Cybernet Medical receives FDA clearance for MedStar to expand into home monitoring for diabetics

Ann Arbor 02 April 2003Cybernet Medical, a developer of biometric monitoring technology and medical devices for outpatient care, has received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration for expanding the capabilities of its MedStar Disease Management Data Collection System. Used to remotely collect and transmit the physiological data of patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, hypertension and congestive heart failure (CHF), the handheld MedStar unit now includes an interface for glucose monitoring, allowing health care providers to conduct regular checks on diabetics at home.

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Additionally, the MedStar Server has been cleared to support uploads from cardiac event monitors, giving health care providers another tool for the regular assessment of heart disease patients.

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine's Office of Emerging Health Technologies was the first to tap the MedStar unit's new capabilities in a pilot outreach programme to diabetic patients, conducted in late 2002. In this study, the MedStar eliminated the distance barrier between diabetic patients in rural areas and their health care providers by giving physicians daily updates on an individual's glucose levels, blood pressure and weight. It facilitated pro-active treatment action, resulting in fewer emergency responses and hospitalisations.

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama has one of the fastest rising incidence rate of diabetes in the nation", noted Carl W. Taylor, interim director, Office of Emerging Health Technologies. "The number of diabetic patients actually doubled in Alabama between 1994 and 2001. In order to better cope with this epidemic, we need emerging technologies that facilitate more active treatment but in our state, the intermittent access to health care in rural areas has limited the technologies that can be effectively used. Cybernet Medical's MedStar is exactly what is needed for enabling the daily monitoring that is so helpful for patients with diabetes that need an extra incentive for maintaining appropriate drug, diet and exercise regimens."

The cost-effective and easy-to-use MedStar device can now connect to and transmit physiological data from standard measurement devices regularly used at home by chronic disease patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, CHF and respiratory conditions. These devices include electronic scales, blood pressure cuffs, spirometers, pulse oximetry and glucose monitors.

The MedStar device eliminates hand-written journals and interactive voice response (IVR) monitoring methods, providing physicians and disease management caseworkers with more accurate patient information and avoiding costly human errors. And because the MedStar collects data directly from the measurement devices and transmits it to a collection server over a standard telephone line, patients can use it anywhere and at any time.

"One of the MedStar's key advantages over other home monitoring systems is its ability to easily adapt to a patient's lifestyle", stated Chuck Jacobus, Ph.D., CEO of Cybernet Medical. "Older populations who might be intimidated by more complicated devices appreciate MedStar's ease of use. They simply plug it into any available phone jack. And for those patients who want the freedom to travel, the MedStar is lightweight and portable, and it comes with a memory chip capable of storing up to 30 days of collected data. These features and more make the MedStar system a viable tool for improving patient care in numerous chronic disease states that benefit from closer monitoring."

The MedStar interface device and accompanying collection server, together called the MedStar System, is designed to improve in-home patient chronic disease management. Purpose-built for home care, hospitals and disease management companies, the battery-powered and portable MedStar device, supported by Cybernet's Web-based electronic patient physiological data record management systems, is the low cost solution for moving physiological data acquired in the patient's home to remotely located caregivers. Home and heath care providers can deliver better care at lower cost when they can focus efforts on their more seriously ill patients.

Cybernet Medical is an innovative, technology-based company focused on changing the way chronic care patients are monitored and diagnosed. Through research funded by NASA, the National Institute of Health and the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), Cybernet Medical has developed and patented electronic devices, networked databases, and Web-based user interfaces for the collection and management of physiological data.


Leslie Versweyveld

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