Home Monitoring System Used for Chronic Disease Patients
The Health Buddy home monitoring device, developed by Mountain View-based Health Hero Network, is being used to link 7,000 seniors with their health care providers, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Health Buddy is a device that asks patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or congestive heart failure, a series of questions about their health status, such as blood sugar levels and specific symptoms. The collected data then is transmitted through a telephone line to the patient's health care provider or case manager for review.
The Health Buddy program is part of a larger federal government project to see if health IT or physician home visits can reduce Medicare spending. If these studies are deemed successful, Medicare would offer reimbursement for the services, the Chronicle reports. The Health Buddy device currently costs between $50 and $200 per month per patient. Medicare is focusing these technologies on patients with chronic illnesses because they account for the majority of Medicare spending (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/8).