Doctors can now use biometric devices to monitor patients' vital signs during live consultations on American Well's telehealth platform.
American Well, a major provider of virtual doctor's visits, has
announced that its Online Care telehealth platform will now connect to
remote-monitoring devices using the NumeraNet gateway.
The Online Care telehealth service allows doctors and patients to
conduct live online visits using two-way video, secure text chat or
the phone. Patients can access the American Well service
through major health care plans and pharmacy chains.
FDA-cleared gateway that allows health data to be captured, transmitted
analyzed through PCs, mobile devices and telehealth home hubs. Doctors
can transfer data from the gateway into electronic health records
"Enabling health providers with timely, objective patient information is one of the pillars for effective condition and care
management programs," Tim Smokoff, CEO of Numera, said in a statement.
is a growing trend that allows doctors and patients to connect in real time through a Web or phone connection.
Taking a patient's pulse, temperature, weight and blood pressure are
the essential components of any doctor's exam. Now doctors will be
able to access this information over the Numera gateway during a
virtual exam, Dr. Roy Schoenberg, CEO of American Well, told eWEEK
The combined American Well and Numera technology, announced on Sept.
7, will also help doctors monitor chronic
conditions such as asthma, diabetes and cancer. The NumeraNet gateway
can connect to glucometers to transmit blood sugar levels and to peak
to send readings of how far a patient can breathe out air.
The telehealth platform could also help with maternity care, and electronic scales can measure the amount of fluid
in the lungs for patients with heart conditions, Schoenberg said.
"We now see so many different kinds of monitoring devices that are built to be in patients' homes," Schoenberg said.
Companies that make remote biometric devices include Liberty, Medtronic and 3M.
"We've closed the loop, where the state of that patient can be
clearly available to the physician, who can act on it and treat that
patient while the patient is in bed and the physician is in the
he said. "That is something that is moving the needle on what kind of
health care we can give people while they are in their home."
Although Schoenberg noted that telehealth can't do everything medically necessary yet, like allow doctors to feel organs such as
the liver, the technology is still advancing quickly, he said.
"The technological infrastructure is making significant progress
toward giving physicians everything they need to care for patients
with telehealth," he said.
The remote-monitoring devices are also called machine-to-machine (M2M) products, which are among the devices that the
health care industry must support, according to a recent
report by Frost & Sullivan
Numera connects to American Well's platform using a cellular
connection as well as USB port. The data travels from the diagnostic
Numera's central server, which connects on the back end to American
Well's Online Care service, Schoenberg explained.