Philips seals a patient telemonitoring deal with a Boston healthcare giant

Philips Healthcare ($PHG) closed a new patient telemonitoring tech deal with Partners HealthCare, the largest hospital group in Massachusetts and among the most influential providers in the nation.

The agreement is something Philips' competitors will watch closely and likely seek to replicate, considering that telemonitoring services are gaining steam as a way to maintain needed patient monitoring and cut costs at the same time. Neither side is discussing the deal's financial details.

Partners HealthCare is led by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Healthcare--both major Harvard-affiliated research hospitals. Specifically, however, the deal goes through Partners HealthCare at Home, a telemonitoring division. Philips will provide technology and services by way of its hospital to home programs to enable remote clinical oversight for newly discharged patients and others with chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure. Nurses will use the home monitoring device and system to track patient vital signs and step in when a patient needs more aggressive intervention, Philips and Partners said, helping to better manage hospital readmission rates, which can be pricey.

Partners HealthCare at Home has handled home monitoring for 1,200 heart failure patients since 2006, Philips and Partners said, and the hospital group has been a pioneer in the use of home monitoring med tech. The data shows that the technology helped reduce readmission rates by 50%, saving $10 million in healthcare costs, according to the deal announcement.

"As the healthcare industry focuses more on improving patient experience and outcomes while reducing costs, technologies such as home monitoring contribute toward improved quality of life," Sue Beausoliel, vice president of operations at Partners HealthCare at Home, said in a statement. "Instead of having to wait for the next appointment, this real-time data daily monitoring helps us connect with patients, track their health status, alert us to a problem and intervene earlier before it becomes full blown."

Philips' win comes as other competitors are vying to enter the remote patient monitoring space, often from unexpected places. Verizon ($VZ), for example, won FDA clearance last summer for a cloud-based remote patient monitor, known as Converged Health Management. Xerox ($XRX) is even in the game, having recently launched two video patient-monitoring projects in the U.S. and India. Sorin, meanwhile, gained the FDA's signoff last year for a new remote monitoring system that lets it track patients with implanted cardiac devices while they are at home.

- read the release

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