A patient is admitted to a hospital for an cardiovascular problem, such as heart attack or bypass surgery. The patient recovers, is discharged, and yet lands back in the hospital again due to complications related to blood sugar problems that had not been diagnosed previously. In spite of the frequent incidence of diabetes and related conditions, many of these readmissions are costly and avoidable.

Glytec is a company that focuses on the care of diabetic patients. They have developed a system called eGlycemic Management System (eGMS) that integrates inpatient and outpatient technologies, including tele-health and connected mobile health devices. The automated system is designed to identify patients with undiagnosed blood sugar problems, provide advice on treatment and insulin dosing, and monitoring patient health after they are discharged from the hospital.

In a recent study, a health system in Tennessee with 13 hospitals started using eGMS with cardiac patients. The results were impressive. Hospital readmissions for heart attack patients were reduced by more than one third. And the readmission rate for patients with bypass surgery or congestive heart failure was reduced by about two thirds. By identifying patients who needed blood glucose control treatment sooner, readmission costs were significantly reduced. As we struggle to bring healthcare costs under control, this study provides strong evidence that Big Data algorithms and connected health devices can play an important role in creating savings while improving outcomes for patients.