According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the West Wireless Health Institute will soon announce plans to conduct a clinical trial with Corventis, a remote heart monitoring company. Corventis makes use of a Band Aid-like wireless sensor-enabled patch that sends heart readings through Bluetooth to a patients' iPhone or BlackBerry. The data is then transmitted to a physician's office and the physician is alerted if any irregularities appear in the readings.
The West Wireless Health Institute told the Wall Street Journal that other device makers are looking to team up with the Institute to conduct trials of their own. For now, though, the focus will be on Corventis.
"The goal is to get it used in medicine, to get reimbursement, to shake up how medicine is practiced," Dr. Eric Topol, the West Wireless Health Institute's chief medical officer told the WSJ.
Topol is down in Washington D.C. for the wireless health event that CTIA organized. In a recent interview, Topol explained why the federal government should be focusing on wireless health instead of just EMR for its health reform plans:
"So far, [the government's recent support of health IT efforts has been] somewhat of a missed opportunity. There is so much interest on the medical records side, but the excitement and more imminent revolutionary potential is on the wireless sensor side. If they get used then they will bring about the outcomes we all want - improve outcomes, and improve costs. Even the economists are beginning to agree that these wireless sensors are a technology that can lower costs. That's rare since almost every new technology in medicine raises costs. So that's how the government could be enlightened," Topol told mobihealthnews. "This is a fast, burgeoning area that can help us see improvements in health and also drive costs down. EMRs don't clearly have that result. We can spend a lot of money but it's still unproven if EMRs will reduce costs over the longterm or reduce medical errors. Those are still concepts that are out there to be proven. In general, it's good that health IT is being pursued, but this area is a benign neglect. We will see if we can improve on that - no matter what, we will make some inroads. Hopefully the administration will take notice."
For more, read this article from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required)