‘The technology provides the analytics we need to get actionable data on the patient, but the human touch is really the secret sauce’
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. boasts the most mature telehealth market in the world and that market is only expected to grow, according to industry experts. Christopher Baskin, president and CEO of American Two Way; Paul Adams, head of connected health at Philips Lifeline; and Britney Treadaway, vice president of strategy and corporate development at Ideal Life, talked about the merging of personal emergency response services and telehealth, and the keys to a successful telehealth program at the recent Home Health Technology Summit.
BASKIN: What has your company’s focus been so far within PERS and telehealth, and where do you see it going in the future?
ADAMS: Philips Lifeline is focusing purely on being a health technology company, and connecting solutions and technology in a way that makes sense for our audience. We’re moving away from being a reactive service to a more clear focus assisting seniors on their aging journey and improving the quality of their lives.
TREADAWAY: We started in the remote patient monitoring space, focusing on the care of chronic diseases and working with health care systems, integrated delivery networks, Accountable Care Organizations and anyone who is at risk for the cost of a patient. We’re seeing a shift to more wellness. We’re moving away from strictly devices to incorporate analytics and building on that broad network of services around RPM.
BASKIN: Medication dispensing is tricky, but also one of the cornerstones of telehealth. How is your company addressing this space?
ADAMS: It’s been a long time coming to have solid, connected medication dispensers in the home and for us, it’s becoming increasingly important because there’s a much higher adherence rate when a device is in the home. We find the pouch system is a stronger market because they are not as clumsy as first-generation devices and there are fewer points of failure.
TREADAWAY: At Ideal Life, we’re going the opposite way and looking at medication tabs or stickers that sense the movement of the bottle when it is picked up, then ties back to the call center. We haven’t identified our first customer yet, but will plan a pilot soon.
BASKIN: There are lots of wearable devices on the market and “self-monitoring” is becoming a topic of conversation. Are call centers still important to telehealth by providing a human touch?
ADAMS: Call centers are really critical for us; they are a way for people to engage on their aging journey and serve as a resource for the caregiver. The call center is the triage center for care. It’s the core to care for the senior, the family and the health care organization.
TREADAWAY: Call centers are, and will continue to be, important because of the shortage of nurses and the cost of staffing. Nurse practitioners and physicians are now being brought into the model. The technology provides the analytics we need to get actionable data on the patient, but the human touch is really the secret sauce.