Health programs that can offer methods for cutting healthcare costs.
A little-known approach could hold the key to reducing healthcare cost burdens for patients, insurers, practitioners, and OEMs. Connected Health programs use a variety of tools, including remote monitoring, online communications, and technology applications to improve patient adherence, engagement, and clinical outcomes. “We promote a broad view of connecting patients with all of the stakeholders within the healthcare system,” says Vaishali Kamat, group manager, medical technology at Cambridge Consultants. “It's about adopting a connected mindset.”
With that goal in mind, MassMEDIC and Cambridge Consultants conducted a survey to gain perspective on the views of industry leaders. The survey revealed that 75% of respondents who have heard of the program believe that it can cut 40% of current health spending.
Connected Health has conducted trials in the fields of dermatology, cardiology, diabetes, treatment adherence, and prevention. For example, one initiative is integrated clinical environment, or ICE. This initiative is tasked with creating standards so that medical devices can plug and play to be interoperable. “Decisions can be made in one place, as opposed to having nurses and doctors look at 10 different monitors,” says Kamat.
But many device makers are unaware that such programs are available. The survey revealed that 40% of respondents said they were “not aware of Connected Health solutions or examples.”
“This is not a new field, but it's just starting to gain momentum as people look at new ways to manage costs,” Kamat explains. She says that Cambridge Consultants has an initiative to promote these programs, including white papers, technology development, and other events to continue to educate all sectors of healthcare.
The cost savings presented by Connected Health is also an opportunity to increase market share, says Kamat. This is particularly true, she says, when it comes to interoperability. The absence of devices that can talk to each other was noted in the survey as a leading barrier to cost-effective healthcare. Kamat says this is something to keep in mind as device manufacturers start developing new product platforms. “There is a significant opportunity for medical device and technology manufacturers to play a key role in enabling interoperability in the coming years.”
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