December 09, 2021

RPM Technology Reduces COVID Deaths

BY LeadingAge

Automated text messages aimed at remote monitoring slightly reduced deaths from COVID-19, found a recent study. Adults who lived at home were enrolled in a remote monitoring program called COVID Watch, which sent automated text message check-ins to participants’ cell phones twice a day. Thanks to this program, these patients used telehealth more often, went to the Emergency Department earlier and more frequently, and had more hospitalizations, which may have affected their outcomes.


Patients who participated in the program received direct attention: They could report worsening symptoms at any time, and dedicated telemedicine clinicians were on hand 24/7 to manage escalations. These patients had 1.8 fewer deaths per 1,000 patients at 30 days and 2.5 fewer deaths at 60 days.


Annals of Internal Medicine published the results in “Comparative Effectiveness of an Automated Text Messaging Service for Monitoring COVID-19 at Home.”


Penn Medicine, which conducted the study, is an academic health system serving three mid-Atlantic states, with six hospitals and hundreds of outpatient practices. The study included 3,488 COVID Watch enrollees and a control group of 4,377.

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