Edinburgh, Scotland-based patient monitoring wearable and platform company Current Health (formerly snap40) has cut deals with fellow connected monitor maker VivaLNK and spirometry device company MIR (Medical International Research) to add axillary temperature and spirometry measurement capabilities to its offering.
Enabled by a 510(k) clearance posted by the FDA back in July, these types of partnerships are the first in what Current Health views as a long-term effort to expand the breadth of its remote monitoring platform.
"We’re building out around our continuous wearable all [of] these other devices to capture other metrics, and that was what the FDA cleared,” Chris McCann, CEO and cofounder of Current Health, told MobiHealthNews. “In our view, both of those devices are best in class for monitoring of spirometry and axillary temperature.”
Current Health’s upper-arm wearable monitor and platform was cleared just a few months ago for use in post-acute care. Patients using the platform receive the tracker alongside a tablet that provides a Q&A chatbot, educational content, medication reminders and support for video or text conversations with a clinician. These clinicians, meanwhile, can follow their patients’ vitals through a provider-facing interface and intervene when necessary.
The company’s wearable is already capable of continuously monitoring upper arm skin temperature, pulse rate, oxygen saturation and movement, among other things. However, McCann said that Current Health’s ultimate goal is to provide clinical teams with a more fleshed out view of at-home patients.
“What we are really trying to do is build as wide a physical picture of the patient’s health as possible, and then we also get them an application they can use to report symptoms, so we’re also capturing the behavioral side of their health, and we’re trying to use both that broad physical picture and that broad behavioral picture to identify who is at risk earlier. So, we’re going to keep building more and more and more of these integrations to keep giving us a better understanding of human health.”
McCann noted that the company is also closing the gap on deals that would bring glucose monitors and INT (international normalized ratio, a measurement of blood coagulation often tracked for patients taking blood thinners) to the platform, with the ultimate goal of adding “more than 50 integrations by the end of next year.”
WHY IT MATTERS
Although initially founded with the intent of enabling better in-hospital care, McCann said that Current Health’s focus has quickly shifted to enabling comprehensive in-home monitoring following an acute episode. Of note, he said that the company is targeting a specific strategy in which its platform will support a curated selection of connected sensors and devices, as opposed to one in which many devices are compatible but not specifically supported.
This approach is in its earlier stages with the VivaLNK and MIR integrations, but McCann said that Current Health’s budding platform is already beginning to attract some other device makers.
“In fact, it’s almost starting to turn around now that these partners are coming to us. And I think that part of that is we have that wearable that does continuous monitoring, which gives us a leg up over other platforms that are trying to integrate devices,” he said. “I think the other part is that there are a lot of people trying to build what they would call ‘device-agnostic platforms.’ That’s not true in our case. We’re trying to be quite opinionated about the devices we integrate in our platform, and we focus heavily on what is the single best device for the metric or metrics we want to capture, and integrate really deeply with that one to create the best patient experience.
THE LARGER TREND
The “hospital at home” movement driven by at-home remote monitoring technologies offers an opportunity to limit expensive hospital stays while keeping patients happily with their loved ones. An April poll found that many physicians and patients are interested in employing remote monitoring technologies, although some respondents still expressed concerns about data security.
There is also no shortage of remote monitoring devices and platforms to go around. Biobeat’s cuffless blood pressure, oxygenation and heart rate monitor recently received 510(k) clearance, while Bardy Diagnostics raised $35.5 million for its remote monitoring patches in the spring. Spry Health’s COPD wearable also snagged a clearance around that same time.
As far as platform-based approaches go, BrightInsight’s medical device IoT services are looking to fit the bill across a broader range of services beyond remote monitoring alone.