Remote Patient Monitoring: Pharma’s challenge and opportunity

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Publication Date:
August 2020
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Lessons for pharma as remote patient monitoring drives fundamental change in disease prevention and management.

Accelerated by COVID-19, use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology has grown rapidly. Increasingly trusted by HCPs and patients and with a favourable regulatory environment, RPM is seen as key to delivering improved patient management and driving the preventative health agenda with its associated societal benefits. Tech giants are already muscling in on this sector, so where does that leave pharma? Commercial models based solely on developing drug therapies may not cut it in the future, so how can pharma companies benefit from current RPM opportunities and what are the long-term implications for their businesses.

RPM is key in the digital health transformation and a clear understanding of the future direction is essential. That is why, in Remote Patient Monitoring: Pharma's challenge and opportunity, we interviewed leading RPM experts to give you a clear perspective of the current thinking, technologies, applications, opportunities and challenges that are shaping this rapidly emerging technology sector.

Experts explore key issues...

  • What RPM opportunities has the COVID-19 pandemic presented to pharma?
  • What opportunities are there for RPM technologies to enhance and speed up clinical trials?
  • How could RPM change disease monitoring/management and what conditions have the greatest potential to benefit from RPM?
  • What are the barriers to patient engagement with RPM and how can these be overcome?
  • What are the essential ingredients for developing effective RPM partnerships with technology companies?
  • What are the trends in sensor technology that could improve RPM platforms?

What our experts say…

"Healthcare provider adoption used to be the big barrier, with doctors saying, 'I'm taking care of my patients fine. I don't need to do all this fancy stuff.' Well, now patients are not walking through the door and so doctors have got to figure out new ways of working with them. So, the barriers that were there in January are no longer there because of the circumstances we find ourselves in with COVID-19. Providers are much more open to using technology. Previously, they saw them as a little distancing. The biggest thing that has happened for RPM is the pandemic; it has changed the picture entirely."

"Pharma could certainly form relationships with tech companies to understand the nature of the information that could be gathered via RPM, what things are possible, and how they could use these devices. For example, in my company, we can ask somebody their blood pressure number or their temperature, which is easy. But we could also have them take a picture of the whites of their eyes, if somehow that was found to be important. We could have them take a picture of a wound healing, if that was important. We could have them do a tap test on a phone, which could measure dexterity or could be an indication of palsy or Parkinson's disease. We can give them a simple test that might be a dementia scoring technique. All of these things are possible with RPM. But I don't know that pharma thinks this way; you've got to understand how powerful these little things are. There was a study that was put out by the Mayo Clinic that said they have a machine algorithm where if a person speaks a couple of sentences, the artificial intelligence (AI) could detect cardiac disease in the tremors of the voice that a human ear can't distinguish."

"The ability to measure drug efficacy and safety has gone through the roof due to RPM – because the person can literally talk to you every day. RPM provides the ability to generate an event-based report to analyse if an event that occurs could be from the result of what they're doing. As an example, if you're asthmatic and you have a rescue inhaler, you're routinely reporting once a week about how things are going and how you're sleeping. But if you have an attack, you can report it immediately using an RPM. You can hit a button and send data in right at that moment, as if you were in the doctor's office during the event. Using the device, you can set up questions to be clinically relevant and capture the information at the moment; for example, were you outdoors? Were you exerting yourself? How many times did you have to use your rescue inhaler? With RPM, efficacy and safety monitoring is going to rise."

Case studies included

  • How Emocha and The Johns Hopkins hospital deployed a remote monitoring tool for healthcare workers and patients during COVID-19
  • How Vivify's RPM platform improved chronic care transition at the Union Hospital of Cecil County
  • How AliveCor is transforming cardiovascular remote care
  • CMS expands regulatory waivers for telehealth and virtual care
  • The European Medical Device Regulation and impact of COVID-19
  • How the NHS COVID contact tracing application faced significant challenges in implementation
  • How Valencell developed a simple, easy-to-use earbud that can accurately measure blood pressure

What to expect

  • A detailed examination of how remote patient monitoring is revolutionizing patient care and advancing the preventative medicine agenda with identification of the challenges and opportunities this technology presents to pharma
  • An examination of 11 key issues which pharma needs to understand and respond to
  • 15 targeted questions put to experts
  • Their perceptive responses that provided 53 insights supported by 45 directly quoted comments

Expert contributors

The experts who contributed to this report have been carefully screened to ensure they have at least:

  • 5 years' experience in medical technology; and,
  • 2 years' experience in RPM—either the design, development, testing or use of such devices.

Contributors to the report:

  • Christopher McCann is the CEO and co-founder of Current Health, an AI-powered, RPM platform he established in July 2015. Current Health monitors, manages and engages patients within their own homes, allowing healthcare providers to reduce costs, risks and readmissions, while improving patient outcomes and increasing revenue. Christopher is passionate about uniting patients and healthcare professionals using technology and developing new models that allow healthcare to be delivered globally.
  • Eric Rock is the Founder and CEO of Vivify Health (now part of Optum), an industry leader in connected care management and patient engagement. Vivify Health provided the first cloud-based Remote Care Management platform to connect providers with their patients via wireless mobile and connected biometric devices. The platform is being used by hundreds of healthcare organisations, hospitals and health plans globally. Eric has demonstrated repeat successes as an innovator and entrepreneur, having founded three highly successful software companies. He studied electrical and computer engineering at Oklahoma State University, with postgraduate studies in artificial intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management. He is an accomplished inventor with several patents.
  • Harry Soza is the CEO of CAREMINDr Corporation, a company he founded in October 2017. CAREMINDr is a mobile-enabled RPM technology that allows healthcare providers to monitor patients with chronic diseases. This technology represents a breakthrough in doctor-patient interaction, increasing patient engagement and lowering healthcare costs. Harry has founded and built several successful companies based on the use of information technology for healthcare applications. He holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He was also the CEO of Mobile Youth Sports Network, a novel communication and promotional channel.

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