Originally published by Healthcare IT News on November 1, 2022
Patients with mild cognitive impairment being treated at Nuvance Health Neuroscience Institute practices in New York and Connecticut, as well as their caregivers, have access to a new virtual neurological specialty care support program.
WHY IT MATTERS
MCI is an early stage of memory loss or other cognition problems, such as difficulty with language and thinking.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, 12-18% of people aged 60 and older have MCI in the United States, and every year 10-15% of people with MCI eventually develop dementia.
There are currently no approved medications to treat MCI, but current guidelines suggest that regularly stimulating the brain and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can support patients.
Neuroglee Connect helps patients stimulate their brains and bolster them against cognitive deterioration with medically tested activities at home while their caregivers can use support and informational tools that help them identify MCI-related anxiety and stress from day to day, according to the announcement.
The platform's digital dashboard captures real-time patient performance data, helping clinical care teams track adherence, measure patient condition between visits and modify therapy to personalize care.
"Nuvance Health's neurologists will use a digital platform to remotely monitor patients and keep them mentally active with consistent and intense brain activities," said Dr. Paul Wright, senior vice president and system chair of the Neuroscience Institute at Nuvance Health.
MCI patients experience remote patient monitoring (RPM) by playing games and learning new skills on the tablet. They can also reminisce by uploading and viewing personal photographs and videos to trigger their memories, and there is lifestyle content on eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep.
THE LARGER TREND
Along with telehealth, remote patient monitoring programs grew during the COVID-19 pandemic because federal rules gave providers the flexibility to use RPM for the duration of the public health emergency.
More and more health systems are developing and launching remote care and hospital-at home programs, some tailored to specific clinical use cases.
In just the past two weeks, for instance, Memora Health announced its work with Mayo Clinic on a virtual home-based postpartum care initiative, and Allina Health spinoff Inbound Health announced its plans to help other providers develop home-based acute care and skilled nursing models.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has indicated that RPM services for acute and chronic conditions are here to stay; they are not a temporary measure tied to the public health emergency.
"As healthcare further shifts from a fee-for-service to a value-based care approach, care delivery is shifting from an in-clinic, episodic, reactive model of care to one that is continuous and proactive, and a blend of in-clinic and remote," Dr. Lucienne Ide, founder and chief health innovator at remote patient monitoring company Rimidi, told Healthcare IT News during a conversation last year about the future of virtual care. "RPM is an effective way to ensure all patients are able to receive the quality, continuous care their condition requires."
ON THE RECORD
"We care deeply about our patients with MCI and their caregivers, and understand how the diagnosis can be extremely worrisome," said Wright. "We are passionate about bringing them the latest care options and support, and in particular, leveraging digital innovations that they can access from the comfort and convenience of home."