Henry Ford Health System implements Health Hero Network's Health Buddy System for heart failure patients

Mountain View 20 April 2005Health Hero Network Inc. medical director Julie Cheitlin Cherry and Jonathan Ehrman, Ph.D., Henry Ford Health System's Associate Programme Director, Preventive Cardiology Programme Director, spoke at the tenth annual American Telemedicine Association meeting in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Ehrman and Ms. Cherry presented early outcomes and implementation information from a heart failure study conducted within the Henry Ford Health System. The study demonstrated high patient satisfaction (92 percent), and compliance (88 percent) and several patient case studies showing a potential decrease in ER visits and hospitalizations.

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Henry Ford Health System, located in southeastern Michigan, implemented a telemedicine disease management programme for heart failure patients utilizing the Health Hero Network Health Buddy System to manage their growing population of heart failure patients. The goals of the programme are to provide efficient and effective quality of care, impact patient empowerment and knowledge and decrease emergency and hospital admissions.

The deployments of the Health Buddy system was utilized in three areas of the organisation, located in the Henry Ford Health Maintenance Organization's Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and Medical Group. These include HAPs disease management programme and the medical groups advanced and general heart failure clinics and these programmes included heart failure patients that were pre-heart transplant as well as patients that had a lower severity of the disease. Over 200 patients have been enrolled into these programmes since April of 2004.

"Henry Ford Health System is committed to improving the health and well being of our members. The Health Buddy system has allowed us to pro-actively monitor and care for the growing needs of our heart failure patients", stated Dr. Ehrman, Associate Programme Director, Preventive Cardiology at Henry Ford. "Our leadership has embraced this initiative and has plans to continue deployment of the system in other disease areas. The clinical staff have embraced the addition of technology into their telemedicine programme and have seen how daily connection with their patients allows for early intervention before a problem becomes acute."

The study utilized the Health Buddy system that coaches and monitors patients at home and sends timely health status information to health care providers for review on the Web. By simply pressing one of the blue buttons on the Health Buddy appliance, patients automatically send timely health status information to their care providers. The health care provider is then able to use Health Hero Network's Web-based application to quickly assess the patient's condition and intervene if there is cause for concern.

A complete clinical analysis of the data is currently being prepared for abstract submission for the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in November. Demonstrating Henry Ford's commitment to using the Health Buddy system, they are also conducting a weight management study. This study is currently recruiting participants in the South Eastern Michigan area.

Health Hero Network develops and markets the Health Buddy system for health improvement. The Health Buddy system serves as the interface between patients at home and care providers, facilitating patient education and monitoring of chronic conditions. The system includes monitoring technologies, clinical information databases, Internet-enabled decision support tools, health management programmes and content development tools.

Through increased communication, behaviour modification, and prevention, the Health Buddy system improves the quality of care. Based in Mountain View, California, Health Hero Network's systems are protected by over 55 issued United States patents. More news is available in the VMW November 2003 article RTX Wireless TeleHealth Gateway added to Health Hero platform.


Leslie Versweyveld

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