Study: Wireless devices improve patient engagement, outcomes

A study from the Center for Connected Health indicates that wireless mobile technologies can positively impact patient engagement, clinical outcomes and operational workflow in remote monitoring programs, according to an announcement.

The results are based on a retrospective study of 30 patients enrolled in the center's Blood Pressure (BP) Connect program in which those who used wireless-based devices recorded significantly more frequent blood pressure readings and data uploads than patients using modem-based devices. Participants who used a wireless-based device engaged more frequently, and recorded a significantly higher number of measurements per day versus those in the modem-based group. 

In addition, the number of uploads per day was significantly higher in the wireless-based group versus the modem-based group. Moreover, participants who used a wireless device engaged earlier in the program, demonstrated by their significantly lower time to first upload. Time to first BP measurement, however, did not differ significantly between the groups.

"The results of this study show that data transmission technologies may potentially create barriers to patient engagement in remote monitoring programs, and that wireless devices are far more user-friendly than the older modem-based devices," said Kamal Jethwani, MD, MPH, of the Center for Connected Health, in a written statement. "Key success factors for wireless devices include ease-of-use, real-time transmission of data and increased device portability within patients' homes. We are learning how patients engage in remote monitoring programs based on the type of technology they use, which can impact program design, operational workflow and clinical outcomes."

In related news, the McKesson Foundation announced in October 2012 that it awarded a research grant to the Center for Connected Health in Boston, a division of Partners HealthCare, to develop a text messaging program to improve pain management in cancer patients. The study leverages text messaging and IVR technology to collect self-reported pain assessments, monitor the impact of pain on patients' daily lives, and provide tailored, multi-dimensional and supportive feedback.

Kamal Jethwani, M.D., corporate manager for research and innovation at the Center for Connected Health, and principal investigator for the study, said there is increasing evidence for the use of IVR technologies in mHealth interventions because it is "low cost, convenient, reliable and effective for symptom and treatment monitoring in chronic disease management."

To learn more:
- read the announcement