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Adding Wearable Technology to Your Practice

What to consider when adding wearable ECG devices to your cardiac solutions portfolio

From the watch tracking steps on your wrist, to the phone compiling health data in your pocket, wearable technology is now part of our everyday lives. The rising popularity of wearable devices can even be seen in the physician’s office. Clinicians are leveraging wearable technology trends1 to benefit their patients and expand monitoring capabilities.

New innovations in extended ECG monitors are following consumer trends when it comes to wearable technology. However, you should select a device that works for both your patients and your practice. When exploring wearable ECG devices, it’s important to consider three things: 1) patient comfort and safety, 2) clinically robust data, and 3) the financial outcomes for your practice.

 

Patient Comfort And Safety

Provide a best-in-class experience for your patients.

A positive patient experience is key when evaluating wearable devices for your practice. Help your patients take control of their heart health by choosing a wearable ECG device that is comfortable to wear, operates discretely and has little to no impact on your patient’s daily activities.

  • COMFORT: Small and subtle wearable ECG devices can be more comfortable for patients. And devices that operate without the need for leads or wires provide added convenience because they limit the impact on your patient’s regular activities—especially showering and exercise.
  • SAFETY: Single-use wearables provide patient safety benefits, including infection control2, because they are designed to be discarded after the exam period.
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The Welch Allyn® TAGecg® Wearable Sensor is a discrete, wireless, water-resistant patch that does not disrupt a patient’s daily activities. After seven days of continuous ECG recording, the sensor is removed for data analysis and the patch is discarded.”

 

Clinical Excellence

Feel confident in the data you receive.

Now that you’ve selected a patient-friendly device, it’s time to talk about the data you’re collecting. Today, many practices are considering patch-based solutions that can record for up to seven days and include instant analysis for most common arrhythmias. There are several devices available, so it’s helpful to keep a few criteria in mind when comparing wearable ECGs.

  • IMMEDIATE DATA:The ability to immediately download and review patient data in the office is a key item to look for. Many devices require you to upload patient data and send off for analysis, which can take up to two weeks to complete.
  • CLEAR REPORTING: A concise, straightforward report is key to ensuring a wearable ECG fits into your workflow. Make sure all the overreading physicians can analyze the report your device generates.
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Sensitive enough to provide diagnostic-quality results with in-office reports, the Welch Allyn TAGecg Sensor provides timely data to help enable faster treatment decisions.

Monitoring periods or device wear-time can also affect the quality of your data. Studies have shown that 7-day monitoring improves atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) diagnostic yield when compared to shorter 24- and 48-hour methods.3
  • EXTENDED WEAR: A wearable ECG device designed for prolonged monitoring can help improve the detection of transient or asymptomatic arrhythmias.3

Positive Financial Outcomes

Get the most out of your investment.

The final piece to consider when exploring wearable technology is the financial impact these devices can have on your practice. In addition to delivering quality patient care, wearable ECG devices can also provide cost savings and greater access to reimbursements.

  • NO CAPITAL EXPENSE: Wearable ECG recorders that adopt a pay-as-you-go model typically require little upfront costs and no capital investment. Thus, these devices can provide a low-risk option for practices interested in adopting wearable technology.
  • REIMBURSABLE EXAM: Extended ECG recorders in a Holter or patch-style device are reimbursable procedures in some states. Full exam reimbursements are kept in-office if the post-exam ECG analysis and interpretation also remain within the practice. If adopting a service-based model, the ECG scanning and analysis component may get sent to a third party. Be sure you understand these reimbursement dynamics before adopting any new technology.
  • LONG-TERM SAVINGS: With no maintenance or cleaning costs, single-use wearable ECG recorders can provide additional—often overlooked—cost savings.
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Practices that use the TAGecg Sensor can keep all reimbursement dollars associated with their ECG exam and report analysis. The device’s single-use, pay-as-you-go model offers a low-risk option for primary care practices and cardiology offices.

 

Conclusion

There are many factors to explore when integrating wearable devices into your practice, but the decision becomes clearer when you consider your patients, your data and your bottom line. The wearable devices you select should focus on patient comfort and safety, without compromising data quality. And the financial benefits to your practice—from initial investment, to reimbursements and long-term savings—should not be overlooked.

At Hillrom, we understand the challenges of hard-to-detect arrhythmias like A-Fib, and the opportunities that wearable technology can provide for diagnosis and management. That’s why we developed the TAGecg Wearable Sensor—a new solution to help improve arrhythmia detection and diagnosis at the point of care. The TAGecg Sensor provides you with diagnostic-quality data, enabling you to maintain patient relationships while keeping diagnostic revenue within your practice. And with a patient-friendly design, the TAGecg Sensor can deliver the benefits of extended ECG monitoring without disrupting your patient’s daily activities.

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1 Holbert, C. Wearable Technology Can Enhance Long Term Patient Care. Health Information Technology, August 3, 2017. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/wearable-technology-canenhance-long-term-patient-care.html

2 Hougton, D E. ECG Equipment: Wired for Infection? Nursing. 2006 36, no. 12 (December 2006): 71. https://journals.lww.com/nursing/fulltext/2006/12000/ecg_equipment__wired_for_infection_.56.aspx.

3 Barrett, P M, et al. Comparison of 24-hour Holter Monitoring with 14-day Novel Adhesive Path Electrocardiographic Monitoring. Am J Med. 2014 Jan;127(1):95.e11-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.10.003. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

 


OUR SOLUTION

TAGecg® Wearable ECG Sensor

TAGecg at an angle, overhead view

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