Survey: Three in Five Americans with Chronic Disease Say Using Home Medical Devices Would Improve Their Health

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - November 30, 2010 - The majority of American patients support the use of home medical devices to manage and improve their chronic conditions according to a survey conducted by GfK Roper for Practice Fusion, the free, web-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) company. Almost half of Americans currently live with at least one chronic condition such as diabetes, asthma, COPD or heart disease according to the CDC. The survey found that interest in doctors monitoring patient health using remote medical devices was equally high for respondents with and without chronic conditions.

"Home medical devices can save the healthcare system money and also enable patients to live more independently while managing their chronic conditions," said Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion. "EHR systems are a key connection for linking these devices to patients and physicians. Practice Fusion is focusing our API development on medical devices for the start of 2011. Our innovation will help give patients the power to manage their own health and physicians to prescribe devices in a meaningful way."

For example, scales are recommended for use by patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) to track weight fluctuations that signal dangerous condition changes. Glucometers can help diabetic patients record their glucose levels and mood trackers can assist bipolar and depression patients manage medications.  New technology has made home medical devices affordable, but the connections to physician EHR systems have not been developed extensively and have limited their clinical use. Practice Fusion hopes to leverage its API to provide device connectivity to its community of 50,000 users and 5 million patients.

Key survey findings among those with one or more chronic condition:

  • 62 percent say that communication with their doctor using home medical devices would improve their health
  • Up to 57 percent respondents between the ages of 25 and 49 had were interested in home medical devices
  • Just 35 percent age 65+ were interested in home medical devices technology. Ninety percent of Americans age 65 or older are living with heart some form of chronic illness (CDC).
  • Men with chronic conditions were more interested in home monitoring devices (52 percent) than women (41 percent)

Other survey findings:

  • Respondents with and without chronic conditions were equally interested in home medical devices
  • Interest in these devices tended to decrease with age: 48 percent for those age 25-34 down to 34 percent for those age 65+

An integrated Electronic Health Record (EHR) is the gateway to help physicians access and utilize the data generated by these devices. Practice Fusion's platform provides a unifying model so physicians can more easily prescribe devices to patients, track vital health information for chronic conditions within the EHR, collaborate with colleagues and increase their focus on preventative medicine.

Practice Fusion is currently inviting the makers of home medical devices to connect through the company's EMR Integration and API. Device manufacturers should email [email protected] for details about connecting to the fastest growing EHR community in the US.

Raw results from the patient survey are available upon request. Practice Fusion can also offer physician sources who electronically share records with their patients and health IT experts to discuss the benefits of real-time, information-driven healthcare.

Survey methodology

The Practice Fusion home medical device study was conducted via omnibus survey on November 19-21, 2010. The GfK Omnibus survey is a weekly national phone survey of US households. Interviews were conducted from among a nationally representative sample of 1,008 adults age 18 or older.

About Practice Fusion

Practice Fusion provides a free, web-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to physicians. With charting, scheduling, e-prescribing, billing, lab integrations, referral letters, unlimited support and a Personal Health Record for patients,, Practice Fusion's EHR addresses the complex needs of today's healthcare providers and disrupts the health IT status quo. Practice Fusion is the fastest growing EHR community in the country with more than 50,000 users and 5 million patients. For more information about Practice Fusion, please visit practicefusion.com.

About Chronic Conditions

According to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, more than 133 million Americans report having at least one chronic disease. The total impact of these diseases on the economy is $2 trillion annually. Ninety percent of seniors have at least one chronic disease, and 77 percent of them have two or more chronic diseases, while 60 percent are between the ages of 18 and 64. This has placed tremendous demands on the health care system, particularly an increased need for the treatment of ongoing illnesses and long-term care services such as nursing homes; it is estimated that health care costs for chronic disease treatment account for over 75 percent of national health expenditures.

Press Contact
Helen Phung
San Francisco: 415.992.7726
[email protected]

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