AUSTIN, Texas -- Personal emergency response systems may be key devices in the success of realizing healthcare reform's mandate to cut healthcare costs; Numera Inc. is betting on it. Among other products, the telemedicine systems company makes little devices that elderly patients can wear at home. The devices can establish direct communication links when needed or even detect falls and notify the right people when the patient can't speak. They also can pipe other useful patient home-monitoring stats into electronic health record systems on the provider side.
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In this podcast, CEO Tim Smokoff discusses interoperability between EHRs and home-monitoring devices, as well as overall trends in personal emergency response technology and adoption. While he's seen tenfold growth in provider and payer interest in the devices in the last year as accountable care organizations launch throughout the United States, Numera's top category of customers is private buyers who want to help keep track of elderly relatives while keeping them out of nursing homes.