Roche’s line of point-of-care INR monitors are set to become connected devices thanks to a new partnership with Qualcomm.

For many patients, home INR monitoring is an incredible time and cost saver. It saves them innumerable trips to the clinic and the associated hassles that generally brings while also affording much more flexibility to freely travel. The process that many of my patients have described to me, however, seems pretty tedious and outdated.

After testing, patients have to either call in to a centralized monitoring company or call their doctor’s office and report the result. Then they wait for a callback at some point with instructions on what to do. Not only is that a hassle for patients, it creates several opportunities for the introduction of error – whether the secretary taking the call hears the wrong number, reported values are lost, and so on. As the two companies described it,

Connected chronic care management and remote management solutions can enhance patient care, enabling providers to asynchronously communicate with their patients in a high-tech, high-touch model minimizing risk of errors in result reporting. While many remote patient monitoring and management solutions today require patients to communicate results to their health care professionals in manual, time-consuming and non-digitized channels, Qualcomm Life and Roche are working together to deliver an improved process for sharing health information between health care providers and their patients.

With the increasing connectivity of all kinds of personal health devices, it was only a matter of time before INR monitoring made the leap into the 21st century. Using Qualcomm’s 2NET platform, Roche’s monitors will be able to automatically transmit the data via either a wireless connection or to a wired base station. This data can be sent to, say, the company or clinic with a flag generated within their software that there is new data to review.

Another approach being taken by device makers is to use a patient’s smartphone as the portal through which data is transmitted. There are certainly some advantages to that, particularly as platforms like HealthKit make health data more secure and shareable via that platform.

Either ways, the trend of connecting health devices to the cloud clearly continues.