Connected home health
The need for new models of care
The escalating worldwide growth in the population of elderly, chronic conditioned and obese individuals—and the costs associated with caring for them—necessitates new models for care and collaboration. IBM is an early, contributing member of Continua Health Alliance, a non-profit alliance of healthcare and IT companies dedicated to providing a standard way for healthcare providers to exploit new sources of data from medical devices and sensors. With connected home health from IBM, we are striving to use sensor solutions for smarter healthcare.
Sensor solutions for smarter healthcare
Connected home health is an instrumented solution, using sensor-enabled medical devices to collect vital sign data from patients in the comfort of their own homes. Sensors gather data such as blood pressure, weight, glucose level, temperature and other vital signs and automatically transmit the results to a personal health system in the patient’s home. The results are also sent on to a monitoring service where all of the data is interconnected so the patient and their care team can keep track of their condition.
The data can be analyzed and monitored by the patient’s entire care team and recorded in the patient’s electronic medical record, so it is connected to all of the patient’s medical information. Access to this data gives providers and caregivers the information they need to make intelligent decisions about the patient’s care. If the patient’s weight drops, their blood pressure gets too high or other issues are reported, the care team is notified and can take action immediately. If an elderly individual who is being monitored falls or forgets to take their pills, the family caregiver or first responders can be notified to help.
Monitor vital health and wellness data
Data from sensors and medical devices located within a patient's home, when combined with IBM's business process management, event processing and business optimization capabilities, can deliver new insights to improve healthcare management across three key domains: chronic disease management, elderly monitoring, and health and wellness. Sensors can be used to monitor health and wellness on a variety of equipment, including:
- Blood pressure cuff
- Weight scale
- Glucose meter
- Pulse oximeter
- Cardiovascular and strength fitness monitor
- Medication tracking
- Heart strap
In addition, for elderly individuals who want to continue living independently, but need some monitoring to ensure they are safe, connected home health can allow providers and caregivers to use sensors to assist with daily health and monitoring tasks, and provide early warnings using bio-sensor data collection.
Software to empower patients
Our connected home health solution, based on IBM® WebSphere® Sensor Events, collects and correlates data and events from all types of medical devices, providing a platform to aggregate, analyze and visualize events. That data can be integrated into existing electronic medical record systems and disease management applications for management of diabetes, congestive heart failure, and other chronic diseases or medical conditions.
The solution is based on Continua, Integrated Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), Health Level 7 (HL7) and service oriented architecture (SOA) standards. In addition, IBM offers analytics and portal software for trending, scorecarding and visualization of the data collected from home medical devices. IBM Healthcare Accelerator combines with IBM WebSphere Portal software to help empower patients via an online patient portal.