April 2017

Chronic Diseases Demystified By Data

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A connected health platform can seamlessly integrate with a large set of health sources that track variables like biometric vitals, physical activity, behavioural traits, sleep patterns, diet, medication, genetics – every possible digital trace that a consumer leaves, writes VitaCloud, for Elets News Network (ENN).

Chronic health conditions affect millions of people in our country every year and the numbers are only growing. Diabetes, cardiac diseases, hypertension and obesity are among the most common and complex yet preventable of all health problems. According to the National Family Health Survey results announced earlier this year, it is estimated that over 10 per cent of Indians suffer from diabetes and an equal number are hypertensive.
By now, it has been largely established that genetic disposition, lifestyle and diet are the main contributing factors creating this health crisis. Current systems designed to tackle these diseases revolve predominantly around episodic events, with over-reliance on sparse data generated from clinical encounters. The current trends in today’s digitally inspired world present an opportunity to solve some of the biggest challenges in healthcare — cost and quality of care, patient-centricity and continuous engagement.

Connected Health Against this backdrop, the connected health model promises to usher in an era of personalised medicine and improved outcomes. By empowering both the patient as well as the caregiver with the relevant digital tools, data and in sights, it is possible to improve the quality and cost of care. To make the overall healthcare process more effective, a technology-enabled care model provides various opportunities like:

  • Delivering continuous and linked care, from the clinical context to the home setting
  • Bridging the time and distance gap between the caregiver and the consumer
  • Addressing the complete care continuum, from preventive strategies to curative episodes
  • Engaging other stakeholders like insurers, employers and the community, in extending healthy lifespans

A connected health platform can seamlessly integrate with a large set of health sources that track variables like biometric vitals, physical activity, behavioural traits, sleep patterns, diet, medication, genetics and others –every possible digital trace that a consumer leaves. By being able to follow such health parameters in real time, it is possible to track physiological changes that occur during an illness or over the course of a normal day – allowing for the creation of a smart health baseline for every individual.
Interventions can be triggered by recognising critical signals from these vast troves of data. Cognitive engines will detect any outliers and deviations from the normal, to notify both the consumer and care provider.

Case Example 1
Continuous Care

Technology-enabled care can help chronic disease patients by supporting self-management and treatment adherence. Smart recommendations could remind hypertensive patients to take a blood pressure measurement immediately after an exercise, or inform diabetic patients to adjust insulin intake prior to workouts.

Case Example 2
Transitional Care
One of the best use cases of connected health is remote patient monitoring of individuals in post-operative care. Physicians can have ongoing touchpoints with the patient, and get alerted in real time if signifi cant deviations are detected in their vital indicators, measured via in-home medical monitors and a mobile smartphone.
A connected health ecosystem holds the promise of reducing the cost and complexity of managing chronic diseases so that patients can stay well, remain digitally engaged with their caregivers, self-manage their condition and thus have total control of their health.

VitaCloud’s Approach
In this context, VitaCloud enables caregivers to offer personalised care, and empowers patients to make informed health choices.
VitaCloud’s secure and scalable cloud-based platform seamlessly integrates with hundreds of health sources including smart medical devices, wearables, mHealth apps etc – enabling caregivers to dynamically collate real-time data from daily health events, into a single story of consumer well-being.

VitaCloud offers three options for businesses to get started:

  • Fit: to track physical activity and fi tness levels of their end-users
  • Care: to effectively manage chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension
  • Heal: to monitor high risk patients who require close support

Each of these options comes with a confi gurable Healthcare Kit that includes both applications as well as optional smart health devices. Businesses can also use an API-only version, in order to integrate the VitaCloud offering directly into their own software.
VitaCloud’s goal is to help businesses manage, motivate and incentivize consumers, to extend their healthy lifespans. By deploying VitaCloud, physicians can offer better treatment to patients, Insurers can provide their policyholders with incentives to stay fi t, and corporates can drive towards improved workplace wellness.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors (http://vitacloud.io)

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