HomeCare Connect incorporates telehealth
WINTER PARK, Fla. – HomeCare Connect is integrating telehealth capabilities into its services. The company manages the quality and cost of workers’ compensation home health care. “Live video interactions are more personal than telephone conversations and help clinicians see what’s going on,” said Vonesa Wenzel, chief marketing officer for HomeCare Connect, in a statement. The Tele-Connect mobile app enables injured employees and their home health caregivers to meet virtually with HomeCare Connect’s clinical care coordinators to discuss treatment. The telehealth service is provided at no extra charge to customers, and will include treatment clarification, education, monitoring the use of durable medical equipment and helping amputees adjust to prosthetics. Tele-Connect will also be used to take adjusters on virtual walk-throughs before, during and after home modifications.
Mobile app to help burn victims at home
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A University of Tennessee professor has developed a mobile app to help burn survivors after they have left the hospital. “Once a patient leaves a burn unit they are left with a lot of responsibility,” said Thereasa Abrams, assistant professor in the UT College of Social Work and developer of the app, in a statement. “This app will give them the proper direction for themselves and for their caregivers.” The app, called “Bridge,” can be personalized to the patient’s needs and will include instruction on dressing procedures, exercises, quizzes and questions to rate the patient’s pain, and nutrition tips. The app will be available later this year.
CareSpeak partners with Molina Healthcare for text messaging program
SOMERSET, N.J. – CareSpeak Communications has partnered with Molina Healthcare to launch a text message-based program designed to help patients who take regular medications stay on their therapy. “Our members tend to be at greater risk for prescription medication errors and non-adherence,” said Dr. Martha Molina Bernadett, CIO at Molina Healthcare, in a statement. The program features the CareSpeak digital health platform and is available to Molina members in California, Michigan and Ohio. Members receive personalized medication text reminders in conjunction with comprehensive medication therapy management to ensure they take their medications as prescribed. They also receive feedback and encouragement periodically on their adherence progress. Additionally, clinical pharmacists monitor the patient’s medication adherence and if it falls below their adherence goal, the pharmacists can communicate directly with members and intervene via the CareSpeak platform. “All signs are pointing to mobile health becoming an important tool in the daily life of the chronically ill and their caregiver family members,” said Serge Loncar, founder and CEO of CareSpeak.
BayCare launches HealthNav app
CLEARWATER, Fla. – BayCare Health System has launched HealthNav, a free mobile app that can help guide people with non-urgent conditions to convenient, quality medical services. “Whether it’s a cold or a minor injury, most people have that moment where they wonder what to do next,” said Dr. Eli Freilich, director of clinical performance at BayCare, in a statement. “HealthNav can be a resource that fits in with today’s busy lifestyles and help people return to their daily activities as quickly as possible.” HealthNav enables users to: find the closest BayCare emergency room, make an appointment for an office visit, see a doctor through a virtual visit and more. HealthNav connects patients to BayCare services across Tampa Bay and Polk County, including 14 leading hospitals, emergency centers, urgent care centers and physicians. HealthNav is just one of a series of telemedicine solutions that BayCare is using to enhance care and improve access.
Lenovo, Orbita combine products to offer voice assistance
BOSTON, Mass. – Lenovo Health is joining with connected home solutions provider Orbita to offer a virtual home care solution that integrates voice assistance. The companies have integrated Orbita’s Voice with the Lenovo Smart Assistant to help patients with chronic and post-acute care needs be more engaged in their wellness at home. “Leveraging our voice and utilizing telehealth to interact with a patient’s provider will transform the delivery of care model,” said Tom Foley, director of Global Health Solution Strategy at Lenovo, in a statement. Lenovo’s Smart Assistant is a voice-controlled speaker for the home that uses the Amazon Alexa voice platform. The combined solution enables patients to access and share information with providers, caregivers and family members. “Voice is the user interface of the future and is transforming how we think about patient engagement in home health care,” said Nathan Treloar, president and COO of Orbita, in a statement.
Roche expands partnership with mySugr
BASEL, Switzerland – Roche Diabetes Care is expanding its partnership with mySugr, a digital diabetes service company that provides mobile apps for patients. Roche’s next generation of Accu-Chek blood glucose meters, the Accu-Chek Guide and the Accu-Chek Instant systems are integrated with mySugr’s app, allowing users to automatically upload blood glucose data into the app. Users can also share the data with health care professionals and caregivers through Accu-Chek Connect Online and eConecta platforms. “With this expanded partnership we will continue to offer the latest innovations to our customers that will empower them to seamlessly integrate therapy management into their lives so they have less to think and worry about,” said Marcel Gmuender, global head of Roche Diabetes Care, in a statement.
Orbita launches Engage solution
BOSTON – Connected home software company Orbita has launched Orbita Engage, a complete software-as-a-service solution for increasing patient engagement and optimizing care journey management for home health care. The solution is built on the Orbita Health Cloud platform and includes mobile and web apps and voice assistants to integrate wearables and home health devices in a single environment. Engage also features a caregiver app and a care coordinator dashboard. “With Orbita Engage, health care organizations can deliver care coordination and collaboration solutions that truly engage patients dealing with chronic and post-acute health care needs at home, while empowering their caregivers and clinical care coordinators,” said Bill Rogers, Orbita CEO, in a statement.
Amazon Alexa now gives CPR instructions
DALLAS, Tx. – The American Heart Association has announced that the voice-activated Amazon Echo can how give all three instructions for CPR, heart attack and stroke warning signs. “Any system that can reliably reduce delays in medical care for cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke has the potential to improve health outcomes,” said Dr. Robert Neumar, chairman of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, in a statement. “Anything we can do to have not only more bystanders do CPR but have them start sooner is likely to have an impact on survival.” To access the CPR information, users ask Alexa, “Alexa, ask American Heart” to ensure they’re hearing science-based information from the AHA. Alexa first tells the user to call 911 before offering other instructions.
Survey respondents optimistic about home health technology
NEW YORK – A majority of respondents to a recent HHAeXchange survey said they were optimistic about home health technology improving the current state of home care. “Our survey gives payers and providers in home care powerful insight into how they can ensure program integrity and implement technology to improve care delivery,” said Greg Strobel, president of HHAeXchange, a software provider for homecare agencies. The survey found that fewer than 30% of respondents were happy with their home care provider experience, but 66.5% said that wearables will be an important part of home care in the future, providing more transparency and data on the condition of members on a consistent, real-time basis. “As the industry develops, home care members agree that technology and innovation will be critical to the success of the industry,” said Strobel.
Teleconcussion program lauded
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Concussion Consultants at Centura Health has been awarded the 2017 Patient-Centered Innovation Award from the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians for its teleconcussion program. The program is targeted to provide care for residents in mountain and rural communities who previously faced driving hundreds of miles in potentially hazardous driving conditions to receive care for concussion management. “The tele-concussion program has enhanced communication among the care team members and paved the way for a community-based concussion prevention and return to play program involving teachers, athletic trainers, coaches, parents and the primary care providers,” said Jennifer Kagan, a co-leader of the program, in a statement.
The teleconcussion services include two-way audio visual communication with Dr. Rockly Khosla, who founded the program. “I click onto a camera system and we look at the patient together,” he said. “I do a fairly comprehensive evaluation of the patient and then formulate a plan to see whether we need imaging, rehab or if there are issues the primary care physician should be aware of.”
Nokia to launch connected health products
ESPOO, Finland – Nokia will launch the Withings ecosystem of connected health products under its own brand in early summer, including connected scales, trackers, blood pressure monitors, thermometers and home cameras.
“Withings joined Nokia because we share a vision to inspire individuals to take control of their own health,” said Cedric Hutchings, vice president of digital health at Nokia, in a statement. “With the full power of a brand recognized for trust, reliability and quality, we will reach more people and impact more lives to help the human family be healthier together.”
At the same time, Nokia will also introduce a redesigned Health Mate app. The app collects data from scales, trackers and other connected devices in one place to provide a 360-degree view of health. The redesigned app will make it easier to add devices, share progress with family members, and will introduce new in-depth coaching programs.
Together with the connected health products, Nokia will launch a Patient Care Platform, which will enable physicians and patients to manage chronic conditions.
The platform will give doctors and care teams the power to remotely monitor patients with their smart devices to help prevent and manage chronic conditions, and drive timely and targeted patient care to avoid unnecessary office visits and hospitalizations.
The Patient Care Platform is currently being used by the U.K.’s National Health Service in a 69,000-person study to better understand hypertension and the role of remote monitoring in lowering hypertension rates.
Vaporstream adds customers in LTPAC market
CHICAGO – Secure messaging provider Vaporstream is gaining traction in the long-term and post-acute care industry with five new clients.
“Vaporstream provides a secure and compliant way to text message physicians, nurses, home health aides, patients and even family members to streamline workflows, improve productivity and expedite care,” said Galina Datskovsky, CEO of Vaporstream, in a statement.
Vaporstream’s secure messaging platform is becoming popular among LTPAC facilities and home health care workers who must rapidly collaborate among care team members and communicate with patients outside the traditional provider setting, said Datskovsky.
The company’s new clients are: Pyramid Home Health Services; HopeHealth; ACS Home Care LLC; Long Island Colorectal Rectal Survivor and Support Group; and Visiting Dentist affiliate Mobile Care.
“Our expanding roster of home health and long-term care facilities is evidence that Vaporstream is filling a gap in the market,” said Datskovsky.
Study shows mySugr impacts diabetes management
SAN DIEGO – Consistent use of the mySugr app provides an opportunity for improved blood glucose control in high risk populations, according to a retrospective observational clinical research study by mySugr and ProSciento, Inc.
“The use of digital health apps continues to grow at a rapid rate, but their scientific impact on a patient’s therapy has remained largely unvalidated,” said Frank Westerman, CEO of mySugr. “We feel obligated to invest in scientific research to better understand the effect my Sugr has on our users therapy.”
The study monitored 440 randomly selected high-risk patients over a six-month period, analyzing blood glucose control and high blood glucose index. After just one month of use of the app, the mean blood glucose was drastically lowered, and after six months of use, the results showed a nearly 20% drop in mean blood glucose.
The study results also showed a significant reduction in the size of the group at high-to-medium risk of severe events by more than 40%.
Physicians will use patient-generated data by 2020
ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. could reach a “critical mass” of physicians using patient-generated data from devices like wearables by 2020, according to a report by the Consumer Technology Association.
“As health insurers and employees begin to use technology to incentivize subscribers to improve their health, consumers will take a more active role in their own health care,” said Dr. James Mault, vice president and chief medical officer, Qualcomm Life and chairman of CTA’s Health and Fitness Technology Division, in a statement. “This enables the medical professional community to deliver patient-specific precision medicine, and move from episodic care to a continuous care model based on real-time health data.”
The report draws from secondary research and a series of interviews with key U.S. health care industry stakeholders, including physicians, insurance industry executives, clinical informaticists and digital health technology experts.
CTA said physicians report that patients like using wearables as part of their care because the technology feels less prescriptive than medications, and the use of wearables in clinical trials has become an emerging part of the research toolkit.
The report also found that consumers like that insurers are offering free wearables and cash incentives to subscribers who meet certain health goals.
“More consumers than ever are now harnessing wearable technology and personal data, giving them a greater ability to lead healthier lives,” said Steve Koenig, senior director, Market Research, CTA, in a statement. “Connectivity is one of the driving trends of our time—whether that’s remote care or wearables or anytime/anywhere access to information. By using this connectivity to cultivate and analyze individual data, healthcare can be more personalized, more democratized and ultimately more effective.”
The report also found that among the challenges to rapid acceptance within the medical community of patient-generated data are the lack of integration with Electronic Health Record systems, and concerns about standards and efficacy of the health and fitness trackers on the market today.