15 June 2012: [by: Josh Gottheimer and Maya Uppaluru] Imagine a wireless sensor embedded in your gym clothes, so small and lightweight that it is barely noticeable, that tracks your heart rate and calories burned as you exercise and sends the data to your mobile phone. Or a wireless heart monitor that warns a physician that her patient with congestive heart failure is experiencing severe symptoms, in time to intervene before an arrhythmia occurs.
These and other wireless health care innovations hold tremendous promise to transform health care delivery, not only by revolutionizing the way patients manage their own care, but also by cutting costs and increasing efficiencies across our health care system.
The U.S. spends about $2 trillion annually on health care expenses—17% of GDP and more than any other industrialized country. Chronic disease management accounts for 75% of our total health system costs, and because of that, many wireless health devices are targeting this very aspect of health care. Studies have found that remote patient monitoring reduced the risk of hospitalization by 47%, reduced hospital stay length, and reduced office visits by 65%.
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