Health & Wellbeing

Telehealth a New Solution to Healthcare for Aging Adults

Telehealth a New Solution to Healthcare for Aging Adults
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Viterion TeleHealthcare has demonstrated a pilot program designed to address the growing requirement of home care agencies to link the use of telehealth technology to improved cost and patient outcome benefits.The Viterion (100 or 500) TeleHealth Monitor, which is designed for homecare use by patients following an acute episode that required hospitalisation, is small, flexible, and simple-to-use. The Monitor is made available to patients by homecare professionals, providing them with a management tool to supplement in-home visits with frequent monitoring and communications with the patient.According to the US National Association for Home Care & Hospice 2003 Home Care report, 7.6 million individuals who require services because of acute illness, chronic conditions, permanent disability, or terminal illness require home care services. American home health spending totalled approximately US$45 billion in 2001.The number of persons with chronic illness is growing at an astonishing rate because of the rapid aging of the population and the greater longevity of persons with many chronic conditions.Recent surveys suggest that fewer than half of U.S. patients with hypertension, depression, diabetes and asthma are receiving appropriate treatment.The escalating health care costs of people with chronic diseases account for more than 75% of US$1.4 trillion medical care costs.'With an aging population and the rising costs of healthcare, homecare agencies need to implement cost-effective solutions that demonstrate improved outcomes. We believe incorporating telehealth into the agency's services may do just that,' stated Pramod Gaur, Ph.D., President and CEO of Viterion TeleHealthcare. 'We are excited to work with OCS in developing tools that will potentially enable customers to demonstrate the value telehealth provides in improving patient outcomes and cost savings when compared to conventional patient management approaches.'The pilot program will use Viterion TeleHealthcare technology and an OCS developed program using the national OCS database of approximately 8 million records to track individual patients in order to evaluate the efficacy of telehealth technology. The OCS program is designed to enable homecare agencies to compare patient outcome and cost data by disease-state with and without the use of telehealth technology, along with comparing their agency's outcome data with other agencies. OCS and Viterion TeleHealthcare will assess the usefulness of the program to provide such measurements at the end of the pilot program.'We are thrilled to work with Viterion to evaluate the impact of telehealth on patient outcomes and resource use,' said Amanda Twiss, President of OCS. 'We believe an objective benchmarking program can help demonstrate the efficacy of telehealth services and will ultimately lead to higher quality and enhanced efficiency and care.' About Viterion TeleHealthcare LLCViterion TeleHealthcare LLC, a Bayer - Panasonic Company, was established in January 2003 as a joint venture between Bayer HealthCare LLC's Diagnostics Division and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Based in New York, Viterion TeleHealthcare LLC markets products and services for the growing telehealth market in the United States. Viterion products offer comprehensive yet flexible solutions, which can be tailored to individual needs.About OCSFounded by a team of home care professionals in 1992, OCS is an information and data company that specialises in benchmarking and performance improvement services for home health agencies. OCS maintains the industry's largest and most comprehensive proprietary benchmark data warehouse, which is the only source of integrated patient-level data across all home health business components: clinical outcomes, financial/profitability, and visit utilisation. OCS augments this database with the largest repository of agency-level operational characteristics. OCS leverages their database to provide the industry with education, market research, and products to guide agency management decisions.CAPTIONPramod Gaur, Ph.D., left, president and CEO of Viterion TeleHealthcare LLC, a Bayer - Panasonic Company, demonstrates the Viterion 500 TeleHealth Monitor to Lupe Wissel, right, staff director for U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging for Senator Larry E. Craig, on Capitol Hill, Tues., March 16, 2004, during a telehealth technology demonstration of solutions for healthcare for aging adults. (Robin Weiner/U.S. Newswire)

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