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Scripps Study Looks at Healthcare Savings With mHealth

August 9, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Scripps Health, the four-hospital system in San Diego, has launched Wired for Health, a clinical study aimed at evaluating whether the integration of wireless technologies, online social networks, and medicine can have a direct effect on healthcare spending.

Researchers at the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) have begun enrolling 200 study participants with common chronic conditions--such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart arrhythmias--who also have generated high healthcare costs over the past year. Participants are being recruited among Scripps Health’s 13,500 employees and their family members through HealthComp, a third-party administrator of healthcare services.

Half of the study participants will be issued a mobile health device relevant to their condition for use over a six-month period. The devices being used in the study are a Withings Blood Pressure Monitor, an AliveCor Heart Monitor, and an iBGStar Blood Glucose Meter. Data from these devices will be securely gathered and delivered via Qualcomm Life’s 2net Hub and Platform, a secure cloud-based platform that collects and transmits information from remote medical sensors.

Participants in the wireless intervention group will be able to engage in health sessions and track their conditions through a web portal or mobile device experience, powered by Qualcomm Life’s HealthyCircles Care Orchestration Engine, an enterprise platform designed for care coordination and management. HealthComp will leverage Qualcomm Life’s HealthyCircles care management toolset to monitor the health status of participants and to deliver the appropriate and relevant interventions. While control group members will not be given any of the mobile sensors, participants in both groups will be enrolled in HealthComp’s disease management program which includes one-on-one nurse education and training on their chronic condition, said Scripps officials.

The team of researchers at STSI, led by Cinnamon Bloss, Ph.D., will evaluate the frequency, purpose and cost of health interventions, such as medical screenings and emergency room visits received by the participants during the study period.

“We are excited to embark on one of the first robust, cross-industry studies using multiple mobile medical sensors to determine whether we can lower health care costs and resource consumption through wireless health technology,” Eric Topol, M.D., director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and chief academic officer of Scripps Health, said in a statement



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