illumisoft is currently in the process of creating a customizable remote patient monitoring platform, 1SRCE, for use by health care providers, researchers, and patients. 1SRCE can be used to collect and track information from patients with a variety of chronic conditions that require continuous management by both the provider and the patient. These conditions include diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, asthma, weight loss or gain, heart conditions, and mental health conditions, including addiction. Patients and providers can also use 1SRCE to track symptoms such as high blood pressure, and to log information related to treatment plans, including medication, nutrition, and exercise.
Because 1SRCE is a customizable platform, physicians can determine the data they are interested in collecting from a patient. Some of this information can be acquired through logging and self-reporting, but much of it is captured automatically from Bluetooth-enabled and cellular devices—the ever-expanding collection of mobile health devices that make up the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). 1SRCE can link to any of these devices, including weight scales, pulse oximeters, blood glucose monitors and continuous glucose monitors, and a range of wearable devices to track various kinds of activity. Other, more specialized devices that 1SRCE can link to include blood pressure monitors, sleep apnea monitors, heart monitors, specialized monitors for dementia and Parkinson’s disease, breathing apparatuses, spirometers, and fetal monitors. Significantly, especially for researchers, developers at illumisoft have experience linking to and gathering usable data from devices that are still in development. Additionally, 1SRCE can be customized to include educational materials, resources, ecological momentary assessments, and just-in-time adaptive interventions, depending on the needs of its userbase.
1SRCE includes both a provider and a patient portal. An cross-platform (iOS/Android) mobile app for patients enables them to monitor their own health and track their progress.
"Remote patient monitoring represents a massive change for the health industry. We now can go to where people actually live their lives and stay connected over time and distance."
Reasons for Creating 1SRCE
Developers at illumisoft had a lot of experience providing the technical expertise necessary for remote patient monitoring—linking to Bluetooth and cellular devices, capturing data from them, and building and designing user interfaces that include logging capabilities, reminders, and data visualizations for providers, researchers, and patients. In the process, we also learned about the many benefits of remote patient monitoring, and this motivated us to create our own platform.
Remote patient monitoring enhances treatment, care, and preventative management for chronic conditions, and it has been shown to provide better health outcomes. In part, this is because it empowers patients by enabling them to become active participants in their own care. It also provides both patients and providers with more and better data. Because measurements are being taken at home, rather than at a clinic, patients are assessed more frequently and in a more natural environment.
This ecological data is extremely valuable—it enables providers and patients to monitor physiological symptoms that might be missed if they relied exclusively on measurements taken at the office. Dr. David Voran is an associate professor in the School of Medicine at University of Missouri-Kansas City with expertise and biomedical informatics and community and family medicine, who has provided illumisoft with feedback on 1SRCE. When asked about the benefits of remote patient monitoring, he noted that repeated at-home measurements “enable more frequent interventions and often result in better optimization of medications among other things. We discover measurements, like blood pressures, have a two-to-four-day cyclical sinusoidal pattern where the peaks are well above the normal ranges but the troughs are in or even below the normal range. By treating the averages over the course of a couple of weeks or a month rather than one or two in-clinic measurements, we can manage conditions much more efficiently and effectively. This benefits all patients but has the potential to benefit those who are unable to come to the doctor’s office at the frequency the physicians would like.”
Dr. Voran’s final point about the benefit to patients who are unable to come to the doctor’s office as frequently as physicians would like is particularly important. Remote patient monitoring can help to mitigate inequities in the social determinants of health, particularly for rural populations. According to the CDC, people who live in rural areas of the United States are more likely than urban residents to die prematurely from five of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke. Remote patient monitoring provides physicians with the ability to manage care for patients living in remote locations, because it does not require patients to travel in order to receive care or have measurements taken. It reduces patient overall costs and has the ability to reach more people than in-person care (especially when it is used to facilitate preventative and rehabilitation services).
John Fitzpatrick, a consultant and community health strategist working with the KC Digital Drive Health Innovation Team who has also provided illumisoft with feedback on the 1SRCE platform, sums up the benefits of remote patient monitoring as follows: “Remote patient monitoring represents a massive change for the health industry. We now can go to where people actually live their lives and stay connected over time and distance. This represents an advance for health equity as it will help reach persons who are typically hard to reach and form closer partnerships between care providers and patients in managing often difficult health conditions.”
illumisoft is enthusiastic about the opportunity to deliver a platform to providers, researchers, and patients that facilitates the relationship between providers and patients, empowers patients to monitor their own progress and health outcomes, leverages advances in technology to capture powerful and potentially life-saving data, and helps overcome barriers to equitable healthcare.