Remote monitoring program may help reduce hospital readmissions

Beacon Health System partners with Biofourmis for post-discharge program

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by Andrea Lobo |

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Biofourmis and Beacon Health System have partnered for an in-home monitoring program specifically meant for patients with complex chronic diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), during their post-discharge period.

Patient-reported data will be automatically collected, analyzed, and presented in a continuously updated dashboard visible to clinicians. This remote monitoring program aims to reduce hospital readmissions, improve clinical outcomes, and expand care access.

Patients with congestive heart failure are also eligible to be enrolled in the program in the first year, which will be launched across Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital, two of Beacon’s largest hospitals. Based on early results, the program is expected to expand to larger patient populations with other health conditions.

“With the Biofourmis solution, our patients with congestive heart failure or COPD can be discharged home safely and will be monitored more closely to prevent the need for readmission,” Sam El-Dalati, MD, chief clinical officer at Beacon, said in a press release.

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Estimated 16 million people live with COPD in US

COPD is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized by air flow blockage associated with long-term exposure to lung irritants, mainly cigarette smoke. It is estimated that 16 million Americans are living with COPD, a disease that leads to more than 650,000 hospitalizations per year. Statistics also indicate that 20% of patients diagnosed with COPD end up being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged.

The remote patient monitoring program includes Biovitals, a Biofourmis advanced analytics platform, along with patient-facing digital tools, a clinician dashboard with a mobile interface, medical devices and equipment, logistics, and clinical services.

With the Biovitals Analytics Engine, patients are evaluated based on their own clinical baseline data. This helps Beacon providers to evaluate each patient’s trajectory on the dashboard, where they are notified of any significant changes.

The platform’s goal is to simplify healthcare and improve patient health, by providing in-home access to hospital-level services, virtual provider networks for remote care, and innovative clinical trials. This may help to prevent hospital readmissions and accelerate therapy development.

“The solution will enable us to remotely monitor patients’ conditions, respond to symptoms, assist with medications and even conduct telehealth visits. Together, these tools will help us ensure these patients transition to home safely following their hospitalizations,” said John Bruinsma, manager of care coordination at Beacon.

Beacon providers will receive remote support from Biofourmis’ multidisciplinary care team, which includes qualified physicians, nurses, care navigators, and respiratory technicians, who will assist with patient monitoring and interventions, mainly overnight and on weekends.

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“Leading, innovative health systems like Beacon understand that preventing readmissions and improving outcomes for patients with complex chronic conditions requires next-generation monitoring, patient education and proactive clinical interventions,” said Maulik Majmudar, MD, chief medical officer and co-founder of Biofourmis.

“Biofourmis is supporting Beacon’s important initiative by delivering a continuously updated view of each patient’s health along with actionable care insights and a skilled clinical team to yield better outcomes while expanding access to care by allowing patients to remain at home,” Majmudar said.

Over the next months, Beacon physicians and teams from several fields of specialty will work together to plan, develop, and launch the program. The monitoring program is being supported by funding Beacon obtained from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which is part of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program.

Beacon is the largest local non-profit health system across northern Indiana and southwest lower Michigan, with 146 care sites, including eight hospitals with 1,240 beds, across seven counties. It has nearly 8,000 associates and more than 1,175 physicians and other providers who care for more than 4,000 patients a day.