Connected health care: 'Now is the right time'

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Monday, April 24, 2017

While monitoring has become ubiquitous in the sleep therapy market, where insurers require proof of compliance for continued reimbursement, the oxygen therapy market has been slower on the uptake.

But that’s all changing, says Kyle Miko, founder and COO of VirtuOx, which recently launched VirtuTrack, a device that allows providers to track usage and the whereabouts of capital-intensive equipment like oxygen transfill systems and non-invasive ventilators.

“We’re all used to having connected items in our homes, whether it’s a smart phone or a scale or a diabetes monitor or a pulse oximeter,” he said. “We’re all excited to monitor every bit of our lives with these things, so I think now is the right time. It has become more digestible and acceptable.”

Prior to VirtuOx launching VirtuTrack, O2 Concepts launched a portable oxygen concentrator with a built-in modem that allows providers to remotely perform software updates and check settings, usage and purity. ResMed has also shared plans to bring cloud connectivity to the POCs of Inova Labs, which it bought in 2016.

Also helping to push oxygen therapy toward connectivity, Miko says: The price to remotely monitor devices has become more reasonable. VirtuOx charges providers $75 for a VirtuTrack device, plus $3 per month for data.

“Five years ago, a data plan would have been $30 to $40 per month,” he said.