Charleston Area Medical Center reduces chronic care readmissions with SmarTigr
CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Charleston Area Medical Center has documented reduced readmissions for congestive heart failure (CHF), COPD and other chronic conditions using the SmarTigr interactive patient engagement and education system from TeleHealth Services.
The four-hospital system reduced their readmissions for CHF by more than 22% and COPD by almost 30% in early 2016, compared to the previous year. Readmisisons were also reduced for pneumonia.
“Seeing this positive trend in reducing readmissions and improving satisfaction has led other units and departments to look at the patient engagement system as a way to improve delivery of education and better prepare patients for taking care of themselves after discharge,” said Beverly Thornton, Health Education and Research Institute education director, in a statement.
The SmarTigr system integrates smart TVs, hospital software platforms and mobile apps with a library of interactive videos designed to educate patients about their care and medications. Through electronic medical record automation, condition-specific curriculum available in multiple languages are prescribed and monitored. The system generates activity reports for staff to review, document and measure compliance and patient comprehension. Records of patients viewing the videos are tracked and become part of their medical record. Patients are also asked to complete quizzes to assess education comprehension.
CAMC and its Multidisciplinary Patient and Family Education Council launched an initiative to reduce readmissions for chronic diseases in 2015. CAMC added the SmarTigr solution to standardize patient education and increase patient engagement. The strategy included a detailed clinical assessment at admission and nurse navigators who coordinate care and a smooth transition after discharge to other facilities as appropriate. Patients and their families have recognized the value of video-based education, shown by increased HCAHPS satisfaction scores, spurring adoption of education strategies in other units across the health system.
“Patients use technology in all facets of their lives, and health care is using technology as a way to improve patient care and streamline clinical operations,” said Dan Nathan, vice president of TeleHealth Services, in a statement. “Empowering patients in their own care favorably impacts outcomes and helps hospitals meet service and quality expectations.”
Thornton said the success of the initiative has been a catalyst for other units in the system to adopt the strategy.
Inspira Health teams with Jellyfish Health for mobile app
PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Patients at Inspira Health Network can now use their mobile phone to reserve a spot in line through the Inspira Access app, built on technology from Jellyfish Health. The app currently offers remote check-in for urgent care, and will expand to include other ambulatory services, including imaging and lab, as well as primary and specialty care physician practices. “Our smart phone apps have been very well received by our community and we’re excited to partner with Jellyfish to add new features that make accessing care easier and more convenient,” said Tom Pacek, CIO for Inspira Health Network, said in a statement. The Jellyfish solution also shows staff how long patients have been waiting and real time workflow.
Specialists on Call acquires NeuroCall
RESTON, Va. – Specialists on Call has acquired its competitor NeuroCall and the combined organization will now cover more than 350 acute care hospitals and health systems nationwide for tele-neurology consultations. “This combination will help us achieve our vision of transforming health care by enabling patients to have increased access to the highest quality care via a technology-enabled platform,” said Hammad Shah, CEO of Specialists on Call, in a statement. “To that end our intent is to augment our organic growth with strategic partnerships and acquisitions that will enable us to further consolidate our position as the leading comprehensive solution provider in the acute telemedicine market.” Mauricio Sirvent, CEO of NeuroCall, will become the general manager for the neurology business and will report directly to Shah. Specialists on Call last year launched a touch screen telemedicine cart and introduced a flexible, turnkey managed services technology and operations platform for hospitals to customize their telemedicine programs. The company also raised $50 million in new capital in 2016. Shah said the capital would be used to fund increased investments and expand capabilities.
Reflexion Health offers VERA at Yale New Haven Hospital
SAN DIEGO – Reflexion Health is partnering with Yale New Haven Hospital’s Center for Musculoskeletal Care to offer the Virtual Exercise Rehabilitation Assistant (VERA) to help patients recover more efficiently from joint replacement surgery. “VERA’s ability to transform and personalize rehabilitation while increasing patient engagement is a great complement to traditional physical therapy,” said Dr. Joseph Smith, president and CEO of Reflexion Health, in a statement. VERA is a digital therapy platform that integrates prescription rehabilitation exercises, an animated avatar coach, a 3D imaging system, functional assessments, intuitive dashboard and other features. The platform has been introduced to patients pre-surgery and concurrently installed in their homes for post-surgery. Once home, YNHH therapists will be able to remotely monitor their patient’s in-home progress and discuss results by phone or directly through VERA’s telehealth capability.
Orbita, IVCi to connect video and home health care
BOSTON, Ma. – Orbita has partnered with video collaboration solution provider IVCi to enable health care providers and home caregivers to connect home care, mobile health and voice health assistant applications. Orbita is integrating its connected health care products with IVCi’s solutions to enable video collaboration around data and insights gathered from smart, connected devices like digital blood pressure monitors, fitness wearables and voice assistants like the Amazon Echo for patients who cannot use mobile, tablet or PC devices. “IVCi and Orbita are bringing patient care to a new level by empowering providers, home caregivers, patients and family members with real-time video collaboration informed and enhanced by smart, connected devices,” said Chris Böttger, IVCi’s CTO, in a statement. The partnership will allow IVCi to resell Orbita’s products to customers and prospects in the health care industry.
Study finds Omada digital health reduces chronic disease risk in older adults
SAN FRANCISCO and LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Omada Health’s digital health program can help reduce the risk of chronic disease, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Aging and Health. “Diabetes and obesity are an epidemic among the senior population and, if left unchallenged, threaten to seriously impact quality of life,” said Cynthia Castro Sweet, Ph.D., lead author and director of medical affairs at Omada Health, in a statement. “The results of our research show we now have the tools to fight this epidemic.” The study followed 501 patients with Humana Medicare Advantage who were an average age of 68.8 years and at high risk of developing diabetes. Participants were enrolled in Omada Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program offered through Humana, which combines digital health tools like wireless digital scales and online courses with Omada’s coaches. Six months after beginning the program, participants lost an average of 8% of their body weight, and experienced improvements in glucose control and a decrease in cholesterol. “This study demonstrates that digital tools and personalized coaching can help people reduce their risk of developing diabetes,” said Laura Happe, study co-author and director of research and publications at Humana, in a statement. “Importantly, it shows that seniors can be highly engaged in electronic media, which has the potential to greatly expand the number of people these types of programs can help.” On average, participants interacted with the Omada program 19 times per week.
Teladoc, Compass partner to provide physician referral service
LEWISVILLE, Tex. – Teladoc is partnering with Compass Professional Health Services to provide in-network referrals. Teladoc members seeking a primary care physician or specialist can now request and receive a referral within one business day. “Too many Americans are without access to quality care, and now, for the first time ever, patients seeking virtual care will have even greater access and more care options thanks to this unique in-network referral offering from Teladoc and Compass,” said Dr. Henry Phillips, chief medical officer of Teladoc, in a statement. When Teladoc members are within the platform, they can request a PCP or specialist through an easy-to-navigate process. Through the partnership, Teladoc can also further support Accountable Care Organizations and other health care initiatives that require integrated, in-network care and benefit from an established patient-physician relationship. The integrated solution is expected to be available in the third quarter of this year.
Tactio gets ANVISA and CE Mark for telehealth platform
MONTREAL – Tactio Health Group has registered its TactioRPM telehealth platform at both the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) and French National Agency for Medicine and Health Products Safety (ANSM) for CE Mark Class I. This follows TactioRPM’s registration at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015. TactioRPM is an app-enabled platform that combines mobile apps, hundreds of connected health integrations, patient questionnaires, digital coaching programs and HIPAA-compliant messaging. Powering telehealth initiatives from payers, providers and pharma, its range of clinical applications include chronic disease monitoring, population health screening, clinical research and post-acute care.
Americans concerned for health care data security, study finds
NORWALK, Conn. – Nearly half of Americans are worried about having their personal health care data stolen, according to the 2017 Xerox eHealth Survey. Yet more than three quarters of survey respondents also believe it would be more secure to share health care information between providers through a secure electronic method rather than faxing paper documents. The survey also showed that Americans believe better information sharing across providers can help improve patient care, and they believe wait times to receive test results and diagnoses would decrease if providers were able to securely share and access digital patient information from various providers. They also believe quality of service of health care providers would improve if there were better information sharing and coordination among different providers. The survey was conducted among more than 3,000 U.S. adults in January.
Merger creates Digital Pharmacist
AUSTIN, Tex. – A merger between RxWiki and TeleManager Technologies has created Digital Pharmacist, a new company that will serve 5,500 pharmacy locations, national pharmacy wholesalers, hospital systems and pharmaceutical brands. The company allows patients and pharmacies to communicate quickly and efficiently via telephone, web, mobile or text. Patients can refill digitally with one click or call, set adherence reminder alerts, complete reviews, learn about their conditions or medications through interactive adherence tools, and ask their pharmacist questions. “Through our merger, we are able to bring even more robust products and services that help patients and ultimately help our clients compete,” said Chris Loughlin, CEO of Digital Pharmacist, in a statement. TeleManager co-founders Val Gurovich and Paul Kobylevsky will assume management roles in the new company, reporting to Loughlin.
swyMed launches telemedicine backpack
LEXINGTON, Mass. – Video telemedicine company swyMed has launched the DOT Telemedicine Backpack that enables field care providers to conduct real-time video consultations with physicians in remote areas or on-the-go. “Innovative hospitals and health care systems count on us to provide a consistent, high-quality connection to a physician, saving not only time and money, but lives, as well,” said Stefano Migliorisi, CEO of swyMed, in a statement. The backpack weighs less than 20 pounds and can be used for critical transport, monitoring homebound patients with chronic conditions, remotely treating nursing home patients, and connecting to remote facilities with thin coverage and bandwidth.
HealthReveal raises $10.8M for clinical analytics solution
NEW YORK – HealthReveal will use $10.8 million in Series A funding to continue developing its predictive analytics solution for providers, payers and employers. “HealthReveal is building an analytical bridge between the medical literature and covered individuals’ phenotypic clinical profiles, generating diagnostic and treatment guidance in line with current medical best practice,” said Dr. Lonny Reisman, CEO and founder of HealthReveal, in a statement. “Our company is founded on the simple principle that knowledge saves lives and that by looking at each patient personally and comprehensively we can make a meaningful improvement in clinical outcomes, medical costs and value.” The HealthReveal solution continually monitors and analyzes patient physiology and care by integrating multiple real-time streams of clinical, operational and biometric data to ensure adherence to evidence-based care guidelines by clinicians and patients. When data suggest that the patient’s care has deviated from those guidelines, HealthReveal suggests immediate and highly personalized interventions to optimize care and reduce the risk of adverse medical events.
American Well partners twice
BOSTON – American Well has announced two partnerships for video telehealth with Suburban Health Organization, and PreMedica and Paramount Health Care.
The telemedicine provider has partnered with the Suburban Health Organization hospitals in Indiana to bring video telehealth visits to patients in SHO’s local communities.
The new service, myVirtualHealthVisit, will offer patients more convenient ways to access care, including telehealth-enabled remote access to urgent care. Patients with a smart phone, or a webcam-enabled computer, can talk with a doctor from home, while in the office, or anywhere they have reliable Internet access.
“Health care needs don’t always fit into a 9-5 schedule, and the hospitals are now able to provide 24/7 access to patients at the time and in the place they need it most,” said Dave Lippincott, president of SHO, in a statement.
American Well has also partnered with health system PreMedica and insurance provider Paramount Health Care to offer live video visits 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through ProMedica OnDemand.
“ProMedica OnDemand is a convenient and affordable way for patients to get the medical care they need at a time and location that is most convenient for them,” said Dr. Daniel Cassavar, president of ProMedica Physicians.
Through computers, tablets and smartphones, ProMedica OnDemand connects patients and families with health care providers through the website or mobile app.
The benefit option is available to Paramount commercial members, who pay the same office visit copay for the video-based service.
ProMedica OnDemand launched this month.
Study finds TytoCare solutions equivalent to clinic exams
NEW YORK – A recent study with the Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel and the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, has found that TytoCare’s device and telehealth platform can perform physical examinations on par with conventional in-clinic examination tools.
The company recently launched its telehealth solution in the U.S. market and is initially rolling it out through strategic partnerships with large health systems, physician groups and telehealth companies. Including American Well.
“The proven success of TytoCare signifies a major advance in the telehealth industry,” said Dedi Gilad, TytoCare founder and CEO, in a statement. “TytoCare delivers the ‘missing link’ in telehealth, expanding the ability of physicians to reach confident diagnoses miles away from their patients.”
TytoCare is a handheld device and platform designed to capture and transmit ear, throat, lung, skin, heart and temperature exam data to a physician to better inform a remote diagnosis.
The aim of the study with Schneider and Sackler was to evaluate the accuracy and quality of the physical exam findings reached by a remote physician using TytoCare versus physicians using conventional examination tools, including traditional otoscopes and stethscopes.
The study involved 137 children age 2-18 who were seeking care from the emergency department of a tertiary care facility.
“The quality of the readings as well as the overall user experience received positive ratings from physicians—a great testament to the solution’s promise to provide accurate and confident diagnoses via telehealth technology,” said Yehezkel Waisman, director of emergency medicine at Schneider, in a statement.