Kaiser Permanente to expand smartwatch program

Kaiser Permanente will expand a program launched with Samsung in 2018 for remote monitoring of cardiac rehabilitation patients, according to The Wall Street Journal.

As part of the initial program, around 4,000 patients received Samsung smartwatches to help with exercise and medication reminders. The watch also collects steps and pulse data and includes a questionnaire where patients provide details including the type and duration of exercise and whether they experienced any symptoms.

The hospital and health-insurance company said that the rehab program is showing promising results – readmission rates based on cardiac-related conditions in the remote program were less than 2% through June 2019, compared with 10% to 15% on average for in-clinic programs.

A yearlong study of 2,300 participants found that more than 87 percent of patients completed the eight-week remote rehab program, compared with an average of less than half of patients enrolled in in-clinic programs, according to a report published in August 2019.