Vitaphone GmbH from Mannheim is a leading international telemedical service provider. Its services range from telecardiological functional diagnostics, 24/7 telemonitoring of risk patients to integrative care management of chronically ill patients. Vitaphone is particularly involved in the application of structured telemonitoring-based therapy programmes for patients with heart failure.
Telemedicine is not a pipe dream, but is already an integral part of medical care management. Telemonitoring has been shown to be advantageous for the care of people suffering from chronic diseases where telemedical devices are used for in-home care, monitoring and diagnosis. Chronically ill patients can thus stay in a familiar environment and still be monitored around the clock. This also reduces the length of hospital stays. The rapid transmission of information enables shorter response times and treating physicians can take preventive action in situations when the values deviate from the norm and initiate prompt lifesaving measures in emergency situations.
Telemonitoring systems and telemedicine-assisted therapy programmes are essential building blocks for responding to the challenges of demographic change. The advantages of such programmes are particularly evident with regard to cardiovascular diseases, which are the most common diseases and causes of death in the elderly. Every year, 300,000 people – most of them elderly – are diagnosed with heart failure in Germany and around 40 percent die within 12 months of being hospitalised for the first time.
According to Vitaphone, numerous studies show that the economic and health benefits of telemedical services are particularly high in patients with heart failure. Telemedical services considerably reduce the number of emergency interventions, hospital admissions and doctor’s visits, and hence also overall cost, at the same time as increasing patient compliance with medication and instructions. All this contributes to improving the quality and efficiency of treatment as well as quality of life. Telemonitoring has also been shown to have positive effects when used in the care management of patients with arterial hypertension (chronic high blood pressure). The disease, which affects 15 million people in Germany alone, can lead to numerous secondary diseases such as stroke, heart and kidney failure.
Vitaphone GmbH is a telemedical services company that supports medical healthcare providers such as doctors and clinics in the diagnosis of diseases and deciding on and monitoring therapies. Vitaphone provides integrative and innovative healthcare solutions; its vitaphone LIFEDATA technology covers the entire spectrum of telemedicine – from functional diagnostics to modern therapy and care management of the chronically ill. Comprehensive care management is ensured by three cross-sectoral competences: (1) accurate and reliable systems for the measurement and transmission of vital data (LIFEDATA connect), (2) an intelligent and flexible software platform (LIFEDATA base) and (3) a qualified and certified telemedical service centre (LIFEDATA services).
Vitaphone GmbH was founded in Mannheim in 1999 by experts from a variety of fields related to medicine and medical technology. The company currently employs 120 people in Germany. With offices and distribution partners in Austria, France, the Netherlands, the USA, China, the United Arab Emirates and many other countries, Vitaphone is globally positioned as one of the leading international telemedical services providers.
As quickly as a year after its establishment, Vitaphone presented a world first, a combination of ECG device and mobile telephone with emergency and location function for the care and monitoring of cardiac risk patients. Further devices soon followed, including ones that enabled the transmission of blood pressure and weight values using Bluetooth technology, a device that enabled the first ever transmission of ECG values via UMTS and the launch of the Vitaphone Tele-ECG-Loop-Recorder 3100/3300 BT that continuously records an ECG reading in everyday life conditions and automatically detects pathological anomalies.
These technological breakthroughs have made Vitaphone a pioneer of telemedicine. With its software platform for the processing and communication of electronic patient and case records to the Telemedical Service Center (TSC), and with its extensive range of products for the measurement and transmission of vital parameters, the company has established itself as a pioneer in cross-sectoral care management.
The Telemedical Service Center is the company’s central platform for all telemedical monitoring and care systems. The centre’s team – physicians and qualified medical support personnel – is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is the only one of its kind worldwide to be certified according to ISO 9001:2000 and the VDE Use Recommendations for Telemonitoring (ed. note: the VDE is the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies). This guarantees the highest privacy and data security according to current legal stipulations and the latest technical standards. The experienced, well coordinated team supervises the telemedical monitoring, manages patient care, records medical findings, maintains electronic health records, evaluates ECGs and other medical data and forwards them to attending physicians in clinics and private practices. In emergency situations, the Telemedical Service Center takes charge of the entire emergency management procedure in collaboration with emergency services, physicians and clinics.
The major benefit of telemedical patient care and treatment is evident not only in emergency situations, but more especially in the prevention of emergencies, particularly in patients suffering from heart failure. Regular monitoring of vital data through Vitaphone’s LIFEDATA technology at times when patients are not undergoing in- or out-patient treatment enables the early detection of warning signals and supports patient compliance with instructions and treatment. The risk of myocardial infarction, complications and secondary diseases can thus be considerably reduced.
Telecardiological functional diagnostics is also of great importance in the treatment of patients suffering from other conditions, including cardiac arrhythmias. It is estimated that at least one million people in Germany suffer from atrial fibrillation, which is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia. Affected patients have a high risk of stroke, heart failure and sudden cardiac death. The business segments of Vitaphone include the telemonitoring of cardiac pacemakers and implanted defibrillators. In addition to the monitoring of heart disease patients, telemedical patient monitoring can also be applied to patients with diabetes mellitus, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and high blood pressure as part of structured programmes for the care of patients with chronic diseases.
Further information:Vitaphone GmbHMarkircher Str. 2268229 MannheimTel.: +49 (0)621-178918-100E-mail: info(at)vitaphone.de