Highmark Health’s VITAL Innovation Program testing benefits of innovations from OMRON® Healthcare related to daily control of hypertension and from Sensible Medical related to measurement of lung fluid in patients with congestive heart failure

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 | by

VITAL program will provide real-world evidence related to patient experience, care outcomes and cost impact

PITTSBURGH and LAKE FOREST, Ill. and TENAFLY, N.J., Dec. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Highmark Health announced today that through its VITAL Innovation Program, it is testing two early-stage health innovations: OMRON Healthcare’s Hypertension Management Platform related to daily control of hypertension and Sensible Medical’s ReDSTM (Remote Dielectric Sensing) Fluid Monitoring System related to measurement of lung fluid in patients with congestive heart failure.


A test-and-learn platform powered by Highmark Health’s robust integrated delivery and financing system, VITAL rigorously tests health innovations in clinical settings and through claims-level and clinical data, produces real-world evidence related to patient experience, care outcomes and cost impact.


The VITAL program is testing OMRON’s Hypertension Management Platform through July of 2019 among 200 patients with hypertension. This platform uses automated blood pressure monitors operated daily by patients in their environments, and through the OMRON Hypertension Management app, sends clinical data to OMRON’s Dr. Dashboard, allowing clinicians to specifically assess the characteristics of the hypertension and to risk-stratify patients. High-risk patients can then be identified for earlier intervention, potentially resulting in improved health outcomes, reduction in acute events and an overall reduction in the cost of patient care.


According to the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, nearly half of U.S. adults have hypertension, one of the leading risk factors of heart attack and stroke. Spearheading the Omron test is lead investigator Dr. Francis Colangelo of Premier Medical Associates in Monroeville, Pa.


In addition, the VITAL program is testing Sensible Medical’s ReDS Fluid Monitoring System through July of 2019 among 100 patients with recent congestive heart failure admissions who are being discharged from an Allegheny Health Network hospital to a skilled nursing facility. The ReDS system features a noninvasive “vest” that within 90 seconds can supplement the stethoscope by using radio frequency technology to provide an objective measure of congestion in the lungs related to pulmonary edema. If threshold levels of fluids exist, patients would remain in the nursing facility for further treatment until discharge levels are met. Using the ReDS system has the potential to reduce premature patient discharges that can result in emergency rooms episodes and costly hospital readmissions.


Spearheading the Sensible Medical ReDS test is lead investigator Dr. Srinivas Murali of Allegheny Health Network’s Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.


“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and it accounts for $200 billion in health care spending annually,” said Sarah Ahmad, senior vice president of innovation and transformation strategy for Highmark Health. “A top priority of the VITAL program is discovering innovative ways to prevent and control hypertension, as well as diagnose and care for those living with a heart condition. We look forward to working with OMRON and Sensible Medical on their unique solutions.”


Until 2018, the VITAL program had exclusively served as an internal platform for Highmark Health affiliates Allegheny Health Network and the Highmark Health Plan. Resulting from its success, it has now evolved to a commercial model, and OMRON represents one of its first business partners.


“OMRON’s mission to eliminate heart attack and stroke is advanced by working with Highmark Health,” said Andy Atwell, head of new business development, OMRON Healthcare. “The VITAL program creates an opportunity to perfect our hypertension management and physician decision support platform in the real world. VITAL provides a critical framework for planning a successful test and producing valuable evidence for downstream decision making within Highmark Health.”


About Highmark Health’s VITAL Innovation Program
Unless accel­er­ated, impor­tant new FDA-approved health care inno­va­tions can idle, awaiting the evidence needed to gain adop­tion and market­place access that can change the course of a patient’s diag­nosis, or life. VITAL is the solu­tion: a test-and-learn plat­form that can help propel new health solu­tions into the market­place by providing the ideal envi­ron­ment for producing evidence. The unique VITAL Innovation Program leverages Highmark Health’s position as the nation’s second largest integrated delivery and financing system. VITAL facilitates real-world testing of early-stage health innovations, producing evidence related to patient experience, and care and cost outcomes. This evidence may accelerate an innovation’s coverage and utilization by health plans and care delivery systems, fast-tracking the solution to patients and supporting swifter marketplace adoption. To learn more, please visit https://vitalinnovation.com.


About Highmark Health
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA-based company, that, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates,  collectively employ more than 40,000 people and  serve millions of Americans across the country, is the second largest integrated health care delivery and financing network in the nation based on revenue.   Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions.  Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to nearly 5 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware as well as dental insurance, vision care and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses that include United Concordia Companies, HM Insurance Group, and Visionworks.   Allegheny Health Network is the parent company of an integrated delivery network that includes eight hospitals, more than 2,400 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania.   HM Health Solutions focuses on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge and integrated cloud-based platforms.  To learn more, please visit www.highmarkhealth.org.


About OMRON Healthcare, Inc.
OMRON Healthcare, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of personal heart health and wellness products. OMRON’s market-leading products include home blood pressure monitors and electrotherapy devices. Since OMRON invented its first blood pressure monitors more than 40 years ago, the company has been passionate about empowering people to take charge of their health at home through precise technology. Helping people improve their ability to live a healthier life is the heart and soul of OMRON’s purpose. For more information, visit https://omronhealthcare.com/


About Sensible Medical
Sensible Medical is an Israeli medical technology start-up company that has developed ReDS (Remote Dielectric Sensing) technology that utilizes miniature medical radar to deliver accurate lung volume measurements that are correlated with computed tomography. Because ReDS fluid volume information is accurate, and absolute rather than relative, it is actionable data that can be used to better understand and manage patients’ heart failures. In a clinical study, ReDS has been shown to reduce readmission by as much as 87%. Healthcare facilities across the U.S. have also been seeing similarly high reductions with actionable data guiding treatment decisions. For more information, visit https://sensible-medical.com.


SOURCE Highmark Health