After a few days, the system establishes a pattern of behavior for each patient and alerts caregivers to changes that could raise a red flag, such as disrupted sleep or repeated visits to the bathroom. Humana said the information on each patient is processed through proprietary algorithms that trigger an alert when activity exceeds a "pre-established individualized threshold."
"We know that daily activities like eating, sleeping, and physical activity can tell you a lot about a person's health," says Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic care management services for Humana Cares/Senior Bridge. "With the information relayed to us through Healthsense in-home sensors, we're able to quickly act on the alerts we receive.
This is especially important in cases where you have a member with multiple chronic conditions living alone where a timely response can drastically change a health outcome."
The concept of passive monitoring involves tracking everyday activity instead of vital signs. Many of the tests currently being conducted have a dual goal of seeing how effective the program can be and whether it is cost-effective.
"The primary target audience for these programs is older people with problems like Alzheimer's or chronic illnesses like COPD," says Lindeman. "It's a different concept because instead of looking at things like vital signs, you're watching for changes in behavior that could signal a problem. So the idea is to manage by exception."