HomMed adds blood clotting time measurer to its in-home tele-monitoring unit

Brookfield 22 October 2001As part of its mission to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions for chronic illness, and in an effort to better serve patient populations benefiting from daily in-home monitoring, HomMed LLC has expanded the capabilities of its HomMed Home Monitoring System with the addition of a PT/INR peripheral, a device that measures blood clotting times. HomMed predicts the demand for in-home blood testing will soar as a result of the late September announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that Medicare will soon begin paying for in-home testing of patients taking blood-thinning medication.

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"Approximately 1.8 million Americans take blood thinners for various medical conditions", stated Herschel "Buzz" Peddicord, CEO and founder of HomMed. "That is a huge market, and we now have an easy-to-use product that will allow these patients to stay at home and have their blood condition monitored every day, eliminating the need for them to make numerous trips to a clinic or doctor's office."

The new PT/INR peripheral easily plugs into the HomMed Home Unit, allowing patients to measure prothrombin and INR values right at home. The PT/INR is just one of four new peripherals the company has added to its home monitoring system after a year of development. The other peripherals developed include a spirometer, blood glucose meter, videophone and multiple user card swipe.

The HomMed Home Monitoring System is individually programmed for patients to use at home according to parameters established by their personal physicians. In just three minutes, it collects a variety of vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, body weight and temperature. It also has the capability to measure blood sugar, lung function, and prothrombin and INR values. The data are then transmitted daily from the patient's home via digital wireless technology or a standard telephone line over a virtual private network for review by clinicians. This daily monitoring allows health care professionals to detect and address even the slightest abnormalities before they become serious, preventing emergency department visits and hospitalisations.

In the June 2000 issue of Congestive Heart Failure, a three-month medical study using the HomMed Home Monitoring System with CHF patients was peer reviewed. The study, which was conducted at Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans, Louisiana, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Iowa, focused on 53 CHF patients who used the HomMed Home Monitoring System for three months, and compared their results with a group of 60 CHF patients who did not. Study results showed that 95 percent of the trial group used the device daily and that the patients had a significantly lower hospitalisation rate as well as a reduced rate of emergency room visits preceding hospitalisation when compared with the non-monitored group.

The HomMed Home Monitoring System is one of the few home monitoring systems to receive the federal Food and Drug Administration's 510k Class II status, the highest approval rating for non-invasive, hospital-grade devices. It has also been chosen by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Health Care Financing Administration for use in a nationwide study to be conducted in autumn 2001 to determine the best practices for CHF treatment.

As a leader in the fast-growing home tele-monitoring industry, HomMed has established a national network of more than 50 home health agencies, health systems and teaching institutions that use the company's Home Monitoring System in their outpatient care programme. The company was founded three years ago. More news on the HomMed tele-monitoring system is available in the VMW May 2001 article HomMed and Nurses That Care to deliver tele-monitoring services to Texas residents with chronic disease.


Leslie Versweyveld

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