Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

CarePartner Telephone Management Program of Patients with Heart Failure

Technology #5431

Home care management technology utilizes informal caregivers to monitor heart failure patients

CarePartners uses informal caregivers and automated telephonic assessments to take home health assessments of heart failure patients. Upon receiving the home health assessment, action can be taken by the healthcare team to get the heart failure patients the treatment he/she needs. Current home-based telemonitoring services do help close the gap in patient care, but multiple studies have demonstrated that, without the ability to respond to patient needs, these services have little impact on patient health outcomes. Thus, CarePartners not only retrieves patient condition information from home health assessments, but also acts to treat patient symptoms for an improved patient health outcome.

Automated telephonic health assessments and informal caregivers positively impact heart failure patients

About five and half million people suffer from heart failure in the United States. CarePartners uses family or friends (informal caregivers) of the heart failure patients to retrieve home health assessments to allow the healthcare team to better treat the patient at home. This technology was studied in a large group of heart failure patients and demonstrated that many patient self-care problems were noted and then remedied by the healthcare team. Also, the patients, informal caregivers, and healthcare team all felt that the program was useful and the burden light based on a post-trial survey. Given the success of CarePartners in managing heart failure patients at home, this technology could also be used in a wider range of chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, COPD, obesity, cancer, and depression in which out-patient care is common. The difference between current home health monitoring devices and CarePartners is that CarePartners utilizes familiar informal caregivers to help assess patient health with guidance. Moreover, the home health assessments result in real-time help and treatment for the patient. With hospital overcrowding and out-patient care increasing, CarePartners provides the solution for better home care and improved patient health.

Applications and Advantages

Applications

  • CarePartners can be applied to a wide range of chronic diseases such as heart failure, diabetes mellitus, cancer, asthma, and obesity.
  • Real-time, home monitoring and treating of patient symptoms.

Advantages

  • Patients receive treatment as soon as the informal caregiver or healthcare team is notified of a problem.
  • CarePartners uses informal caregivers who are familiar to the patient.
  • The informal caregivers and healthcare team are educated on the functioning of the program and the patient’s condition.