Philips, Cerner Launch New Home Care Tech to Reduce Readmissions

Three big names in health care technology are furthering their reach into home care by offering new products to capture, share, and analyze patient data from wearable devices and sensors. The offerings—one from Cerner Corp. (NASDAQ: CERN) and Qualcomm Life, Inc., (NASDAQ: QCOM) and the other from Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA)—are meant to improve outcomes and prevent hospital readmissions.

Philips on Monday formally announced CareSage, a predictive analytics engine. It analyzes both historical and real-time patient data, which comes from health care providers and Philips Lifeline, the company’s wearable monitoring technology.

“One of the unique things about our monitoring center is that we collect all of the data and keep it meticulously organized with every interaction with a client,” Linda Schertzer, senior product manager for home monitoring, tells HHCN.

Philips devices not only include auto-alert technology that generates data when a user needs assistance, but they enable users to connect with the monitoring center routinely for a variety of reasons, including psycho-social support, Schertzer notes. This means that Philips has a rich trove of data that has been able to feed the CareSage algorithm.

The idea is that by reviewing the CareSage data, providers can identify at-risk patients and intervene with at-home care, preventing hospitalization.

The system is offered as part of Philips Lifeline Frail and Elderly Program, which is organized in three tiers with escalating capabilities at each. The third and final tier includes the predictive analytics engine, which identifies patients at a high risk for readmission within four weeks, including those who have had a decline in status and are flagged as “high certainty” for needing an intervention.

“More than half of frail and elderly patients are discharged without any long-term monitoring, leaving them cut off from their care while at home,” said Michael Hamaker, president of WellSpan VNA Home Care, in a written statement. “Staying connected with these patients in between check-ups can help keep them healthy and help prevent events that could send them back to the hospital, which is our ultimate goal in patient care.”

CareSage is built on the Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform, which the company describes as a “cloud-based platform that supports the secure collection and analysis of health and lifestyle data from multiple sources and devices.”

Currently, users will enroll patients interoperably through the EMR, and view alerts and operational reports sent through a link to a dedicated interface.

“The goal is to increase interoperability, integrating completely into the clinicians workflow as we utilize our cloud based HealthSuite Digital Platform,” Schertzer says.

Also on Monday, Cerner and Qualcomm Life, Inc.—a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc.—announced an agreement to capture data from medical devices and sensors in a person’s home, and then transmit that information to off-site care providers for better remote monitoring.

The initiative involves Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform, which collects and stores data from weight scales, blood pressure monitors and other wearable devices. That data now will be transmitted to the Cerner Millennium electronic health record, giving the care team more real-time visibility into what is happening with a patient at home. This should help reduce rehospitalizations by enabling better care coordination across the continuum, the companies stated.

Patients themselves also will have access to the data, via Cerner’s patient engagement solution called HealtheLife.

“Our collaboration with Cerner will enable expanded reach of a scalable, remote patient monitoring (RPM) solution and is a step toward the realization of widespread population health management,” stated Rick Valencia, general manager and senior vice president, Qualcomm Life, Inc., in a press release. “As the industry transitions from episodic care within acute care settings to continuous care, available away from the bedside, there is a need for a secure, medical-grade connectivity solution, which our 2net Platform provides.”

Qualcomm also is leveraging the Life’s 2Net platform in collaborations with sleep-replayed medical equipment provider ResMed (NYSE: RMD), King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky., and home care management specialists CareCentrix, the company announced last August.

Written by Tim Mullaney