Microsoft gives Partners grant for diabetes home-health program

3 min read

The Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare, one of the nation’s leading integrated health care delivery systems, received funding from the Microsoft HealthVault Be Well Fund to develop a home-based glucose monitoring system for patients with diabetes.  This new initiative, Diabetes Connected Health, will use available online technology to expand patient knowledge and support patient-physician communication to improve diabetes management and treatment outcomes.  The Center for Connected Health is one of 15 request for proposal recipients of the Be Well Fund, selected from nearly 200 proposals submitted.
As part of the HealthVault award, the Center will create a novel web-based system to securely and easily integrate home-based glucose monitoring results within the clinical workflow of diabetes care.  To evaluate the care process and HealthVault augmented diabetes care system, patients from six Massachusetts General Hospital practices will use commercially-available glucometers and blood pressure devices to transmit personal health data, via HealthVault, into the Partners HealthCare secure clinical systems and proprietary diabetes management application. This will create a secure patient portal, via HealthVault, allowing patients to access personalized health information and communicate with their healthcare provider.
The Center for Connected Health recently completed a three month study with patients from a primary care practice at Massachusetts General Hospital, to monitor glucose levels from patients’ homes.  Following this study, participants reported high levels of satisfaction, were more likely to regularly monitor their blood glucose levels, more knowledgeable about their condition and more confident in their ability to control their blood glucose.  The Center will also be conducting a large scale randomized controlled trial to measure the effectiveness of the online diabetes management application in helping patients do a better job of managing their disease.
“We are pleased to have been selected by the HealthVault Be Well Fund to participate in advancing online solutions for both patients and providers and, specifically, to improve healthcare delivery and diabetes management,” said Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, founder and director, Center for Connected Health.  “Based on our experience, we are hopeful that the Diabetes Connected Health program will increase patient and clinician satisfaction, raise patient awareness and education about their diabetes and, importantly, help improve the management of diabetes and, thereby, improve outcomes.”
The Microsoft HealthVault Be Well Fund is designed to stimulate not-for-profit research and development across a broad range of health disciplines that have the potential to significantly improve health and wellness.  The Be Well Fund helps seed innovative avenues of research and explores the potential for disruptive improvements to health management enabled by reuse and sharing of data among people, families, caregivers, doctors and facilities.
“We’re excited to help organizations like the Center for Connected Health turn their ideas into reality and to expand the capabilities and services available through HealthVault,” added Peter Neupert, corporate vice president of the Health Solutions Group at Microsoft Corp.  “Our vision is to use the Internet to empower people to fully engage in managing their own health and improving health outcomes.”