As mentioned in this press release, ResMed announced its plan to bring cloud connectivity and its remote patient monitoring software, AirView, to its Astral life support ventilators, thereby increasing its global lead in number of remotely monitored patients. Today ResMed has more than 2.5 million patients monitored through AirView.

We thus decided to interview Raj Sodhi, ResMed president of healthcare informatics, about this announcement.

What is the importance of having cloud connectivity for patients who rely on Astral life support ventilators at home?

Cloud connectivity is a major factor in the future of healthcare; it enables physicians and home medical equipment providers (HMEs) to securely access key patient data from anywhere and manage patients more efficiently. Through cellular connectivity, Astral reports data on patients’ usage and other critical ventilation data. This crucial information tells the clinician which patients need immediate attention, as well as which patients are doing well. Patient data can be easily shared with various care teams without the hassle of printing and faxing reports. Readily available information and improved efficiencies enable clinicians to focus attention on patients who need it the most.

How can your technology aid in such cloud connectivity?

ResMed’s cellular cloud connectivity is more than just storing data in the cloud; it’s giving clinicians direct access to evaluate the data and assess their patients’ therapy and stability through AirView, ResMed’s secure, HIPAA-compliant cloud software application. Clinicians also have the option of integrating this data into their own electronic health records systems via the ResMed Data Exchange. Both AirView and ResMed Data Exchange provide ongoing insight related to the patients’ therapy whenever the clinician needs it.

What is your experience so far with patients using your technology?

Early feedback for Astral cellular connectivity is very positive. We are monitoring a diverse population of patients, including those with COPD, ALS and pediatric patients. HMEs have found the availability of daily clinical data (that once required a home visit to retrieve) to be very helpful in managing their ventilator patients and monitoring their therapy progress.

Where do you see the cloud connectivity industry for patients relying on Astral life support ventilators in the next 5 years?

Patients using Astral often suffer from more than one chronic disease. While it’s still too early to fully predict how remote monitoring will evolve in this space, we believe that timely availability of therapy information will continue to play a critical role in the efficient and effective treatment of these patients. Additionally, in 5 years you can imagine the set of Astral information being enriched with other key monitoring devices to give a complete picture of patients beyond just the performance of their ventilator therapy.

What recommendations would you like to give for any company willing to enter this industry?

In general, any medical device manufacturer looking to connect their devices to the cloud needs to make data security a top priority. Protecting personal health information (PHI) and storing it securely in a cloud-based system is one of the most critical elements to providing data access via the cloud. Additionally, it’s not just about data, but about providing meaningful data and insights to the right people at the right time. Protect the data you gather and think broadly about the problems you’re trying to solve with it.

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