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Telehealth cooperation Successful launch of care provision program for COPD patients in Germany High patient acceptance
- Bosch Healthcare, Techniker Krankenkasse and Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus aim to enhance patients‘ quality of life
- High patient and physician engagement
- November 15, 2012
- Press releases
Success factors for targeted support of high-risk patients
“Our goal is to respond to a worsening in COPD patients’ condition early on and spare them avoidable stays in hospital wherever possible,” explained Thomas Heilmann, responsible for the program at TK. He added that this was also relevant from a cost point of view, given that each of these hospitalizations entails an average cost of 4,000 euros.
“To ensure the program’s success we specifically target critically ill patients whose potential for a worsening of their condition, also called an exacerbation of COPD, is assessed as being particularly high,” Heilmann said. This is based on a specially developed predictive modeling to identify patients at risk of requiring acute hospital treatment in the near future.
“The cooperation partners consciously build on working closely with general practitioners and respiratory physicians across Germany. Without the support of local doctors, who know the patients personally and monitor their progress, a decisive component of the telehealth program would be lacking“, said Prof. Dr. Mark Dominik Alscher, Medical Director of the RBK. The program therefore supports medical practitioners in recognizing trends in the phases of the disease and provides opportunities to optimize care processes.
High patient and physician engagement
“The acceptance and engagement of the participating policyholders is very high and initial feedback from those registered in the scheme is broadly positive,” says Thomas Heilmann. “We therefore anticipate that we will quickly reach the 300 patients required for the evaluation. It is then planned to assess the benefits of the program compared to a randomized control group.”
To be able to participate in the program patients need the approval of their doctor. The high engagement of 81 percent of healthcare providers exceeds our expectations,” Dr. Ralf von Baer, managing director of Robert Bosch Healthcare GmbH, adds. He sees this as pointing to a growing acceptance of telehealth solutions among the medical profession.
Medical Director Alscher on first experiences with direct patient care through the thelehealth center: “Patients participating in the program appreciate the targeted approach and information. They place a high level of trust in the staff from the telehealth center, show high adherence and as a result feel more confident in their familiar home surroundings. First results show that intensive telehealth care helps stabilize patients’ condition.”
COPD third most frequent cause of death in Europe by 2030
Surveys conducted by the Federal Statistical Office indicate that 80 patients die from COPD every day in Germany alone. The World Health Organization (WHO) anticipates that by 2030 COPD will be the third most frequent cause of death in Europe after heart failure and stroke (World Health Statistics). According to estimates, more than six million people in Germany are currently suffering from COPD (based on the BOLD study, Geldmacher 2008). However, only around 1.5 million of these have been diagnosed (Chapman 2006).
Approximately 100,000 COPD patients are currently registered with the Techniker Krankenkasse alone (of a total of around eight million policyholders).
Successfully implemented in the USA for over a decade
This program builds on the Bosch Healthcare Telehealth system that has been implemented internationally for over a decade. As well as COPD the Bosch Healthcare system is also used to successfully monitor other chronic diseases such as heart failure and diabetes. “Here we go a long way towards living up to Bosch’s vision of “Invented for life”,” explains Dr. Jasper zu Putlitz, president of Robert Bosch Healthcare. Referring to the further rollout in Germany zu Putlitz says: “We are expecting other health insurance companies and insurers – also for other chronic diseases – to participate in our telehealth infrastructure in the near future.”
Further information is available online at: www.A-T-em.de
Dr. Sandra Nelles, Robert Bosch Healthcare GmbH,
Phone +49 711 811-58269
Christian Elspas, Techniker Krankenkasse,
Phone +49 211 936 00-27
Martina Amrhein, Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus,
Phone +49 711 8101 3047
Bosch Healthcare is a pioneer and global market leader of telehealth solutions and a leading provider of telecare systems in Europe. The Telehealth division offers payers and healthcare providers a broad portfolio of telehealth products and services aimed at supporting patients with chronic diseases in their home environment and contributing to an efficient and sustainable healthcare system. The Bosch Telehealth System delivers educational content, records health data (incl. symptoms and vital signs), transmits the processed data to the respective healthcare provider and provides the patient with feedback. The Bosch telehealth system currently monitors over 50,000 patients with chronic diseases worldwide in order to support their care. The success of the system - documented in over 30 publications - results from the timely identification of patients at risk of their condition worsening, and from support of improved patient self-management. The Bosch Telecare division offers a range of personal emergency response systems that allow people to live securely and independently in their own homes while having access to assistance 24/7 at the touch of a button. Personal alert systems allow those living in retirement homes and other assisted living facilities to have direct access to a call button which they can press if they need to alert staff.
PI7959 - November 15, 2012