Telemonitoring in Transition Care May Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Nyack Hospital evaluates use of telemonitoring to help CHF patients transition from hospital to home

NYACK, N.Y., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A clinical study is underway at Nyack Hospital to evaluate the use of cellphone-based technology to monitor medication adherence in discharged heart failure patients. The study is using the eMedonlineĀ® telemonitoring system developed by Leap of Faith Technologies to help patients transition from the inpatient to outpatient setting.

"Hospital readmission of patients within 30 days of discharge is a major issue," explains Nicholas Tsirkas, Director of Clinical Research at Nyack. "According to Medicare claims, 19.6% of Medicare beneficiaries who had been discharged from a hospital were re-hospitalized within 30 days, and 34.0% were re-hospitalized within 90 days."

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission estimated that approximately three-quarters of readmissions were preventable, amounting to $12 billion in annual Medicare spending. Clinical studies have shown that over 50% of heart failure patients do not receive recommended therapy, and of those that do, only 40-60% adhere to the regimen.

The eMedonline system is designed to facilitate compliance data collection and help manage dosing. It was developed by Leap of Faith Technologies under a grant from the National Institute on Aging and a contract with the National Cancer Institute. It has consistently demonstrated adherence rates of 98%, along with clinically significant improvements in self efficacy, in randomized control studies among chronic disease and cancer patients.

In the Nyack study, eMedonline is implemented as a "smart service" that leverages the wireless capabilities of RFID and cellphone technology by turning a cellphone into a medication sensor. Medication data read from a smart label (a label with RFID inlay) on the medication package is collected wirelessly by the phone in real time and helps verify that patients are taking the right drug at the right time while monitoring patient reported outcomes.

All data collected from the phone is sent wirelessly to a secure server where it is available for clinical review and analysis. Alerts can be triggered, enabling intervention in the case of missed medications or adverse events before they become a significant health risk.

"We know that 26.9% of heart failure patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge," said Tsirkas. "Will an improved follow-up program reduce rehospitalizations?" he asked. "That's what we're trying to find out."

Amy Massimo


Nick Tsirkas

[email protected]

SOURCE Nyack Hospital