Over the past few weeks medtech has been preparing for Valentine's Day by showing love for remote patient monitoring. Three new couples are celebrating their first Valentine's Day together this year. They won't be concerned about reservations at a fancy restaurant or how many roses to buy but rather the health of older adults. These couples are trying to make remote monitoring of vital signs a common part of the healthcare landscape.
In December, Welch Allyn bought HealthInterlink, a startup focusing on post-hospital monitoring of hypertension patients. In January, Hoffman La Roche partnered with Qualcomm where they will store information from home anticoagulation metres in the cloud. This move shows that even drug companies can get in the partnering spirit of the times. Finally, this month Medtronic's patient monitoring subsidiary, Cardiocom, announced a partnership with the LHC Group, a US long term care provider. Cardiocom will supply devices and software to store vital signs data remotely so that healthcare providers can provide distance risk assessment, all in an effort to reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
All this movement and interest in remote health monitoring and cloud storage is helped by the FDA's free love approach to medical software and mobile tech. This month they cemented their plan to stop regulating data systems, which includes mobile technologies that allows grandma to view data recorded from sensors on her wrist. However, if that data is sent to a physician for interpretation then it is regulated. But I am sure true love (and the desire to expand markets) will prevail.
Perhaps all the love medtech has been showing for the burgeoning field of wearable health technology will make it easier for us to show that we care for those who stand to benefit the most from this technology: older adults.
A Happy Valentine's Day indeed.