Roche Diagnostics has launched a Bluetooth-connected device for testing blood coagulation in Europe. The CoaguChek INRange system has received a CE Mark, and an older version of the device without the Bluetooth connectivity is already available in the US and in Europe.
The Bluetooth connectivity allows patients undergoing Vitamin K antagonist therapy to self-monitor their blood coagulation with a finger-prick, and then send those results wirelessly to their care provider. According to Roche, patients who self monitor every three days have a 92 percent likelihood to stay in their ideal PT/INR range.
“As healthcare systems face continued pressure to deliver improved access to care at a lower cost, increased connectivity between HCPs and patients becomes even more important,” Roland Diggelmann, COO, Roche Diagnostics, said in a statement. “This innovative technology continues the CoaguChek legacy of setting the standard in coagulation monitoring by providing high quality, convenient care, while optimising outcomes for patients. This is another proof point towards our aim to position patient self-testing as the standard of care to monitor VKA therapy.”
The device allows patients to supplement their readings with comments. It also shows patients where their reading is in comparison to the previous readings to make ti easier to track trends, as well as indicating whether it's in their expected range. Through the device, patients can also set up onscreen reminders for doctor visits and to take medications.
The 60-second finger prick test stands in contrast to a standard of care that often has patients waiting two to three days for lab results taken during frequent hospital visits.
"In a clinical environment, we need to establish a model of care that empowers patients, helping them to understand their health condition and allowing them to take responsibility of their own health care needs,” Juan Carlos Souto, a physician at the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona, Spain, said in a statement rom Roche. “The new technology will enable us to access the test results in the clinic’s database, to keep track of the individual patient’s status and to measure the quality of care provided by our clinic."
In the US, Roche Diagnostics partnered with Qualcomm Life last year to capture patient data from connected devices, starting with anti-coagulation meters. Through the Qualcomm 2Net hub, that partnership will provide similar connectivity. That system uses a "SmartClip" attached to the top of a CoaguChek meter to allow the meter to communicate with the 2Net Hub.
Interestingly, Roche Diagnostics also has an app available internationally to educate customers about the non-connected version of CoaguChek. The app, CoaguGame, seems inspired by the old computer game Pipe Dream, where players connect warfarin pipes to complete a CoaguChek reading.