Lenovo has jumped into digital healthcare with a service called Virtual Care designed to help chronically ill folks better track their health. Doctors that sign up for the service can provide patients with an in-home kit that comes with biometric devices like blood pressure and glucose monitors, along with a Lenovo tablet and AI assistant called “Rosie.” The service can then design a custom health plan for patients and guide them through it to improve their outcomes and reduce the number of doctor visits.
Virtual Care is aimed at patients with conditions like diabetes, lung disease, congestive heart failure and hypertension. Patients are supposed to regularly take their vitals and send them directly to their health providers. From their, doctors can “respond quickly with timely interventions, adjust medications or modify self-care regimens,” Lenovo wrote.
The AI assistant, meanwhile, helps patients stick to the plan using “patient education, behavior modification and family engagement,” Lenovo wrote in a press release. The aim to help users develop good habits and improve their health plan compliance and, ergo, quality of life.
Lenovo is already in the US healthcare business with its Remote Reading service for radiology, along with cloud tech and hardware aimed at improving efficiency and security for providers. Now, it will provide the virtual patient monitoring service directly to doctors “for an average of $80 per patient per month,” the company wrote in a PR FAQ.
Other tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Apple have also entered the $3.5 trillion US health industry. Amazon, for instance, teamed with Berkshire Hathaway to unveil an ambitious service called Haven with no less a goal than to “transform health care.”
The US medical system is the least efficient in the world by a long way, so there’s certainly a role for tech companies to play. Virtual patient care in particular has exploded recently in the US, UK and elsewhere and is bound to become the norm in the near future. Experts aren’t yet convinced, however, that it can truly substitute for in-patient visits.