Why de­vices are be­com­ing a first line of treat­ment rather than a last line of de­fense

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

Health­care is on the verge of a dis­rup­tion brought about by ad­vances in so­phis­ti­cated, com­pact med­i­cal de­vices. To­day’s de­vices are hav­ing life-chang­ing im­pact for pa­tients, while at the same time low­er­ing health­care costs. Con­se­quently, more and more physi­cians are us­ing med­i­cal de­vices – not as a last line of de­fense but as a first-line op­tion for treat­ing some of the most se­ri­ous and de­bil­i­tat­ing health con­di­tions of our time.

What trends are ac­cel­er­at­ing the use of de­vices as first­line treat­ments?

MP: In­creas­ingly, pa­tients bat­tling com­plex med­i­cal con­di­tions for which treat­ment op­tions have been limited are now ex­plor­ing new tech­nolo­gies with their physi­cians as a re­sult of in­creased aware­ness, proven ef­fec­tive­ness and bet­ter out­comes.

Con­tribut­ing to this trend is that de­vices are smaller and pro­ce­dures are less in­va­sive, mean­ing many pro­ce­dures no longer re­quire a hos­pi­tal visit, gen­eral anes­the­sia or in­va­sive

1 surgery. For ex­am­ple, our Car­dioMEMS heart fail­ure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem can be im­planted through a catheter in­serted in a blood ves­sel in the leg. Af­ter the pro­ce­dure, the pa­tient may go home and get back to daily ac­tiv­i­ties quickly. Min­i­mally in­va­sive pro­ce­dures are en­abled, in large part, by ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy, ma­te­ri­als and man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses that are de­liv­er­ing smaller, more por­ta­ble, and more pa­tient-friendly de­vices. So­phis­ti­cated imag­ing equip­ment and flex­i­ble, ma­neu­ver­able in­tra­venous de­liv­ery mech­a­nisms are giv­ing sur­geons the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to per­form min­i­mally in­va­sive pro­ce­dures with pre­ci­sion.

Dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy is of­ten viewed as the next great dis­rup­tor in health­care. How is dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy con­tribut­ing to the in­creased use of de­vices?

MP: The ex­plo­sion in data-en­abled tech­nol­ogy is mak­ing it eas­ier than ever to share data across con­nected de­vices. Con­nected tech­nolo­gies en­able doc­tors to mon­i­tor pa­tients’ con­di­tions, or even de­liver care, from afar. These de­vices that en­able re­mote mon­i­tor­ing and treat­ment have the po­ten­tial to im­prove pa­tients’ lives and save bil­lions of dol­lars in the process.

For ex­am­ple, pa­tients who suf­fer from ir­reg­u­lar heart­beats can have a pa­per­clip-sized mon­i­tor im­planted just be­low the skin in the chest through a min­i­mally in­va­sive pro­ce­dure. The Blue­tooth-con­nected de­vice pairs with a pa­tient’s smart­phone to au­to­mat­i­cally up­load data, such as heart rate and rhythm and any po­ten­tial signs of a prob­lem, di­rectly to a hos­pi­tal, clinic or physi­cian’s of­fice.Doc­tors can promptly re­view the data and make timely in­ter­ven­tions as needed. Pa­tients, in turn, have real-time vis­i­bil­ity of the heart’s func­tion and greater peace of mind know­ing they’re con­nected with their doc­tor.

Clin­i­cal stud­ies show that re­mote mon­i­tor­ing through con­nected de­vices low­ers health­care costs by re­duc­ing the num­ber of in-hos­pi­tal de­vice eval­u­a­tions, hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions, the length of stay and fol­low-up of­fice­vis­its.

Why would a physi­cian rec­om­mend a de­vice, es­pe­cially one that needs to be im­planted, over a proven drug?

MP: For many chronic health con­di­tions, like heart fail­ure and rhythm dis­or­ders, medicines have been the only treat­ment op­tion – of­ten in­di­cated to treat symp­toms but not the un­der­ly­ing cause.

To­day, there’s a grow­ing body of clin­i­cal ev­i­dence show­ing that de­vices can im­prove out­comes, in­de­pen­dent of medicines.

Med­i­cal de­vices can re­duce the reliance on med­i­ca­tions as the first and only course of ac­tion – while im­prov­ing out­comes and, in many cases, fix­ing the root cause of the prob­lem. For ex­am­ple, Ab­bott has launched clin­i­cal trials to eval­u­ate ab­la­tion as a front­line ther­apy op­tion for pa­tients suf­fer­ing from ir­reg­u­lar heart­beats who are un­re­spon­sive to drug ther­apy. For years, med­i­ca­tion has been a front­line ther­apy op­tion, but for some pa­tients, med­i­ca­tion is in­ef­fec­tive. If we can es­tab­lish a mean­ing­ful body of clin­i­cal ev­i­dence sup­port­ing the use of ab­la­tion in­stead, we think peo­ple will greatly ben­e­fit.

What are the big­gest hur­dles in mov­ing med­i­cal de­vices up the pa­tient-care con­tin­uum?

MP: Ab­bott and oth­ers in the in­dus­try need to help lead­ers in gov­ern­ments, pay­ors, and health in­sti­tu­tions, as well as health­care pro­fes­sion­als around the world un­der­stand and rec­og­nize the value of med­i­cal de­vices. We need to demon­strate how de­vices can be a first-line treat­ment for some of the most preva­lent, costly and dif­fi­cult-to-man­age chronic con­di­tions. Our goal is to en­able peo­ple to get back to health and back to liv­ing their lives – faster, more fully, and more in­de­pen­dently. Med­i­cal de­vices are the next dis­rup­tor to lead us there. ●

1 For Im­por­tant Safety In­for­ma­tion, visit­dioMEMSSafe­tyInfo

Mike Ped­er­sonSe­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Car­diac Ar­rhyth­mias and Heart Fail­ure, Ab­bott

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.