As a health care professional, if you were in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 14th to 17th this year, you were most likely at the American Telemedicine Association’s annual conference, ATA 2016. If you were not there or if this event has not historically been on your radar… it should be!
The ATA’s annual conference is the “world’s largest and most comprehensive meeting focused on telemedicine, digital, connected and mobile health” and “the premier forum for healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs in the telemedicine, telehealth and mHealth space.”
It is a place where physicians, healthcare providers, and healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators all come together to share case studies, explore new ways to deliver care, and showcase groundbreaking new technology.
With so many talented people all in one place, it seems appropriate that each year several are recognized with ATA President’s awards for their achievements and contributions. This year, at ATA 2016, the President’s Award for Innovation in Remote Healthcare went to a company called Propeller Health.
Propeller Health uses connected sensor technology in combination with a mobile app to help patients manage asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder). In short, their sensor attaches to the patient’s inhaler, recording dosages, when they are taken, and utilizing the capabilities of the patient’s mobile device to combine this data with things like weather conditions and geographic location. This not only help patients manage the timing of their medication, but also to proactively prescribe preventative action to avoid episodes based on local conditions that have historically triggered their personal symptoms.
Propeller has a great video on their homepage as well as a “How It Works” page if you’d like to see their explanation of the technology.
Now on its own this is a great piece of technology worthy of the award it was given. It makes a dramatic difference in the daily lives of those suffering from asthma and COPD. Their studies show that using Propeller results in up to 79% fewer asthma attacks, 50% more symptom free days, and 50% more doses of medication taken on schedule. That is a huge jump in the quality of life for those using the technology. As a stand-alone, personal health management system it has huge value. However, as with most things, there is a bigger picture and potentially larger benefit when combined with other technologies and communicating the data to the patient’s physician.
Propeller, when combined with fitness tracking applications, could also correlate asthma and COPD data with heart rate and blood oxygen levels. It could create a secure transmission of data to a secure file in the patient’s Electronic Health Records so that any relevant events can be assessed by the patient’s physician during scheduled check-ups. It would also allow for alerts to be generated to alert the healthcare provider if events are becoming more frequent or more severe to proactively assess the current treatment plan and adjust it if necessary.
Propeller is a prime example as to how the Internet of Healthcare and all of its connected sensors can be leveraged to deliver better quality of care and reduce unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office which promotes efficiency and greatly reduces costs as well.
Congratulations to Propeller Health for their President’s Award this year at ATA 2016. If you didn’t make it to the show this year, maybe we can connect there in 2017 to explore the floor together!
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About Jeff Miller
Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org