Report: Remote monitoring shows great potential in chronic, elder care

Remote patient monitoring is among seven technologies with great potential to improve care of chronic conditions, reduce healthcare costs and maximize the independence of older adults, according to a study from the Center for Technology and Aging, an Oakland, CA-based public health research organization. "These technologies are particularly useful for the elderly, chronically ill, and people who have trouble accessing traditional sites of care," the report says. The research group notes that the Veterans Health Administration already is making wide use of remote monitoring, while other large delivery networks--like Kaiser Permanente and Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound--are testing patient self-management and other means of easing the burden on clinical staff and emergency services.

The briefing paper looks at seven domains of technologies that have the greatest potential for rapid adoption, a sustainable long-term business model, and that are most likely to be aligned with policies that will improve outcomes and save money. Mobile and wireless devices also could play a role in medication optimization, disease management, assistive technologies, remote training and supervision and social networking, according to the report.

The center is preparing to launch a grant program to help others develop and deploy such technologies, and will release its first request for proposal in September. The organization considers the domains of assistive technologies, disease management, and remote training and supervision not yet ready for "immediate grantmaking," and feels that social networking and cognitive fitness and assessment are too new for rapid diffusion in healthcare, though it's clear that social networking has taken off among the general public.

For more:
- download the briefing paper (.pdf)
- read the Center for Technology and Aging press release