Local insurer Texas Health Aetna and medical technology company CareSignal have partnered to launch a remote monitoring service in North Texas. The partnership will help monitor patients with diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, avoiding emergencies and the physical and financial cost that accompanies them.
“I met the leadership from CareSignal, and they were talking about using SMS technology to really remotely monitor specific conditions, and it just seemed like a natural fit for us to do that,” said Texas Health Aetna Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delanor Doyle said. “I think that’s what makes it unique.”
Using a text-based format or interactive voice response (IVR) to ask patients questions, the system collects and organizes the responses from patients in a dashboard and sends them to a health delivery team or clinical team to interpret and determine the course of action. The goal of the service is to monitor patient’s health, improve their experience, and reduce healthcare costs.
“A large proportion of our membership has indicated that they would like to engage virtually in a text-based format because it can fit in their schedule,” Doyle said. “It’s more for them, and it can work on their own time.”
Remote monitoring is a significant cost-saving measure, as it helps triage patients according to the severity of their condition based on the patients’ responses to the questions. Remote monitoring can also be used to pinpoint issues and causes and educate patients by providing instruction on possible treatments, as well as guidance on how to most effectively use the healthcare delivery system.
“We need to figure out what is the best level of care for you, and maybe, that’s getting you to an urgent care,” Doyle said. “Maybe, it’s directing you to a CVS Health Hub, which would be integrated in many cases directing you to your PCP and helping facilitate that.”
Texas Health Aetna and CareSignal most recently launched COVID Companion, a free service which sends text messages to the community containing tips, links, and recommendations for remaining safe and healthy amid the pandemic. The advisory service takes into consideration patient’s age and medical history and in turn sends Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and care for someone with the virus.