Perhaps the most striking conversation we had at the EIT Health conference in Stockholm this week was with Hans Danneels at Belgian startup Byteflies, which sells digital monitoring solutions for Covid, coronary and epilepsy that enable patients to stay at home.
He said: “Before Covid it was truly awful. Hospitals just wanted to do pilots and the pilots then went nowhere. That changed overnight when we could show hospitals how to free up thousands of hospital bed days. And it remains the case today. In Belgium, I’d say 20-30% of specialist hospital doctors we talk to are now keenly interested and it usually takes only a week between us making contact and us equipping the first patient.”
These striking claims are borne out by Luscii, the Dutch telemonitoring outfit which seems to be achieving a similar global lift off. And this revolution is being baked into healthcare systems by payors and public sector operators who are desperate to save money. In the case of university hospitals and their twinned research institutes, there is another reason to favour telemonitoring. It enables them to get a much more holistic and longer-term view of patients and their outcomes than they achieve with traditional episodes of care models. It replaces “find them, fix them and forget them” with “find them, fix them and track them”.
We think this will be one of the lasting impacts of Covid and it is also one which will happen over the next 1-3 years. That is a microsecond in healthcare system terms!