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How Lung Fluid Monitoring can help reduce Hospital Readmissions in Heart Failure Patients

According to data from the American Heart Association*, about 5.7 million adults in the United States alone have Heart Failure (HF). Costs related to heart failure reach some $30 billion each year, and represent a significant source of expenditures for both the health care system and the insurance industry.

One of the most significant components of these high HF costs is the constant readmissions experienced by HF patients. Millions of patients, typically elderly people, are admitted to and discharged from the hospital because they have no reliable means to assess their condition when they leave the hospital or at their point of care. Through extensive research, the Sensible Medical Core team identified this urgent need in the health care system, and determined that a device allowing HF patients to remotely monitor their lung fluids would fill this gap in the market. The idea for the ReDS™ system was born.

ReDS™, developed by Sensible Medical, is a miniature radar system employing low-power electromagnetic energy that provides accurate lung fluid measurements in just 90 seconds. Originating in the defense technology that allows the military to see through walls and find survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings, Sensible Medical developed the ReDS™ system as a non-invasive vest worn over the patient’s clothes that sees through the chest ‘walls’ and inside the lung.

To better understand how the ReDS™ system addresses the challenges of lung fluid monitoring for HF patients, we spoke with Mr. Amir Ronen, CEO of Sensible Medical. Amir reviewed the need in the market from two perspectives; medical and economical.

The Medical Aspect: Assessing the Status of HF Patients
The lung fluid status of HF patients is assessed at multiple points throughout the process of diagnosing and treating heart failure: at the ED, during admission to the hospital, at the community point of care, at nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and CHF wards before discharge. With an advanced and accurate assessment, patients can enjoy better and faster treatment, at whichever point across the continuum of care they are being measured for lung fluid.

“Accurately assessing lung fluid levels in HF patients is the missing link today in determining when patient hospitalization is necessary, when patient discharge should occur, and in helping to ensure that the lung fluid status of HF patients is safely and consistently monitored when they are at home.”  Mr. Ronen said.

The Economical Aspect: Addressing the Top Expenditure of Hospitals Today
Beyond the obvious improvement to the patient’s quality of life offered by ReDS™, there is a huge value in offering an absolute, actionable, and accurate lung fluid measurement system. Heart Failure has a very large impact on health economics. For almost any hospital today, the largest expenditure is heart failure. Furthermore, the accountability for HF treatment costs is increasingly being transferred from the payers, insurance companies, to the providers. Hospitals become accountable not only in the hospital, but also in patient homes, extending their accountability for the patient throughout the continuum of care.  “In order to help hospitals avoid readmissions and unnecessary hospitalization costs, ReDS™ can assist by providing accurate lung fluid measurements that can be used to better determine when hospitalization is truly necessary. ”  Mr. Ronen said.

Next up: The Addressable Market Segments
Now that we have identified two key benefits in using ReDS™, in our next post, we will look specifically at the relevant market segments from the hospital, through community point of care, to the home. We will share typical scenarios in these PoC to show how an accurate, non-invasive lung fluid measurement can benefit both the caregiver and HF patients.

Stay tuned!

* http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_failure.htm