Heart failure study programme integrates HP Interactive Health care Services for patient monitoring

Palo Alto 22 September 1999The New England Medical Center (NEMC) in Boston, a Lifespan Hospital, has expanded its Specialized Primary and Networked Care in Heart Failure Study (SPAN-CHF) programme to include the Interactive Health care Services of Hewlett-Packard Company. HP Interactive Health care Services, pending with United States Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance, is designed to establish and support a framework for the daily patient measurement and clinician review of weight, ECG rhythm, blood pressure and pulse. All these are vital signs recognised as important to observe in the ongoing management of congestive heart failure (CHF).

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Twenty patients in the Boston-area SPAN-CHF programme will be enrolled in HP Interactive Health care Services. The NEMC study will track and compare the ongoing health status of these patients with CHF patients participating in the SPAN-CHF programme at other Lifespan hospitals in the New England area, including Rhode Island Hospital, Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital.

Successful heart-failure management requires the education and awareness of patients. The decisions patients make in daily living can have a dramatic impact on their health. This is the firm belief as expressed by Dr. Marvin A. Konstam, chief of cardiology at NEMC and the lead investigator of the SPAN-CHF programme. Dr. Konstam wants to understand if engaging patients as active participants in their own care, such as the HP services allow, will help improve patients' compliance to diet, exercise, medication and other lifestyle modification.

NEMC is committed to studying and using new ways to effectively manage the care of congestive-heart-failure patients, as stated by Greg Sebasky, who is general manager of HP's Customer Services Division. He is convinced that the SPAN-CHF study presents an excellent and ideal opportunity to gather clinical information on the actual effectiveness of the HP Interactive Health care Services for this patient population.

Treating patients with heart failure has become the single most expensive health care problem in the USA, prompting the development of such disease-management programmes as SPAN-CHF at the heart-failure clinics, private cardiology groups, hospitals and health plans. HP Interactive Health care Services is designed to integrate a daily practice of vital-signs measurement, transmission and review into the established heart-failure management programmes.

Using portable HP measurement units, which operate with a single button push or even without any effort, patients take their vital signs daily. The results are automatically collected by the HP home hub, which transmits the vital-signs data by means of an ordinary phone line for organisation and presentation in the HP provider review platform. This provider review platform includes a comprehensive patient database and HP clinical review software, which authorised users access via a standard Web browser.

The software enables clinicians to track daily patient measurements, store and retrieve historical data and generate reports. Patients whose daily measurements fall outside preset limits can be flagged for immediate follow-up. Investigations of HP Interactive Health care Services are equally being conducted in conjunction with disease-management programmes at the Columbia/HCA; U-Mass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, located in Massachusetts; and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire.

HP's Health care Solutions Group is a global provider of acute-care patient monitoring, cardiovascular ultrasound imaging and clinical-information systems for critical care, as well as services, support and supplies for the health care industry. The group has 5000 employees and had revenues of more than $1.3 billion in its 1998 fiscal year. In addition, Hewlett-Packard Company plans to launch Agilent Technologies as an independent company by mid-calendar 2000. Agilent will consist of HP's test and measurement, semiconductor products, the chemical analysis and health care solutions businesses, and has leading positions in multiple market segments.


Leslie Versweyveld

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