ADT

ADT Security Services will be releasing a package of services that provide medical monitoring from the home. Press release here.

ADT's
WellHealth product suite is designed to monitor health regimens and
medication through use of digital devices and networks that connect
patients to ADT's Customer Monitoring Centers and, if necessary, a
medical professional. The new products include:

  • MediHealth, which monitors medication compliance and related health issues to evaluate adherence to physician instructions;
  • VitalHealth, which tracks vital signs to record and report health data that could signal a need for medical help; and
  • ManageHealth, which chronicles health behaviors.

MediHealth is reported to be released in 2006, with VitalHealth and ManageHealth rolling out in the next "few years."

ADT is a subsidiary of Tyco, who owns a number of health care companies. It will be interesting to see how ADT handles the sometimes Byzantine and counter-intuitive requirements of health care. Reimbursement and sales should be two of the biggest challenges to their traditional business model. On the product side, identifying and effectively meeting medical market requirements, including connectivity - both patient connected devices and back end information systems - will require knowledge and understanding beyond security services.

UPDATE: Shahid, The Healthcare IT Guy, offers an interesting suggestion for ADT.

[snip] I kept thinking that if it was not just a service that they provided
but a platform for delivery of new HIT applications connected to
patients at home, what types of applications would be most useful?

ADT is uniquely positioned with the infrastructure and a presence in homes to support home health applications. But, the track record of non health care companies successfully making a go of it in health care is very poor. AT&T made a run at PACS in the 1980s and left the market, IBM has been in and out of health care starting with their Patient Care System (PCS) in the late 1970s. With today's aging population of affluent baby boomers, many outside of health care are looking to leverage connectivity, remote monitoring, location aware applications and other technologies to tap what they see as a huge business opportunity. And it is a huge opportunity. Its easy to develop cool technology that offers apparent value, the challenges will be making something the market will actually adopt, and syncing up the business plan with the realities of the health care market (timing, who pays and why).

Remote monitoring applications are especially tricky because of the relationships between physicians, payers, hospitals, long-term care, and home health providers. Compared to industry, where there are rational integrated supply chains, health care (especially outside the hospital) is distorted by a discontinuity between who receives services and who pays for them. A popular example of this lack of vertical integration and its impact is the barrier in getting physicians to adopt EMR - most of the benefits of an EMR accrue to others but all the costs are born by the doctor. When broad information integration and connectivity (RHIOs and electronic prescribing are two more examples) are discussed each link along the chain asks, "What's in it for me?" If there is no direct benefit, there is no adoption.