As written by Kate Jennings in Forbes (found here):

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a movement already underway as a combination of sensors and artificial intelligence help move patients out of emergency rooms and doctor’s offices.

Before becoming a doctor, David Levine was a high school teacher in a tough neighborhood in Chicago, where he would often make house calls to tutor students and check in on them. “That’s where I learned this amazing power of taking care or teaching in people’s homes,” says Levine. “You immediately understand a lot of the drivers and things going on in their lives and from that you can then look for solutions for them.”

Nowadays he is applying the same principle in medicine. He helps reimagine ways for hospitals to take care of sick patients in the comfort of their own homes, as the medical director of strategy and innovation for Brigham Health Home Hospital in Boston. For a century, Americans have been trained “to call 911 and go to the hospital when they’re sick,” says Levine. But a growing body of evidence shows that for some conditions, high-level care provided in the home can result in better patient outcomes at a lower cost. Levine was the first author of a randomized controlled trial that found home-hospital care was on average 38% less expensive than care delivered in the four walls of a hospital. Plus, patients were less likely to have to be readmitted within 30 days.

In November, the federal government announced it would start reimbursing home- hospital services for 60 different conditions at the same rates as in-hospital services. Like many trends in healthcare, big change comes on the heels of Medicare reimbursement, as commercial insurers often follow suit. Since November, the federal government has approved 103 hospitals in 28 states to reimburse some home-hospital services at the same rates as in-hospital services.

Two Boston-based startups—Medically Home and Biofourmis—are among a growing number of companies providing the technology that makes this transformation possible more widely. And the revolution isn’t limited to patients requiring hospitalization. There’s also been a raft of new technologies from companies like Teladoc Health and Dexcom that help patients with chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, better monitor day-to-day fluctuations and stay healthy.

The right combination of sensors, artificial intelligence and trained staff can monitor issues ranging from infections to heart failure in the home. But the challenge for doctors and companies in this space is getting the word out. “We have a big public health messaging campaign to do—to basically retrain people and say, ‘The hospital is definitely the place to go for some things,’” says Levine. “But a home hospital may get you even better care, even better outcomes for certain conditions.”

More here.