Four Startups That Use Sensors for Remote Patient Monitoring
Adapted from the book “How AI Can Democratize Healthcare” by Michael Ferro and Robin Farmanfarmaian
The remote patient monitoring industry has grown dramatically over the past 4 years. There are many different wearables and sensors that have gone mainstream and have also been integrated into healthcare, including the Apple Watch, Fitbit, AliveCor, Omron Blood Pressure Watch, the Oxitone Sp02 Watch, and many more devices.
Medicare has been reimbursing for Remote Physiological Monitoring for years, and in 2022 added new CPT codes around RTM, Remote Therapeutic Monitoring, specifically in respiratory and musculoskeletal (MSK). Because Medicare does cover these applications and services around remote patient monitoring, over the next 5 years remote patient monitoring will continue to grow.
Co-founder & CEO Daniel Perez
Hinge Health is a musculoskeletal (MSK) therapy platform that uses in-home sensors and advanced computer vision technology combined with one-on-one virtual coaching. Hinge has orthopedic surgeons, physicians, licensed doctors of physical therapy and board certified health coaches so members have a full clinical team around them. They have partnered with over 600 employers and health plans.
According to a study published in JAMA in 2016, musculoskeletal disorders collectively resulted in $380.9B of healthcare spending — the most expensive of any category that year, including the aggregate of cardiovascular diseases.
Founder & CEO Nan-Wei Gong
The FIGUR8 system uses a Biomotion FUSION Sensor to measure joint motion and muscle function with high accuracy for Musculoskeletal (MSK) problems.
FIGUR8’s product is a set of sensors a user wears on their body in conjunction with AI-enabled software. The sensors capture data on the body’s positioning: the bones, muscles, and joints are digitized in minutes, creating a reflective image of the user on the computer. Because sensors are highly portable, people can be measured and digitized anywhere and anytime, in minutes. FIGUR8 initially launched in 2019 for neck and back pain, and are expanding to other areas of the body including knee and lumbar pain.
FIGUR8 is currently in use by Fortune 500 companies, in addition to professional sports teams like the Red Sox. The reason is clear — not only does FIGUR8 track progress over time, but they are creating a giant database in conjunction with the data from the partnership between the MIT Media Lab and Mass General Hospital. With that data they can help a company design training programs for employees. For example, Amazon has a number of workers with MSK injuries in their warehouses. By collecting data on both the warehouse training sessions and on workers doing their job, FIGUR8 can help a company design a training program that reduces the risk of injury. That same data can be used in many ways beyond training and reducing the risk of injury. For instance, it can help an insurance company create more accurate policies for employers.
Founder & CEO David Berz, MD, PhD, MPH
Alacrity Care is a remote patient monitoring and data analytics company focused on oncology. Oncology treatments are high-cost, toxic and high-risk. For instance, breakthrough and cutting-edge Immuno-Oncology treatments induce a fever 45% of the time. Alacrity Care works with large pharma companies during their clinical trials in addition to normal oncology infusions like FDA approved chemotherapy. Alacrity Care uses a patented system to monitor vital signs 24/7 including the EEG, EKG, blood pressure, pulse-ox and blood labs in addition to patient recorded symptoms.
The Alacrity Care platform and team of oncologists analyze the patient’s data streams and alerts the care team and patient in real-time where there might be a medical problem soon that could be avoided by intervening now. For example, neutropenia is a side effect of cancer treatments that makes patients much more susceptible to life-threatening infections. The earlier that problems like neutropenia are caught, the easier and more successful they are to treat, which in some cases, can save the patient’s life.
Founder & CEO Kent Dicks
Life365 is a remote patient monitoring company that partners with clinics and healthcare professionals to monitor their patients at home.
Life365 integrates into existing medical practices and has programs that target specific diseases or disorders like hypertension, weight loss, diabetes, and cardiac care. The way it works is Life365 sends a box kit of Bluetooth-enabled medical devices to the patient’s home, specific to their condition. The diabetes box kit includes a glucose monitor, blood pressure monitor, and a scale. Other box kits may include pulse oximeters, thermometers, or EKG monitors. The data is automatically uploaded to the cloud and integrated into the patient’s hospital EMR. The software detects if any of the data from the clinical grade monitoring devices are outside the predetermined range and alerts the clinician and patient. They also have 24-hour nurses on call, in addition to coaching, education, and can enable a reimbursable telemedicine visit for the clinician. In 2022, the four qualifying Medicare CPT codes for RPM reimbursement come out to about $155/month per patient. If a medical practice has 100 Medicare patients using RPM, that is an additional $15,500+/month of revenue.
Check out more of the startups from the book on DemocratizingHealthcare.ai/startups
Adapted from the book “How AI Can Democratize Healthcare” by Michael Ferro and Robin Farmanfarmaian available on Amazon