In Part 1 of a 3-part series, we consider remote monitoring and telemedicine and their role in value-based healthcare (VBHC).

Today’s sensor technology is gaining in popularity among consumers, with research suggesting that by 2018 81.7 million adults in the U.S. will use some sort of wearable technology1. From tracking fitness levels to monitoring blood glucose — consumer technology is literally putting the power of preventative medicine in the palm of a patient’s hand.

Combine this trend with a decade-long decline in inpatient hospital care2 and a whopping 30 percent of today’s healthcare spend attributed to administrative costs3, and it begs the cost-savings question: how can we deliver high quality healthcare to patients, without the need for an office visit?

No one enters the healthcare system for the experience.

Scott Wallace of Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, Austin

“No one enters the healthcare system for the experience,” explains Scott Wallace of Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, Austin. “It’s not Disney or dinner out; it’s an experience that we endure to get someplace else. Care is an intermediate good. The ultimate goal is better health.”

“We’ve built our health systems around providing medical touchpoints and interventions in a traditional care setting,” explains Medtronic director of value-based healthcare strategy Jude Wimberger. “A certain kind of value is inherent with today’s system and each of these touchpoints has led to innovations in treatment options and improved outcomes. But it’s not the kind a value that’s based on a patient’s journey across a continuum of care. And that’s what needs to change.”

How can we collectively shift to care that strives for better health?

Experts agree that finding tools and solutions that empower an individual to contribute to the system — outside of the clinic — will play a major role in both keeping costs down and driving better outcomes. As a leader in chronic disease management — offering technology that senses, monitors and delivers solutions for patients both in and outside the hospital setting — Medtronic is positioned well to help healthcare professionals meet patient needs in new care settings.

By looking at treatment options and coordination across a care continuum, we can learn what a person needs and identify more efficient ways to get them access to the optimal care.

Jude Wimberger, Director of Value-based Healthcare Strategy for Medtronic

“By looking at treatment options and coordination across a care continuum, we can learn what a person needs and identify more efficient ways to get them access to the optimal care. Through data, tools and increased care coordination, we can build efficient systems that are more patient-centric,” says Wimberger.  “Focusing on value in this way has the potential to significantly reduce costs while the population prospers from smarter, connected healthcare.”

We are working with others to expand our remote monitoring and telemedicine solutions to further empower patients, treat more disease states, and develop systems for providers that reward outcomes over output. 

Watch for Part 2, when we address the question: What can data do for VBHC? A perspective on data driven healthcare.