Featuring a 4/5G LTE communication chip, the iBloodPressure cellular-connected blood pressure monitor from Smart Meter enables users to automatically transmit patient results to remote patient monitoring (RPM) portals, with no need for use of WiFi, docking stations, syncing, apps or smartphones. The device is enable to provide a high degree of convenience for patience, and greater efficiency for clinical trial teams.
Outsourcing-Pharma (OSP) discussed the technology with Smart Meter CEO Brahim Zabeli, who explained how the technology works and the advantages it offers sites, sponsors and patients.
OSP: Please share your perspective on the evolution of wearables in clinical research—i.e., how they’ve increased in complexity, different vitals measured, different functionalities that have emerged, etc.
BZ: Numerous devices have emerged within the last five years providing consumers many stylish options and opportunities to self-manage their health and wellness. There is a differentiation to be made, however, between clinical-grade health monitoring solutions and non-regulated consumer devices.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued guidance that only devices approved for medical use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are approved to be reimbursed under specific CPT codes for Remote Physiologic Monitoring (RPM). This is where the true improvements in healthcare take place.
With RPM approved devices like the iGlucose and iBloodPressure, healthcare providers can see real-time data and intervene if chronic and acute care patients are experiencing critical out-of-range episodes. These devices can help reduce emergency visits, reduce emergency visits, hospital readmissions, and improve medication titration – further reducing complications and co-morbidities.
Smart Meter’s FDA-approved devices have been clinically validated and tested to ensure accuracy and safety. These devices are proven to improve patient outcomes like HbA1c and Hypertension. Additionally, communication modes within the Smart Meter devices alleviate much of the technology burden for patients.
Due to the cellular capabilities built in to the iGlucose and iBloodPressure devices, patients do not have to perform any synching, uploading and don’t need a smart phone or Wi-Fi connection. Devices must be smarter and enable care for all populations including those underserved and without access to mainstream technology and healthcare.
OSP: How has the pandemic’s impact on clinical research made your work in remote monitoring technology more important?
BZ: Some of our research partners and providers are concerned about how to get care to their populations who are underserved and do not have access to mainstream technology and healthcare. They are proving that technologies like Smart Meter’s exist, work and are fairly inexpensive, providing the same level, if not better care to patients that have historically been unable to receive cutting edge care.
In a recent study (EMBRAACE by Dr. M. Osman at Howard University), a cohort of minority Medicaid patients in Washington DC demonstrated a reduction in A1C of approximately 1% with the use of the iGlucose. That could mean the difference of having to take more costly medications, having additional comorbidities like amputation, or being hospitalized.
The newest technology advancements in RPM are impacting and improving the lives of our most vulnerable and underserved populations.
OSP: Could you please share some of the features and functions that make this a better option for researchers than a conventional BP monitor, or other digital/WiFi enabled devices?
BZ: The most important feature of Smart Meter’s iBloodPressure device is the cellular-connectivity and synchronous patient data immediately sent to providers. They no longer need to rely on patients documenting, downloading, syncing or bringing their devices or logbooks into the office visit to obtain the results.
Patients simply test and the data is seamlessly sent to the providers dashboard without any patient intervention. This is impactful as providers now have the data without delay and can make interventions, if necessary, between visits.
OSP: What else would you like to add about the iBloodPressure monitor that we didn’t touch upon above?
BZ: Smart Meter believes that it is important to have robust customer support teams to respond quickly to our customers and end users. We have technical support and data operations teams to address any concerns that come up. Since our founding in 2015 we have served tens of thousands of patients on behalf of our channel partners, and our expertise leading innovation in this space is unmatched.
We help scale new RPM companies, emerging and existing provider and payer programs, and research projects in a matter of weeks. Customers can trust that we have their best interest in mind and can equip them to begin a successful RPM practice quickly and sustainably.
OSP: Do you have any other products for clinical research applications in the works that you’d like to tell us about?
BZ: Smart Meter has many other projects for new parameters in the works. We encourage readers to follow Smart Meter on LinkedIn and our website (www.SmartMeterRPM.com) for all of the latest and greatest news about our products, the growth and adoption of RPM and reimbursement.