Current Health — makers of an artificial intelligence-powered wearable remote patient monitoring platform — cleared a major regulatory hurdle last month in securing FDA approval. The U.K.-based technology startup now has its sights set on expanding throughout the U.S. market, largely by helping home health agencies adapt to the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) and by aiding health systems in their quest to prevent costly re-hospitalizations.
Founded in 2015 as snap40, Current Health has raised more than $11.7 million overall, with its most recent funding round led by London-based ADV.
The startup received FDA approval for its remote patient monitoring technology on April 24.
“That was a massive step forward,” Current Health CEO and co-founder Christopher McCann told Home Health Care News.
Current Health’s platform works by passively measuring a patient’s vital signs in real time, including, for example, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and skin temperature. Proprietary algorithms continuously analyze collected data, gathering a detailed picture of how a patient is doing and flagging any potential indicators of decline.
Patients using the technology also receive a customizable tablet equipped with a chatbot for Q&A, medication reminders and educational content.
McCann initially launched the Current Health platform with the in-patient setting in mind. Health systems, however, quickly steered him into the home.
“We wanted to make it easier to identify deteriorating patients on the general hospital floor,” McCann said. “Health systems said, ‘We like this idea. But we’d really love it if you could do it in the post-discharge or home environment.’ Once a patient leaves the hospital, you lose visibility on them.”
Current Health has mostly teamed up with U.K.-based health systems — mainly NHS Trusts — as it has waited for FDA approval. It is now beginning to find U.S. partners, including six of the largest health systems in the country.
So far, that list includes Mount Sinai and Banner Health.
“Real-time, at-home monitoring of vitals allows our team to proactively act on early signs of health decline, preventing avoidable hospitalizations,” Dr. Neta Faynboym, executive director of the Medicare Advantage Imaginarium at Banner Health, said in a statement.
Home health providers looking for innovative approaches to operationalizing PDGM are beginning to reach out to Current Health as well, according to McCann.
“PDGM is basically making the home visit no longer the driver of reimbursement,” he said. “If we can help home health agencies reduce the number of unnecessary visits, that’s a cost saving for them.”
With Dartford & Gravesham NHS in the U.K., Current Health’s tech contributed to a 22% reduction in home visits, plus a 92% patient adherence rate and a decrease in both length of stay and readmissions.
In its final payment rule for 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) defined remote patient monitoring in regulation for the Medicare home health benefit, while also including it as an allowable cost on agencies’ cost reports.
“You’ve got a lot more patients at home,” McCann said, noting that his company is already working with at least one big home health provider on a pilot basis. “How do you manage that risk? That’s exactly what we’re trying to help with.”