How to deliver more care to larger populations with fewer resources
SAN DIEGO – As CEO of GreatCall, a trailblazer in connected health devices and services for aging adults, David Inns has been surrounded by a dizzying number of advances in home health care technology over the past decade—and he’s ready for what’s coming next.
HHTN: How are technologies like sensors, predictive analytics and connected health devices impacting the way home health care is delivered today?
INNS: For home health providers who are interested in taking on risk-based contracts, they have demonstrated the ability to reduce costs associated with hospitalization, emergency room trips, skilled nursing and long-term care.
HHTN: How can health care providers use the data from these technologies to produce actionable insights for patients?
INNS: Remote ADL (activities of daily living) monitoring provides a holistic view of a senior’s behavior, and changes in that behavior are often an indicator that something deeper is going on. A senior who is significantly changing their activity— for example, spending less time in bed and opening the refrigerator more at night—may benefit from some extra clinical attention. Remote monitoring technologies identify “at-risk” seniors at critical moments in time and enable timely medical intervention or medication reconciliation.
HHTN: Why are measurable results important in health care?
INNS: Measurement can help quantify theories about the value of remote monitoring services and other ADLs. Without measurement, organizations are poorly equipped to monitor and, ultimately, improve the quality of their care. More broadly, measurement also helps assess health care use and costs among patients and determine specific factors or interventions that result in care improvements.
HHTN: What are some of the biggest obstacles in preventing these technologies from being fully embraced by home health care professionals?
INNS: Most technology companies focus exclusively on the product. However, seniors living independently need an exceptional level of service wrapped around that technology. They need access to real human beings who understand the limitations of seniors, and that service needs to be seamlessly integrated into the technology stack. To the senior, the hardware, software and service should provide a single experience that lets the senior experience the benefit of the product without fear.
HHTN: How can companies ease the adoption of these technologies by providers?
INNS: Companies that are providing solutions to health care providers need to understand that providers are typically very protective of their main asset: time. They don’t have bandwidth for setup videos, debugging phone calls or battery replacements—they just want access to the benefit. As such, products are typically better packaged as services. Those services should be reflective of, and integrated with, regular existing workflows.
HHTN: How do you see home health care changing in the next five years?
INNS: As the senior population continues to grow, home health care providers will continue to feel pressure to deliver more care to larger populations with fewer resources. Technology will be a key enabler to allow that staff to provide the right care to the right person at the right time. Sensors and remote patient monitoring will be a key component to making that transition successfully.