While many provider organizations are looking for ways to electronically connect home-bound patients to clinicians, a new effort combines chip technology with a decidedly low-tech feature—a paper card.

The program, designed to regularly monitor the health status of patients, uses a card with buttons that have an embedded chip in them. Patients press a button to start and then press other buttons to answer pre-selected questions about how they feel, medication adherence, pain levels and other appropriate indicators.

Information from the pressed chips is wirelessly transmitted to a cell phone, USB reader on a computer, or a home monitoring station. The information then is transmitted to personal health records vendor NoMoreClipboard and put into a PHR for a patient or family member, and in a Web portal for appropriate clinicians and case managers to access.

The card/technology vendor is iMPak Health, a joint venture of Meridian Health, a six-hospital delivery system in New Jersey, and CYPAK AB of Sweden. On the market now are cards to monitor pain, COPD, asthma, symptoms, stress, heart failure, and food & nutrition.

Meridian Health has piloted the cards for two years and has found patients find them very easy to use, says Mark Duda, consumer product sales representative. A card program can be rolled in 45 to 60 days, the cards cost about $30 apiece, and last for six to nine months, says Jeff Donnell, president at NoMoreClipboard. They both spoke with Health Data Management at HIMSS12.

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