Cleveland Clinic, Microsoft home monitoring pilot yields "significant" results

March 1, 2010 by MedCity News

Cleveland Clinic researchers find a "significant change in the average number of days between physician office visits for patients" who used home monitoring devices.

MedCity News

By Mary Vanac

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The use of at-home medical devices to connect doctors and patients via the Internet can help both groups more efficiently manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure, according to research at the Cleveland Clinic.

In December 2008, the Clinic partnered with Microsoft Corp. (NSDQ:MSFT) in a pilot to monitor patients who have chronic conditions at home. The pilot paired the Clinic’s electronic health record system, which patients know as MyChart, with Microsoft’s online HealthVault, which enabled patient statistics such as blood pressure readings to be stored online and accessed by Clinic doctors.

Nearly half of Americans have been diagnosed with at least one chronic condition, accounting for 75 percent of nation’s healthcare spending, the Clinic said.

"The prevalence of chronic disease is rising at an alarming rate in the United States, absorbing an ever-increasing portion of the nation’s healthcare dollars," said Dr. C. Martin Harris, chief information officer for the Cleveland Clinic, in a written statement. "If we are to lessen this strain on our nation’s economy and healthcare system, we have to change our thinking about how and here healthcare should be delivered, while developing innovative, cost-effective solutions that allow patients to proactively manage their healthcare."

More than 250 participants enrolled in the pilot: 68 percent with hypertension, 26 percent with diabetes and 6 percent with heart failure. It was the first physician-driven pilot nationwide to follow more than one chronic disease remotely, the Clinic said.