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Building and Maintaining a Successful Digital Health Program: Why the Right Partnership Matters

4 min read

Digital health programs have the potential to deliver an in-depth understanding of patients’ well-being. Through these programs, patients use in-home devices to share biometric data with their health program, providing insights that drive better management of chronic diseases. However, running a digital health program is a complex endeavor. There are myriad factors involved, from distributing devices to onboarding and supporting patients to keeping patients engaged. Having the right connected device partner is key to success.

Realizing the Promise of Digital Health Programs

According to the American Medical Association, over $100 billion of venture funding has been invested in digital health companies since 2010. These solutions are significantly improving health outcomes while addressing issues of quality, access, and equity.

But while the promise of digital health shines bright, an organization’s ability to impact patients’ health requires both mastering the user experience and lightening the workload for care teams. This is where having the right connected device partner comes in.

What to Look for in a Connected Device Partner

With multiple options to choose from, it can be challenging to know which partner is right for your digital health program. The best partner not only designs patient-centric devices that patients love but also reduces the complexity of delivering care. Here are the top attributes to look for when considering a connected device partner.

1. Comprehensive services

A recent IBM Institute of Business Value report found that “capturing the [medical device] market will require more than innovative, easy-to-use devices; success will be determined by the strength of the entire solution. By that, we mean the comprehensive, cohesive experience provided to the consumer…” Keeping consumers happy and engaged requires creating a frictionless experience. Any hiccup in onboarding or setup, for example, results in patients abandoning the process. To deliver best-in-class experiences, look for a partner keenly interested in understanding what your program is looking to accomplish, with dedicated teams who can assist you and your patients every step of the way. This encompasses:

  • Handling shipping and logistical needs
  • Offering appealing unboxing experiences
  • Educating patients about device use
  • Streamlining technical integration
  • Offering day-to-day support
  • Initiating proactive check-ins to help meet your program goals

2. Raising standards in medical technology

The realm of connected devices is destined for rapid-fire change. Having a partner who’s on the cutting edge of the industry will future-proof your digital health program, ensuring you and your patients can capitalize on the latest med tech advances. The best partner knows how to anticipate market demands and has the R&D acumen to invent the next med tech game changer.

3. Exceptional patient experience

Delivering devices that people actually enjoy using leads to better healthcare. In a survey of 1,300 device users, IBM found that consumer adoption relies heavily on making the monitoring process easy. Patients crave simple, intuitive, yet feature-rich devices.

Choose a partner well-versed in creating products that drive high adoption rates. Inquire about the partner’s philosophy of supporting healthy behaviors and how this philosophy is embodied in their products. For a start, they should have a history of designing devices that are exceptionally easy to use and incorporate easily into patients’ daily routines.

From there, it’s ideal for devices to offer cellular capabilities since this will eliminate any setup hassles – and will enable patients to participate in the program, regardless of whether they have Internet access or even have a cell phone. Offering these features helps cultivate a strong digital health program.

But don’t just look at the bells and whistles of the product. Consider the results the devices have demonstrated. For example, potential partners should be able to demonstrate strong customer retention as well as low volumes of support tickets.

4. Simple APIs that reduce operational burden

A National Academy of Medicine report noted that “seamless connectivity and communication among healthcare-related devices are essential prerequisites for promoting optimal health.” Even the most capable devices can cause problems if they don’t easily integrate into your program and existing technology.

To avoid frustration and wasted time, verify that the devices assimilate effortlessly into your program’s workflow and that data management is easy and secure. Look for a partner that offers simple APIs that make integration easy. Seamless integration results in reliable, accurate health member data being transferred in real time or near-real time to enable prompt care decisions.

5. Health-centric and based on clinical experience

Building and improving digital health programs requires a long-term commitment. To that end, it’s prudent to choose a partner with a deep understanding of what motivates people to care for their health. Savvy partners collaborate closely with medical professionals as well as behavior scientists to continually enhance the patient and provider experience. At its heart, this innate understanding is what improves health outcomes.

Partnering With Withings Health Solutions

Withings created the first smart scale in 2009 and has been a pioneer in connected health ever since, with millions of users across more than 30 countries. Withings Health Solutions offers a comprehensive remote patient monitoring solution and a portfolio of beautifully designed and easy-to-use devices including blood pressure monitors, connected scales, an advanced sleep system, a smart temporal thermometer, and hybrid smartwatches.

Why choose Withings Health Solutions? Our dedicated CSM Team made up of device experts and solution engineers, ensures that our partners have the support they need when they need it. Used by clinicians and researchers, including Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, and Stanford Medicine, our devices were designed with input from medical professionals and behavioral scientists. They deliver precisely accurate measurements and an exceptionally high user retention rate. We are committed to our partners’ success, with an NPS score of 73%.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half (51.8%) of U.S. adults have at least one diagnosed chronic condition, including arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension. Connected health devices have an important role to play in helping patients with chronic illnesses improve their quality of life. In this article, we explore how these devices can help physicians and patients manage their chronic conditions and make the lifestyle changes needed to realize their wellness goals. We’ll wrap up with three real-life use cases that highlight how connected health devices are being used to empower patients and improve health outcomes.

Patient stepping on a Withings connected scale

Benefits of Connected Health Devices for Managing Chronic Illness

The nature of chronic conditions is that they can develop gradually over time. This is problematic because the deterioration can go undetected. Connected health devices can help patients and their healthcare providers more quickly identify the progress of diseases and better manage them for greater wellness. Here are five important benefits of using connected health devices.

Earlier detection of deteriorating health

Connected devices can help to increase the frequency of health checks in between in-office doctor visits, providing a more accurate view of patient health for providers to base treatment. Additionally, connected health devices act as an early warning system, alerting patients and approved medical providers when a patient’s health metrics aren’t ideal. They can also flag an unexpected sudden deterioration, limiting the risk of further complications. With vital health metrics monitored at frequent intervals, providers can intervene more quickly to prevent additional health complications, such as poorly-managed diabetes triggering hypertension.

Increase patient-provider bond

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs can create a stronger connection between patients and providers as patients have confidence that their conditions are being closely monitored. During office visits, providers have the opportunity to use the patient’s data as part of the shared decision-making process, allowing patients and providers to work together to create a care plan or fine-tune an existing one. Participation in an RPM program also provides physicians with an additional tool to track patient adherence to treatment plans.

Track progress toward health goals

Connected health devices empower patients to play a more active part in achieving their own wellness goals. When readings are taken daily or several times per week, patients can more easily track their progress. More frequent health measures help patients see how lifestyle choices like exercise and diet directly impact their health.

Share patient health data across a patient’s entire care team

With patient consent, health data from connected devices can be accessed by the patient’s entire care team. Especially for patients with complex health profiles, data from connected devices can foster greater collaboration between providers.

Expand provider capacity

Today, many healthcare systems are stretched thin. Remote patient monitoring empowers healthcare providers to be more proactive in managing patient care. Patients with well-managed chronic conditions are less likely to require more costly and resource-intensive acute care.

Use Cases for Connected Health Devices

The opportunities for remote patient monitoring and connected health devices are nearly endless, ensuring that conditions are detected early before complications can develop. This is even more important as all these conditions are linked with one another. To demonstrate how beneficial this technology can be, here are three ways RPM programs are being used successfully to improve health outcomes.

Diabetes prevention and obesity

Patients use a cellular- or Wifi-enabled digital scale to take frequent body weight measures, which can be automatically transmitted to the healthcare provider. Providers can use this data to spot trends, track adherence to a treatment plan, and evaluate the effectiveness of a weight management program. Frequent body weight measurements also help patients see how lifestyle choices directly impact their health.

Hypertension

Patients diagnosed with hypertension use a wireless blood pressure cuff to monitor their blood pressure regularly. This device automatically collects and transmits the reading, often with just the touch of a button. Using an RPM device for managing hypertension allows healthcare providers to track a patient’s blood pressure over time and can alert them to dangerous spikes in blood pressure that may require urgent intervention.

Sleep conditions

Sleep conditions like sleep apnea can be silent and are underdiagnosed. Using a sleep tracking mat helps to provide an objective measure to identify these conditions. Sleep specialists can use an under-mattress sleep mat to track a patient’s sleep patterns remotely, capturing metrics such as interruptions, time in bed before sleep, time to get out of bed in the morning, and other factors that can affect sleep quality. Some sleep mats, such as Withings’, can also detect snoring.

Withings Connected Devices for Managing Chronic Illness

Connected health devices are an important part of managing chronic illness. With over a decade of industry experience, Withings Health Solutions offers medical-grade devices that feature intuitive designs that encourage high user adoption and retention rates, including a sleep tracking mat, blood pressure monitor, and scale. And our physician dashboard offers intuitive, continuous access to patients’ critical health data in near-real time for actionable information to guide care.

Learn more about the Withings Health Solutions portfolio of smart health devices or request a demo.

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Even though remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs come with a host of benefits for both patients and providers, the idea of starting one can be daunting for busy medical practices. But with the right preparation and support in place, establishing a remote patient monitoring program doesn’t have to create additional burdens. In some cases, it can actually help to lighten the load. Here’s how to get up and running without taxing existing resources.

7 Tips to Start a Successful RPM Program

Many medical practices are eager to begin their own remote patient monitoring programs but are wary of adding extra workload to their staff. Here are seven tips that will help you avoid creating unnecessary work for your team.

1. Start with a pilot program

There are many patient populations who may benefit from remote patient monitoring. But creating a large, multi-population program from scratch can overwhelm office staff, healthcare providers, and patients. Inevitably, you’ll make some mistakes and need to adjust the program once it’s underway. Starting with a small pilot group of between 25 to 50 patients allows the physicians to effectively evaluate the clinical workflow while also testing out billing.

2. Identify the patient population most likely to benefit from remote patient monitoring

Which patient population should you start with for your pilot group? Begin by identifying the patient population that is most likely to reap the biggest benefits. Once you’ve ironed out the wrinkles in your program and are experiencing positive gains in health outcomes and profitability, it’s time to consider expanding your program to include additional patient populations that are likely to benefit.

3. Create a well-rounded team with the needed expertise

When planning a remote patient monitoring program launch, include team members with different skill sets and experience. A well-rounded team may include an office staff member, healthcare provider, IT support, and others. Diverse teams are better able to anticipate and plan around potential roadblocks to implementation.

4. Define the entire process from beginning to end

It’s far from ideal to build the airplane once it’s flying. Chart out each step in the process of creating an RPM program, from sourcing devices to educating patients and staff to ongoing support before the official launch. Be sure to gather input from team members to make sure all angles are covered.

5. Use quality devices

Efforts at persuading patients of the benefits of remote patient technology will be largely undermined by poor quality, buggy devices that don’t perform as promised. Make sure the connected device manufacturer you choose has a reputation for designing medical-grade quality, intuitive, easy-to-use devices and quality customer support.

6. Provide training for all stakeholders

It takes a village to plan and launch a remote patient monitoring program. Providing training to everyone involved increases the chances of a smooth rollout. Well-trained office staff and healthcare providers are better equipped, and patient training will help to educate patients as they learn to use this new technology.

7. Evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program

Before expanding your existing program, monitor how effective your current program has been. No remote patient monitoring program launch is perfect, but you and your patients should be experiencing measurable benefits like improved health outcomes and enhanced profitability. Based on your learnings, you can then make improvements to your RPM program, evolving it over time.

Withings Health Solutions Makes Remote Patient Monitoring Easy

Withings Health Solutions offers a full line of intuitive health tech devices and the support healthcare providers need to begin or expand their remote patient monitoring program. Withings devices are ready to use right out of the box, making habitual use easy. Designed to easily integrate into patients’ daily lives, these user-friendly devices reliably deliver vital participant data to professionals overseeing their care. As an example, 94% of users are still using their scales one year after their purchase. Healthcare providers gain a comprehensive view of patient health data via a secure platform for tracking patient information in a visual format and receiving alerts.

Intuitive device design: Withings offers a full lineup of remote patient monitoring devices including blood pressure monitors, scales, sleep mat, and activity trackers. Remote patient monitoring devices only benefit patients when they’re used. That’s why every Withings product has been designed from the ground up with the end user’s experience in mind.

Connectivity options to meet every patient’s needs: Withings devices support a range of connectivity options including cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

Secure healthcare provider access to patient health data: Withings RPM provides accurate, patient-centric data to better monitor health parameters and efficiently manage participants. Providers can easily access a comprehensive dashboard, view metrics at a glance, view long-term trends, and dive into relevant details.

Engineering and logistical support Withings offers additional support that makes it easy for medical practices to focus on providing quality care, rather than on product set-up, including direct shipping of the device to patients, and technical EHR integration assistance. We’re committed to provide the level of support you need to make your patient monitoring program a success.

Ready to Get Started with Your RPM Program?

Launching a successful, scalable remote patient monitoring program doesn’t require draining critical resources used to support daily operations. With intentional planning and a pilot start with gradual growth, providers can establish a well-positioned remote patient monitoring program.

Discover how Withings Health Solutions can help you build an effective remote patient monitoring program.

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Remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs are beneficial for both patients and medical practices. But an RPM initiative’s success depends on the people behind the program. In this article, we look at why RPM programs have become so popular and the roles and responsibilities of an RPM team. To close, we share five easy-to-implement strategies for creating a strong RPM program.

Why RPM is Growing

The adoption rate of remote patient monitoring has grown dramatically in recent years. According to Insider Intelligence, 30 million patients in the U.S. will be using at least one RPM device by 2024. Here are six significant catalysts driving the rapid adoption rates of RPM technology.

COVID-19 pandemic

With much of the country brought to a standstill, the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated already emerging trends in virtual care. More insurers began covering telehealth services, dramatically increasing adoption. Remote patient monitoring devices allow medical professionals to monitor their patients’ key health metrics without having them come into the office, making RPM a significant value-add to a practice’s telehealth services.

Increase in chronic conditions such as diabetes

As the rates of long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity continue to rise in the U.S., remote patient monitoring devices empower patients and providers. RPM devices actively monitor key health metrics like blood pressure and weight, and the devices can be set to send data to the patient’s physician. These capabilities give patients and providers the longitudinal information they need to make changes that improve health outcomes.

Convenience

Work, family, and other obligations can quickly crowd out a schedule. RPM devices make it easy for patients to quickly take vital measures like blood pressure and weight. These measures can be automatically transmitted to the healthcare provider via cellular, WiFi, or Bluetooth connection and are instantly accessible to the patient via an easy-to-use mobile app.

Higher levels of patient care

Remote patient monitoring devices enable more frequent health measurements. With access to near real-time health data and the ability to observe historical trends in this data, healthcare providers can make better-informed care recommendations and treatment decisions.

Expand care to more diverse patient groups

For many patients, work schedules, child care or eldercare obligations, distance, or lack of reliable transportation are formidable barriers to receiving care. Low income, elderly, and patients living in underserved or rural areas can receive outsized benefits from participating in a remote patient monitoring program since it can reduce the number of office visits needed.

New revenue streams for healthcare practices

Because many RPM services are billable, RPM programs are a source of additional revenue, allowing practices to tap into new revenue streams that can improve overall profitability.

Key RPM Program Team Members

Building a strong, sustainable remote patient monitoring program requires teamwork and a shared vision. The following team members form the core of a successful remote patient monitoring program.

Top-level management

Beginning any new initiative requires the strong support and buy-in of top-level management. Healthcare executives play a key role in securing funding and staff resources, as well as providing the long-range vision needed to set a new remote patient monitoring program on a secure footing.

Physicians

Physicians can reap substantial benefits from using remote patient monitoring technology with their patients. With a wealth of patient health data, providers can make better-informed treatment decisions. Educating providers on benefits, obtaining their buy-in, and offering focused training on how to access remote patient monitoring data are essential for success.

IT support

The support of the IT department is crucial for ensuring that the technical aspects of creating and running a remote patient monitoring program are executed. Some remote patient monitoring providers like Withings Health Solutions handle most of the IT-related setup, freeing your tech support staff to focus their efforts elsewhere.

Patient navigator

Patient navigators help patients access and use their devices, troubleshooting issues that prevent them from making the most out of participating in a remote patient monitoring program. These staff members are one of the most critical components, providing front-line support and encouragement to patients as they become familiar with their new devices. Some connected devices, like those Withings Health Solutions offers, are intuitive and easy to use, making the jobs of patient navigators much simpler.

Digital health staff trainer

Staff trainers are responsible for training physicians and other practice staff involved in the program’s administration. Key topics for training include how to access and interpret patient data via the physician data dashboard and the correct use of RPM billing codes for payer reimbursement.

Medical billing representative

Medicare and many private insurers will pay for certain patient services provided via remote patient monitoring programs. Remote patient monitoring programs have their own unique set of billing codes, and the medical billing representative will ensure that the correct codes are being used on all claims filed.

Program coordinator

The remote patient monitoring program coordinator is responsible for overseeing the overall health of the program, managing the interactions between team members, troubleshooting patient and provider issues, and assessing program success based on predefined goals.

5 Tips for creating a stronger, more sustainable RPM program

Remote patient monitoring programs require careful planning and diligent follow-through during implementation in order for patients, providers, and practices to realize the full range of potential benefits this technology has to offer. These five tips can help you and the patients you serve get the most out of remote patient monitoring.

Clarify RPM program goals

First, defining what expect your remote patient monitoring program to accomplish. Clear goals not only sharpen the team’s focus but provide an objective set of criteria with which to measure program success.

Quantify expected cost/revenue metrics

Remote patient monitoring programs must be financially sustainable. Quantifying anticipated program costs and revenue enables teams to determine expected ROI. These metrics can justify the time and capital investments required for a successful launch. RPM can reduce overall costs, as it enables physicians to take preventative measurements before a condition becomes severe.

Engage the support of internal stakeholders

Top-level management, providers, and office support staff all have an important role to play in the success of a remote patient monitoring program. Gaining their support upfront is critical. If stakeholders aren’t engaged, program performance will suffer.

Invest the resources needed for program success

Engaging key personnel is an essential ingredient for ensuring long-term success, so additional staff members may need to be hired. Dedicating a program manager to oversee the effort ensures program continuity and provides a single point of contact for other team members when issues arise. Patient navigators are front-line workers who ensure patients are familiar with their devices and responsible for removing barriers to consistent use. Fortunately, the cost of hiring may be offset by billing and reimbursement for RPM services and/or lowered costs if the practice is part of a value-based care system.

Select a high-quality RPM provider to partner with

Some remote patient monitoring providers are better than others. Invest the time to research each potential partner, ensuring they offer higher quality, patient-friendly devices that are easy to use, an intuitive patient-facing health data app, and a streamlined practice-level program dashboard. The ideal RPM provider will have substantial industry experience and a track record of providing superior customer service.

Withings Health Solutions and Withings RPM: an All-in-One RPM Solution

Withings Health Solutions is committed to transforming the lives of healthcare consumers and professionals through beautifully simple monitoring solutions. Here’s how we make implementing a successful remote patient monitoring program seamlessly simple.

Effortless onboarding — Onboard your patients directly from the platform in 3 minutes or less.

Time-efficient monitoring — You’ll appreciate the one-click patient triaging through standard alerts and measurement plans.

Automatic time logging — Time spent taking care of your patients (when reviewing their charts or calling them) is automatically documented to streamline claim creation while maximizing revenue. Time spent outside the platform can easily be manually logged as well.

Optimized billing — In real-time, assess how much a CPT code can be billed and identify which patients to focus on. At the end of the month, generate comprehensive reports in one click to create claims including the CMS1500 information required for the billing.

Program dashboard — Manage your practice at a glance. A comprehensive dashboard allows care teams to view patients’ status, take action based on patient vitals and treatment plans, and easily bill for care rendered.

Patient application — The patient application allows the patient to visualize their measurements history, progress, and measurements objective. Login is simple and doesn’t require any signup or app download.

EHR integration — Withings RPM integrates with virtually every EHR to improve each step of the clinical workflow from device ordering to billing.

Learn more about Withings Health Solutions for remote patient monitoring.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half (51.8%) of U.S. adults have at least one diagnosed chronic condition, including arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension. Connected health devices have an important role to play in helping patients with chronic illnesses improve their quality of life. In this article, we explore how these devices can help physicians and patients manage their chronic conditions and make the lifestyle changes needed to realize their wellness goals. We’ll wrap up with three real-life use cases that highlight how connected health devices are being used to empower patients and improve health outcomes.

Patient stepping on a Withings connected scale

Benefits of Connected Health Devices for Managing Chronic Illness

The nature of chronic conditions is that they can develop gradually over time. This is problematic because the deterioration can go undetected. Connected health devices can help patients and their healthcare providers more quickly identify the progress of diseases and better manage them for greater wellness. Here are five important benefits of using connected health devices.

Earlier detection of deteriorating health

Connected devices can help to increase the frequency of health checks in between in-office doctor visits, providing a more accurate view of patient health for providers to base treatment. Additionally, connected health devices act as an early warning system, alerting patients and approved medical providers when a patient’s health metrics aren’t ideal. They can also flag an unexpected sudden deterioration, limiting the risk of further complications. With vital health metrics monitored at frequent intervals, providers can intervene more quickly to prevent additional health complications, such as poorly-managed diabetes triggering hypertension.

Increase patient-provider bond

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs can create a stronger connection between patients and providers as patients have confidence that their conditions are being closely monitored. During office visits, providers have the opportunity to use the patient’s data as part of the shared decision-making process, allowing patients and providers to work together to create a care plan or fine-tune an existing one. Participation in an RPM program also provides physicians with an additional tool to track patient adherence to treatment plans.

Track progress toward health goals

Connected health devices empower patients to play a more active part in achieving their own wellness goals. When readings are taken daily or several times per week, patients can more easily track their progress. More frequent health measures help patients see how lifestyle choices like exercise and diet directly impact their health.

Share patient health data across a patient’s entire care team

With patient consent, health data from connected devices can be accessed by the patient’s entire care team. Especially for patients with complex health profiles, data from connected devices can foster greater collaboration between providers.

Expand provider capacity

Today, many healthcare systems are stretched thin. Remote patient monitoring empowers healthcare providers to be more proactive in managing patient care. Patients with well-managed chronic conditions are less likely to require more costly and resource-intensive acute care.

Use Cases for Connected Health Devices

The opportunities for remote patient monitoring and connected health devices are nearly endless, ensuring that conditions are detected early before complications can develop. This is even more important as all these conditions are linked with one another. To demonstrate how beneficial this technology can be, here are three ways RPM programs are being used successfully to improve health outcomes.

Diabetes prevention and obesity

Patients use a cellular- or Wifi-enabled digital scale to take frequent body weight measures, which can be automatically transmitted to the healthcare provider. Providers can use this data to spot trends, track adherence to a treatment plan, and evaluate the effectiveness of a weight management program. Frequent body weight measurements also help patients see how lifestyle choices directly impact their health.

Hypertension

Patients diagnosed with hypertension use a wireless blood pressure cuff to monitor their blood pressure regularly. This device automatically collects and transmits the reading, often with just the touch of a button. Using an RPM device for managing hypertension allows healthcare providers to track a patient’s blood pressure over time and can alert them to dangerous spikes in blood pressure that may require urgent intervention.

Sleep conditions

Sleep conditions like sleep apnea can be silent and are underdiagnosed. Using a sleep tracking mat helps to provide an objective measure to identify these conditions. Sleep specialists can use an under-mattress sleep mat to track a patient’s sleep patterns remotely, capturing metrics such as interruptions, time in bed before sleep, time to get out of bed in the morning, and other factors that can affect sleep quality. Some sleep mats, such as Withings’, can also detect snoring.

Withings Connected Devices for Managing Chronic Illness

Connected health devices are an important part of managing chronic illness. With over a decade of industry experience, Withings Health Solutions offers medical-grade devices that feature intuitive designs that encourage high user adoption and retention rates, including a sleep tracking mat, blood pressure monitor, and scale. And our physician dashboard offers intuitive, continuous access to patients’ critical health data in near-real time for actionable information to guide care.

Learn more about the Withings Health Solutions portfolio of smart health devices or request a demo.

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