Is Wireless Monitoring Preventive Care?

If so, preventive care is about to get expensive!

When the sensor, the size of a grain of sand, is integrated into a drug tablet or capsule and activated by stomach fluid, it signals when the medicine was taken to a patch on the patient’s body. The patch relays the information along with the person’s heart rate and other medical details to a caregiver’s phone — all without a visit to the doctor…

Connecticut research firm Nerac estimates that by 2020, “at least 160 million Americans will be monitored and treated remotely for at least one chronic condition.”

More from Steve Johnson in The Dallas Morning News.

Comments (4)

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  1. Virginia says:

    I think we’ll see the cost of electronic monitoring decline over the next several years. It’s going to get much, much cheaper to collect and analyze data, and there will probably be huge benefits as a result.

  2. Linda Gorman says:

    And if you don’t take the pills, as directed, then Big Brother will modify your behavior with fines, confines, bullying, or a denial of care.

    Can your body take the 5th?

  3. John R. Graham says:

    Whether it’s expensive or invasive will depend upon how it gets paid for. I found it strage that the PWC survey asked people whether they would pay for such remote monitoring directly. I doubt the market would evolve like that.

    I suspect that this should be bundled (to use one of this blog’s favorite concepts) – but I’m not quite sure how.

    If the monitoring device (as small as a grain of sand) is inside the pill, it has to be inserted by the pharmaceutical manufacturer. So, does the drug maker pay the medical-device maker, or does the medical-device maker pay the drug maker to insert it?

    Then, the doctor who prescribes it has to be committed to participating in the monitoring – coaching the patient or whatever. So, do doctors willing to participate prescribe the more expensive “monitoring pills” and doctors who do not believe value is added prescribe today’s “dumb pills”?

    It starts to look like a sort of managed-care plan where the patient pays a subscription (or concierge) fee that covers all costs, including the pills, and the doctor pays for the pills – like in oncology.

    The more I think about it, the more I conclude that succesful adoption requires patients – not 3rd-party payers – to control the payments.

    What is pretty much guaranteed not to work is a separate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code added to the Expanation of Benefits and invoice!

  4. Brian says:

    This is among the most interesting of topics to discuss these days, but I agree with Linda……pill monitoring is just creepy and intrusive.
    Also, I don’t think it will be “160 million people” by 2020. Probably more like 20 at that point if even that, but I also think that this type of electronic monitoring will be rejected by a lot of people, so even 160 million at any point in time is in doubt.

    People need to resist this at almost every level.