New care delivery model might emerge from collaboration between two partners
Guess which famous health provider is partnering with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to encourage patients using home self-testing devices to regularly upload those data into an electronic medical record? It’s the Cleveland Clinic Health System. This project may point to a disruptive new model for laboratory testing.
It’s a pioneering arrangement. Microsoft’s HealthVault is interfaced with the eCleveland Clinic MyChart patient portal to create an interactive feature that collects data on from in-home medical devices used by patients with chronic conditions. The pilot project includes 460 patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure and hypertension. These patients use home blood pressure monitors, glucometers, and weight scales which are linked to the HealthVault platform personal health record (PHR) system.
HealthVault’s unique Connection Center supports some 50 devices from nine vendors. It allows biometic data from these devices to be uploaded directly to a patient’s HealthVault account. Healthvault feeds that data into the patient’s eCleveland Clinic MyChart. The new arrangement allows physicians to continuously monitor a patient’s values, rather than just during routine office visits every 120 days. If values are outside the normal range, the doctor can arrange to see the patient immediately.
This pilot is in response to the alarming rise in chronic diseases. C. Martin Harris, M.D., Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Information Officer, says this pilot will demonstrate how a comprehensive PHR system can empower patients and physicians to better communicate and manage chronic conditions. The goal is to improve efficiencies, to lower costs, and to improve patient outcomes.
The pilot project between Cleveland Clinic and Microsoft Health Vault pilot also represents an important first step toward a new care delivery model that could eliminate sending some diagnostic tests to clinical laboratories. By using the steadily-growing number of patient-administered tests and point-of-care monitoring devices now available in the marketplace, this care model may demonstrate how patient self-test devices can replace certain diagnostic tests traditionally done by clinical laboratories.
It is hoped that this care model would reduce physician office visits too. In fact, this care model would benefit a medical home environment. By allowing doctors to see less of a patient whose chronic conditions are controlled, this would increase the time available for a physician to focus on sicker patients.
What is significant about the collaboration between HealthVault and eCleveland Clinic MyChart patient health portal for pathologists and laboratory professionals is that it is a demonstration project involving the use of diagnostic tests that a patient can perform at home. Should the pilot project demonstrate the value of patient home self-testing, this would encourage more use of this type of laboratory testing.—P.K.