With the devastating impact of COVID-19, InfoBionic expands its mission to provide enhanced support for cardiologists and the treatment of patients using innovative solutions. The need for remote cardiac monitoring is essential during this pandemic, and InfoBionic is working closely with cardiology practices across the country to provide this crucial service.
(Waltham, MA) APRIL 14, 2020 – With nearly half of all adults in the U.S. diagnosed with some form of cardiovascular disease, COVID-19 introduces a new wave of challenges for the healthcare industry.(1) As data emerges to show the novel coronavirus’s contribution to heart damage, cardiologists are currently faced with a major treatment crisis. Leading ambulatory cardiac monitoring provider InfoBionic is focused on meeting the critical demand brought on by the pandemic to find innovative solutions when it comes to heart healthcare. “Cardiologists desperately need remote cardiac monitoring for condition tracking of heart and COVID-19 patients that is fast, accurate, effective, simple to use, non-invasive and provides condition monitoring versatility to save more lives without physically seeing patients,” says Stuart Long, CEO of InfoBionic.
In addition to lung damage, many COVID-19 patients are also developing heart problems and dying of cardiac arrest. According to research from China, 19% of the novel coronavirus patients exhibited signs of heart damage, with 51% of those cases significantly more likely to be fatal.(2) About 10% of patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) who contract COVID-19 will die, compared to the mere 1% of patients who are otherwise considered to be healthy.(3)
Furthermore, this pandemic is happening during a period where countless cardiologists are discovering that cardiac and stroke patients have largely disappeared from hospitals and practices. Many cardiologists are stating that patient appointments have decreased by as much as 60% due to COVID-19.(4) This reality is being driven both by hospitals prioritizing COVID-19 patients as well as patients with preexisting heart conditions avoiding hospitals or cardiology offices due to their concern about the transmission of the virus. This fear is delaying treatment, which results in an increase in the severity of conditions and a higher risk of death among these patients.
Forty-two percent of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and over have at least one heart-related health condition, which is the leading cause of death and the most expensive among this group.(5) While a broad set of telehealth resources are being executed in response to COVID-19, cardiac patients have growing concerns revolving around the costs of these options, which have traditionally been excluded from Medicare coverage.
Though this has recently changed, with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) expanding Medicare coverage for telehealth. Additionally, HHS Office for Civil Rights is working to implement more discretion when it comes to enforcing HIPAA-compliance for these tools.(6) These are crucial steps to supporting Americans with preexisting heart conditions and those that are developing such conditions due to COVID-19.
In the bigger picture, remote cardiac monitoring solutions can play a major role in the pandemic to monitor the health for a range of patients affected by heart conditions and/or COVID-19, including:
- Patients with added or current medical therapy that require QT-Interval assessment and monitoring (Antiarrhythmics, antipsychotics, antibiotics, etc.)
- Patients with AFib, palpitations, syncope, near-syncope, etc.
- Those individuals restricted to their homes who require stop gap for 12-lead ECG, HR data, and 24-hr provider trend assessments
- Patients in retirement- and assisted-living communities
- Monitoring the vitals of non-COVID patients following hospital stays
- Customized tachycardia alerts as an added surrogate marker for escalation to acute care/hospitalization needs for home-isolated patients with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
While this is a major step forward in the fight against COVID-19, cardiologists rely on partnership from manufacturers in order to help these specialists easily, effectively, and remotely treat both cardiac patients and those with coronavirus symptoms. This was the impetus behind two innovative device delivery programs from InfoBionic:
- MailMe—a program that enables the practice to mail the MoMe® Kardia device directly to their patient at home
- ReMoteMe—a program where InfoBionic will manage the practice’s MoMe® Kardia inventory via an FDA-approved processing site
These innovative solutions are vitally important in supporting cardiologists and patients during COVID-19, according to leading electrophysiologist Dr. Colin Movsowitz of Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia—the largest private cardiology practice in the country.
“Cardiologists need real-time, full disclosure data from remote cardiac monitoring and accurate alerts for ambulatory homebound cardiovascular patients and COVID-19 sufferers for quick action that saves lives,” Dr. Movsowitz says. “It’s imperative for companies like InfoBionic to lead the way in devoting infinite logistics, professional, and technical Medicare reimbursement support along with non-invasive remote cardiac monitoring solutions like the MoMe® Kardia platform to support that mission in every way possible within the broader healthcare system.”
InfoBionic is a digital health company transforming the efficiency and economics of ambulatory remote patient monitoring processes by optimizing clinical and real-world utility for the users that need it most—physicians and their patients. The Massachusetts-based team of seasoned entrepreneurs leverages successful careers in healthcare, IT, medical devices, and mobile technology, along with specific expertise in remote monitoring and cardiology. Their first-hand experience with the complexities of traditional cardiac arrhythmia detection and monitoring processes led to design of the transformative MoMe® Kardia platform to remove the roadblocks, thus amounting to a faster and more effective process for decision-making and diagnosis. InfoBionic is the recipient of the Frost & Sullivan 2019 North American Remote Cardiac Monitoring Technology Leadership Award. For more information, visit http://www.infobionic.com.
1. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2019 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association AHA Journal Circulation, January 21, 2019, ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000659
2. Shaobo Shi, MD1, Mu Qin, MD, Bo Shen, MD1,2,3; et al. Association of Cardiac Injury With Mortality in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, JAMA Cardiology journals, March 25, 2020. jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/fullarticle/2763524?resultClick=1
3. About 10% of patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) who contract COVID-19 will die, compared with only 1% of patients who are otherwise healthy. Dara K. Lee Lewis, MD. How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19?, Harvard Health Blog, APRIL 04, 2020, health.harvard.edu/blog/how-does-cardiovascular-disease-increase-the-risk-of-severe-illness-and-death-from-covid-19-2020040219401
4. Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D. Where Have All the Heart Attacks Gone? The New York Times, April 6, 2020, nytimes.com/2020/04/06/well/live/coronavirus-doctors-hospitals-emergency-care-heart-attack-stroke.html
5. “Prevalence and Health Care Expenditures among Medicare Beneficiaries Aged 65 Years and Over with Heart Conditions,” CMS, 2017, cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Research/MCBS/Data-Briefs-Items/HeartConditions_DataBrief_2017
6. Dave Muoio. FDA expands use of vital sign monitors to enable remote care, modifications during COVID-19 emergency, Mobihealth News, March 20, 2020, mobihealthnews.com/news/fda-expands-use-vital-sign-monitors-enable-remote-care-modifications-during-covid-19-emergency
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