Partners Healthcare system in Boston announced plans to spin-off a start-up that "gives patients the tools to be their own doctor" beginning with a wireless blood pressure cuff for at-home and on-the-go monitoring. The start-up is tentatively called "Connected Health" for now.
The initial product just finished a pilot with EMC. The cuff allows users to upload their blood pressure information to an online portal that their doctor can access, but the portal also provides users with coaching messages like "get more exercise" or "good job."
Additional monitoring tools for diabetes and acitivity/weight management are the next ones Connected Health is looking to offer. EMC and Partners have already signed up as the company's first customers and other local businesses are likely to follow suit, according to the company's founders.
So what's next? The start-up needs what most new companies are looking for and having trouble finding in this depressed economy: Venture capital, investments and a CEO.
One of the founders of the company is Partners Healthcare's Doug McClure, who has served as a spokesperson for the many pilots related to Connected Health's various tools. At the recent American Telemedicine Association meeting, McClure noted some of the wireless health tools that Partners had been piloting and noted his company's difficulties for finding interoperable technologies for these pilots.
"Opportunity is knocking," said McClure, "and chaos is following." McClure, who is the Corporate Manager for Partners' Center for Connected Health, described successful pilots that made use of mobile remote monitoring services for diabetes, hypertension and heart failure management, but lamented an inability to mix and match the solutions for patients who are trying to manage two or more of these conditions. The services require different devices on different networks and interface via different types of connections.