On average, 23% of heart failure patients are readmitted to a hospital every year, according to a study published in 2016 in Progressive Cardiovascular Disease. About 5.7 million American adults live with heart failure (HF), a sizable number projected to increase to 8 million by 2030. Researchers, clinicians, insurance companies, and others prioritize reducing costly hospital readmissions, according to the same study. Many organizations seek improved analytics to predict and head off readmission instead of costly, invasive implants that require surgery. Earlier detection before patients need readmission results in faster recovery and lower costs.

Researchers at the Utah School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System recently reported positive results with predicting heart failure problems using wearable biosensors and  Insight Product Development‘s PhysIQ artificial intelligence-powered (AI) predictive algorithm. The team published the study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study followed 100 subjects at four VA hospitals who had been admitted with heart failure. At discharge, they wore a disposable chest-adhesive multisensor patch for up to three months. The sensors continuously measured heart rate, heart rate variability, motion, respiratory rate, and temperature. The data was uploaded to an analytics platform in the cloud via smartphones. Over the three month period, 33 subjects were readmitted for heart failure. The AI-powered analytic engine had statistically significant success with accurate, early impending rehospitalization detection. The researchers reported the disposable wearable’s accuracy with the predictive algorithm was comparable to implanted devices.

The VA and the Utah School of Medicine researchers called for further testing with the PhysIQ system and wearable biosensors to validate and prove the system’s reliability. The early indications, however, are the non-invasive, relatively low-cost wearable health technology could be a significant step ahead on reducing both the consequences and costs of rehospitalizing heart failure patients.