Morgan Guerra
View from the Top

Integrated System Promises Savings for Patients, Payers

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 17:09

Q: How does Previta use technology to improve health practices?
A: Previta developed e-HealthTracker, a population health platform that provides a wide range of services designed to monitor and support patients in all stages of a disease. It can be adapted to follow many conditions, including diabetes, cardiac and immune diseases as well as the side effects related to other issues like tobacco consumption, hypertension and diabetes.
We can measure a person’s risk factors to help prevent obesity, diabetes and hypertension. If this person already suffers a disease, through remote patient monitoring we avoid complications.
Q: How does Previta’s technology benefit patients?
A: Our most complete service is Victoria, a home-monitoring kit for people with heart failure. This disease is much more expensive for healthcare systems than cancer since patients often survive for a longer period, although with a low quality of life and with numerous hospitalizations. Victoria provides health devices to measure and monitor patients, turning their homes into a “virtual hospital.”
Our contact center receives and evaluates this information daily and if a deviation from normal ranges is detected, the health coach at the contact center notifies the patient’s cardiologist. Victoria has been highly effective in saving these patients from the need for hospitalization.
Victoria consists of a scale, a barometer and a heart monitor fully integrated into a tablet. Health data is automatically recorded and stored in the cloud so it can be shared with the patient’s doctor. Moreover, if the patient skips a measurement for any reason the equipment sends a reminder to their phone or to a relative or physician. While the different equipment that composes Victoria is sourced from around the world, the system that brings it together was developed in Mexico by Previta.
Q: What are the main challenges when convincing payers to use this system?
A: The first step is to convince the payer about the solution and the return on investment they will receive. Then, we must convince patients and their families that the technology can help them. Being diagnosed with a chronic disease is often a shock to patients.
The third step is to get doctors to buy and see this monitoring services as an ally. The appropriate treatment of these patients requires collaboration among different specialists, laboratories, hospitals and the payer, whether a public or private institution. While some may believe that these systems can only be used in major cities, that is not true, thanks to the widespread availability of smartphones and 3G that allows technology to be used even in rural areas.
Q: How do the Mexican healthcare sector and private entities benefit from this system?
A: The incorporation of remote patient monitoring into the healthcare system following international standards leads to stronger prevention strategies that would benefit the patient’s health and provide long-term savings for the payer. Our products allow patients to improve their quality of life, which reduces unnecessary hospital expenses. For instance, about every six months, patients with heart failure usually suffer a decompensation that normally would lead to a week of hospitalization.
These hospitalizations are very expensive for the insurer. By monitoring the patient’s vital signs, we can detect decompensation early in the incident and channel the patient to their cardiologist before they require hospitalization. With proper care and an adjustment of the medication, it is possible to prevent hospitalization, which results in significant savings for the payer and better care for the patient.