Innovators of Things: BlackBox Remote Patient Monitoring uses IoT to improve health outcomes

Innovators of Things
Lisa Kornblatt
November 15, 2022
BlackBox Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) only works when patients are able to complete the needed health checks and have the right setup/connectivity to get the data back to their healthcare provider. BlackBox Remote Patient Monitoring understands that need and set out to provide easy-to-use tools to track patients' health, so they don’t have to.

With the BlackBox Hub, one device leverages bluetooth and cellular connectivity to aggregate and sync all of the patient’s vitals from blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, and body composition scales. The data is then sent back to the doctor’s office over a cellular network.

The end result: a boring story. Not that RPM or IoT is boring, but it’s boring in the sense that a patient can be monitored properly and quickly adjust medications to avoid hospitalizations or worse outcomes. This can include recognizing three-four pounds of water retention as a sign of congestive heart failure and preventing a heart attack or being able to quickly adjust medicine doses after seeing elevated blood pressure.

Always on connectivity with Hologram

When Jared Curtis, President of BlackBox Remote Patient Monitoring, set out to improve RPM, cellular connectivity was critical to ensure there was no set up for the patients and it would connect regardless of where the patient was based. With Hologram, BlackBox has one SIM card manufactured into their hardware, tested with Preflight, shipped to the doctor, and connects to the best available network once it arrives at the patient's home.

“Knowing we can connect to the best network regardless of where our patients are located means we can confidently provide the tools needed for medical professionals to provide better care.” Jared Curtis, President of BlackBox Remote Patient Monitoring.

Making monitoring easy for patients

Many of the patients who need additional monitoring from the comfort of their home are older or on Medicare. Requiring the patient to not only complete the necessary monitoring – check their blood pressure, measure their BMI on a scale, use a pulse oximeter, or a variety of other tests – and connect the data back to an app, can be a challenge. The BlackBox Hub reduces what is often five or more steps, requiring the patient and others to help, into one.

How it works

By connecting each of the monitoring devices to the Hub, all the patient needs to do is complete the monitoring and the data is automatically aggregated to the Hub and sent to the doctor. As no one solution fits every need, BlackBox also employs stand-alone cellular devices that communicate independently, supported by Hologram, to give the most versatility to their clients.

Win-win for medical professionals

Doctors invest in RPM devices to provide better care but it requires compliance from the patient. Because BlackBox makes it easy for patients to monitor the vitals their medical team requests, doctors can not only provide better care but also get reimbursed from Medicare.

In order for doctors to be reimbursed for RPM devices, they must register 16 days of readings every month. That means patients must provide readings for the majority of the month which in most cases, doesn’t happen. Large hospitals and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are attempting to solve the riddle of patient compliance in RPM programs. Today, the industry as a whole sometimes only sees compliance in the single digits where groups using a single cellular device achieved 58% compliance with those requirements. Because BlackBox simplifies the process for patients with the cellular connected Hub, their doctors see a 94% compliance rate – 36% better than the single device average, and over 80% better compliance than others using non-cellular solutions.

BlackBox RPM suggests this is a Win-Win-Win scenario:

  • Medicare saves significantly by having manageable corrections taken care of outside of the Emergency department or requiring a hospital admission.
  • Medical professionals can free their time for more urgent appointments and make life-saving tweaks to care plans in-between in office visits.
  • Patients receive more immediate corrections that keep them out of a lonely hospital or having a scary visit to the ER.

With cellular connectivity patients can be wherever they want, and almost anywhere is better than being sick in the hospital.  BlackBox Remote Patient Monitoring devices paired with Hologram’s network helps allow patients to receive the best of care, regardless of where they choose to go.

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