The Longevity

UnitedHealthcare Seeks Improved Care Coordination in Partnership with ACO Aledade

As payers increasingly look to encourage value-based and patient-centered care, UnitedHealthcare made another stride forward by announcing a new partnership with accountable care organization Aledade.

Aledade is joining forces with UnitedHealthcare, marking its first accountable care program for Medicare Advantage plan members – more than 15,000 of whom could participate in the new initiative.

Aledade – which was founded three years ago this month by former National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari, MD – will work with UnitedHealthcare in Arkansas to put technology and clinical best practices to work enhancing care coordination and promoting more team-based patient care.

The partnership will begin with the Arkansas network, with a particular focus on data sharing and care coordination for patients with complex or chronic illnesses.

Aledade and UnitedHealthcare [hope to] harness technology to enable care management across physicians' patient populations, working together to identify missed opportunities (medication nonadherence), encourage interventions (preventative cancer screenings) and pinpoint other actionable data that can identify high-risk patients and help reduce emergency department visits and hospital readmissions.

More than 15 million people currently enrolled in UnitedHealthcare plans across the country have access to accountable care, delivered through more than 800 arrangements nationwide as the health plan engages in more substantive relationships with physicians and hospitals.

"By working more collaboratively with local care providers and creating a more connected healthcare experience, we can help improve patient care and enhance people’s ability to live healthier lives," said Gregg Kunemund, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement in Arkansas.

 

Will Remote Monitoring Sensors Actually Help Seniors Age in Place AND Reduce Costs?

This month, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society will publish a study examining whether passive remote monitoring sensors truly have the ability to lower healthcare costs and prolong seniors’ ability to remain in their homes and “age in place”.

The results of the 278-participant study to be published this month…suggest they can reduce costly hospitalizations and custodial care.

Costs for inpatient services, emergency department visits, longterm care, skilled nursing facilities, and ambulance care were at least 10 percent lower in the group using the sensors. But the cost savings between the groups were deemed not to be statistically significant for per-member, per-month costs.

It should be emphasized that this is a preliminary study and it does not have a randomized study design. Rather, participants were self-selecting.

Claims data were collected for 12 months to determine healthcare use and costs in an intervention group and contrasted with data from two control groups. One of the control groups was a concurrent group of enrollees who declined the technology and another was a historical cohort matched by age to the participation group, the report said.

The study used sensors developed by Healthsense, which GreatCall acquired. The clinicians for the 74-person group using the sensors received information about those members’ home behaviors, such as a person waking up more than usual at night to use the bathroom or taking longer than usual to return to bed. Trending and real-time alerts triggered a call from the GreatCall response center to check on a participant. If the participant was unwell or unreachable, the response center then called a family member.

FDA Commissioner Announces Pilot for Expediting Approval of Digital Health Products

Just a few weeks into his role as the US Food and Drug (FDA) Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb has announced that providing clear guidance on digital health regulation--and expediting approval for low-risk digital health products and services--is a priority for the agency. (Read his original letter on FDA's blog).

[Late last week], Gottlieb...announced an upcoming pilot program that would create a third-party certification program under which lower-risk digital health products could be marketed without FDA premarket review and higher-risk products could be marketed with a streamlined FDA review.

The pilot, part of a new approach to regulating digital health tools, would help to certify, according to Gottlieb, whether a company "consistently and reliably engages in high quality software design and testing (validation) and ongoing maintenance of its software products. Employing a unique pre-certification program for software as a medical device (SaMD) could reduce the time and cost of market entry for digital health technologies."

This effort to provide clearer guidelines and expedited processes for digital health products is all part of FDA's implementation of the 21st Century CURES Act that was passed in December at the tail end of the Obama Administration. The Cures Act, passed with an overwhelming majority in both the House and the Senate, aims to "boost funding for medical research, ease the development and approval of experimental treatments and reform federal policy on mental health care," according to a Washington Post article at the time.

"...FDA will provide new guidance on other technologies that, although not addressed in the 21st Century Cures Act, present low enough risks that FDA does not intend to subject them to certain pre-market regulatory requirements," Gottlieb wrote in FDA’s Voice Blog.

FDA also will provide guidance clarifying its stance on products that contain multiple software functions and which currently fall outside FDA regulations.

The push into digital health comes as Bakul Patel, ‎associate center director for digital health at FDA, recently told conference attendees that guidance related to software as a medical device, and a new dedicated unit to digital health are coming to FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). 

(See our coverage of FDA's new digital health unit here).

Gottleib also touted the role of a universal method for collecting post-market data on digital health products and using that data in turn to expedite new or evolving product functions.

"For example, product developers could leverage real-world data gathered through the National Evaluation System for health Technology (NEST) to expedite market entry and subsequent expansion of indications more efficiently ... The Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC), a 501(c)(3) public-private partnership, is serving as an independent coordinating center that operates NEST. In the coming weeks, MDIC will announce the establishment of a Governing Committee for the NEST Coordinating Center comprised of stakeholder representatives of the ecosystem, such as patients, health care professionals, health care organizations, payers, industry, and government," Gottlieb wrote.

NEST’s fully operational system is expected to come by the end of 2019.

Chatbots Reach New Benchmark in Mental Health Treatment with Woebot

In the broader news sphere, chatbots mainly get press for their futuristic sexiness—their joke-telling, weather-checking, and thermostat-managing functions. In the world of the 50+ marketplace for health and caregiving tech, however, their usefulness is framed mostly in terms of practical ways for older adults to stay connected with friends and for caregivers to coordinate care, manage medication and the like.

But as WIRED covers this week, chatbots are increasingly are used for more delicate and deeply human matters—among them, providing mental health services without the usual human-to-human trust curve of a regular therapist. And this, too, matters greatly for the 50+. Research shows that social isolation is reaching epidemic proportions among the elderly, and as the baby boomers age and the caregiver ratio drops, the mental health consequences have only just begun. Enter the first chatbot therapist, Woebot.

Woebot,…created by a team of Stanford psychologists and AI experts,…uses brief daily chat conversations, mood tracking, curated videos, and word games to help people manage mental health. After spending the last year building a beta and collecting clinical data, Woebot Labs Inc. just launched the full commercial product—a cheeky, personalized chatbot that checks on you once a day for the price of $39 a month.

 Finding the time and money to pay for talk therapy sessions is out of reach for many, so a chatbot could be a helpful stopgap for psychiatry. But Woebot’s creators believe it has the potential to actually improve on human therapists. “It’s almost borderline illegal to say this in my profession, but there’s a lot of noise in human relationships,” says Alison Darcy, one of the psychologists behind Woebot, and the company’s CEO. “Noise is the fear of being judged. That’s what stigma really is.” There’s nothing like venting to an anonymous algorithm to lift that fear of judgement.

Chatbots, of course, do not have the legal or ethical standing of real human being, and so it keeps its questions simple for now.

While Woebot might seem like a person, it clearly tells patient that it’s actually closer to a “choose your own adventure self-help book.” Rather than running on machine learning technologies that would allow it to improvise on the fly, Woebot is much more deterministic. As it gathers mood data and processes any texts and emojis that a patient might enter, the bot traces the branches of a decision tree to offer personal responses and follow-ups for 10 minutes tops. Mostly, it asks questions.

“What is your energy like today?”

“How are you feeling?”

“What’s going on in your world right now?”

This model of questioning is based on the most popular form of mainstream mental health treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy. Early results indicate people may have an easier time talking about their darkest thought with a non-human entity.

Cognitive behavioral therapy…asks people to recast their negative thoughts in a more objective light. Patients are encouraged to talk about their emotional responses to life events, and then stop to identify the psychological traps that cause their stress, anxiety, and depression.

A CBT chatbot….knows as much as you reveal to it—and it can only help as much as you decide to help yourself.

In 2014, Darpa funded a study of a virtual therapist named Ellie, an embodied avatar developed at the University of California’s Institute for Creative Technologies….The participants who thought they were talking to a robot were way more likely to open up and reveal their deepest and darkest secrets. Removing even the idea of a human in the room led to more productive sessions.

Aside from Woebot, other mental health chatbots instead utilize texting as part of their protocol.

One, called Therachat, sells a customizable chatbot that therapists can use to keep their patients engaged. It gives the doctor a full record of the chats, along with an analysis of frequently used positive and negative words. X2AI, the company that deployed its Arabic-speaking bot, Karim, to Syria in the spring of 2016 [to counsel Syrian refugees fleeing civil war], has a polylingual portfolio of chatbots to help people with everything from mild anxieties to pediatric diabetes.

 X2AI describes its bots as therapeutic assistants, meaning they offer help and support rather than treatment. For the most part, these bots are in a supportive role—more tool than therapy.

Woebot, however, is billed as a standalone, truly therapeutic treatment option. And expectations for it are high among its founders, even as its limitations are still clear.

[Woebot aims to be] an accessible option for those who have no sort of care for their struggles with mental health. Darcy sees it kind of like a “gateway therapy,” to give people a good first experience, and even help them realize when they need a more intense form of intervention.

Woebot is obviously not a licensed physician, and it doesn’t make diagnoses or write scrips. It’s not equipped to deal with real mental health crises either. When it senses someone is in trouble it suggests they seek help in the real world and provides text and hotline resources.

The new chatbot does have a leg up on its competitors by being the only one to have published, peer-reviewed clinical data backing up its effectiveness, but it still has a long way to go.

…Darcy and a team of co-authors at Stanford [recently] published a peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Mental Health that randomized 70 college students and asked them to engage with Woebot or a self-help e-book for two weeks. The students who used Woebot self-reported a significant reduction in their symptoms of depression and anxiety.

 From an experimental design standpoint, it’s far from perfect. Self-report is notoriously unreliable. And the control group isn’t ideal: A better comparison would be between Woebot and text messaging with a human therapist, at least according to Steven Chan, who worked with the American Psychiatric Association to create a set of guidelines for mental health apps before becoming UCSF’s first fellow of clinical informatics. “If the point it’s trying to make is that it’s better than nothing, then it’s a good first step which shows a lot of potential,” he says. Beyond that, there’s not much we can tell about Woebot’s therapeutic value over the long term.

The creators of Woebot will be looking to use the next round of funding, however, to increase their privacy and security measures, because right now, Woebot is only available through Facebook Messenger.

Facebook’s services aren’t HIPAA-compliant, but in this case that wouldn’t matter anyway. Because Woebot isn’t a licensed medical provider, any conversations with it aren’t protected by medical data privacy and security law in the first place. While Darcy’s team has built a wall on their end to keep all of Woebot’s users anonymous, Facebook knows exactly who you are. And Facebook, not you or Woebot, owns all your conversations.

That’s why Darcy’s team is trying to raise funds to build standalone apps outside of the Facebook universe. But at least for now, the privacy concerns haven’t prevented people from signing up.

Technology users in the 50+ market have a historically higher threshold for privacy requirements, and it’s still unclear how the older audience would respond to a mental health therapy that is only accessible through Facebook. But for now, it’s clear a younger audience is quite receptive.

Woebot has about 150 long-term beta users who say they like the ease of checking in quickly on Facebook. Chan says that jives with a trend he’s seen in real life: Patients are demanding their doctors be available to them at all hours via text message, a communication channel that's far from secure. “It’s kind of funny,” he says. “If people get the sense that it’s safe then they’ll disclose anything. Their desire to reach somebody overrides those privacy concerns because they’re much more intangible and ephemeral.” And for Woebot's users, an intangible and ephemeral listener may be just what they need.

Apple Hires Stanford Digital Health Director for Senior Role

If anyone had any doubt about Apple’s intentions to be a big player in the digital health sphere, this week’s announcements should dispel them. Early last week, there were the many revelations about the Apple Watch at WWDC and toward the end of the week, news broke that Apple has hired Dr. Sumbul Desai to “serve in a senior role at Apple in the growing health team”.

Desai is the executive director of Stanford's center for digital health. She led a groundbreaking telemedicine project there and has been overseeing a project to promote health uses for the Apple Watch.

Desai will continue to see patients at Stanford, said people familiar with the move, and it’s still unclear whether she will oversee the company's existing digital health efforts, such as its software frameworks ResearchKit, HealthKit and CareKit, or head up an unannounced project. 

Her work with Stanfords Digital Health Center spanned an impressive array of projects.

She was involved in a number of digital health projects with big tech companies and start-ups, including Apple. At Stanford's digital health center, she worked with Silicon Valley technology companies to test and develop new tools in collaboration with the university's medical experts.

She also devised the strategy for Stanford's first virtual primary care clinic, called ClickWell Care. That proved to be an early success and is used as a case study for the medical industry, especially in reaching an at-risk population that wasn't utilizing primary care all that much. Within a year, some 55% to 60% of 4,000 clinic visits were done virtually.

Her research interests involve finding new ways to use technology to improve the patient experience in health care, which overlaps with Apple's strategy in the space.

She joins a growing team of physicians at Apple.

Stanford pediatric endocrinologist Rajiv Kumar joined the team in June of last year, alongside the medical team from a start-up called Gliimpse by way of acquisition. And Apple's vice president of medical technology Michael O'Reilly is a trained anesthesiologist.

Rush Medical Center Becomes 8th to Adopt Proteus Health’s Smart Pill Technology

With the smart pill adoption, the Chicago academic medical center has become the eighth institution nationwide to adopt Proteus Health’s smart pill option, as it continues to expand its technology-centric patient care model.

A 2012 study found this lack of adherence cost the healthcare system more than $317 billion per year, and subsequent studies have confirmed the finding.

This enticing market has attracted many entrepreneurs, offering new products that are typically a combination of hardware and software. The goal is to remind patients about their meds, help record if and when they’ve taken them, and thereby increase medication compliance.

But Proteus product is different.

Rush University Medical Center is one of just eight systems in the country using the new technology, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. The system is using the smart pill in a small cohort of patients that have Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

The sensor, added to each capsule, sends a signal to a Bluetooth device attached to a patient’s abdomen. Failure to receive the signal prompts an alert from a mobile app. Physicians can also access each patient’s medication history through a web portal.

Rush Medical Center does not imagine that a patient will require the smart capsules indefinitely.

“From a behavioral perspective, experts would say you need to perform a behavior consistently for about three months to create a pattern,” Anthony Perry, M.D., vice president for population health and ambulatory services at Rush told Crain’s. “We believe after that period, we can take the tool away and the pattern will remain.”

The new initiative builds on the medical center’s technology-focused approach to patient care. Recently, Rush rolled out software to communicate with post-op surgical patients along with a web-based application designed to treat patients at home.

AI-Powered Telemedicine Hits Texas with HealthTap Following SB 1107 Law Passage

HealthTap’s subscription service, which launched on June 1st following passage of the law on May 12th, connects Texans to primary-care physicians 24/7 for services that can now be covered by insurance.

HealthTap makes the process of confirming coverage automated and therefore easy and immediate. Eligible patients can even receive free Virtual Consults in real-time with no co-pay, if their policy allows it.

Texas has 28-million residents with 3-million living in rural areas known to have doctor shortages. Texas ranks 45th in the nation for the number of physicians per population, according to the Texas Medical Association.

The SB 1107 law eased several of the formerly prohibitive restrictions on telemedicine, for individuals and employers.

Texans can get care over video, text, and voice from an in-state doctor they’ve never met in person and they can easily discover online.

The required patient consent form is built into the HealthTap app experience streamlining the process of sending medical records to the patient’s primary care doctor.

Employers in Texas can now also expand their use of HealthTap’s Compass application geared toward managing their employees’ health care needs. People working for large self-insured employers will now have access to live virtual consultations from HealthTap Prime doctors and a comprehensive set of tools to manage their health including the world’s largest library of doctor-created health knowledge and Dr. A.I.

HealthTap’s platform promises to not only improve patient access to care but also to reduce costs for providers by streamlining the reimbursement process.

When payment is due, patients can simply enter their insurance information and HealthTap checks their eligibility in real-time. HealthTap also automatically submits electronic insurance claims on behalf of doctors to payors, replacing an otherwise manual process for billing staff.

Because HealthTap will now submit electronic claims on behalf of doctors, HealthTap’s new technology can help save both providers and patients money and time. According to the American Medical Association, doctors can save an average of 55 percent ($23,126 annually) on insurance claim submission costs by using electronic submission instead of manual.

Telemedicine Startup eVisit Raises $2M in Seed Capital

The $2 million round follows another $1 million round last July.

eVisit, a Mesa, AZ-based telemedicine patient engagement platform for SMB healthcare practices has raised $2 million in funding from Kickstart Seed Fund, Arizona Founders Fund, and angel investor Jeremy Andrus, former CEO of Traeger Grills. The company plans to use the funds to accelerate its sales, marketing, and support teams to keep pace with the market demand.

Its market differentiator? “Recapturing” patient revenue for primary care physicians rather than emergency rooms, even if they need to see someone after hours.

Founded in 2013, eVisit is a web app that connects primary care providers with their patients by webcam or phone for the remote diagnosis and treatment of most minor medical conditions (i.e., cold, flu, allergies, etc). 

Physicians reclaim lost revenue from missed appointments, and patients receive high-quality care from work, home or on the road from the doctor that know them best, their doctor. The eVisit platform allows providers to collect patient co-pays, electronically prescribe prescriptions to the pharmacy of the patients’ choice and submit medical charts for reimbursement to 3rd party payers.

Unlike other telemedicine companies, eVisit circumvents many of the regulatory issues by maintaining the doctor-patient relationship and keeping patients in their PCMH (Patient Centered Medical Home).

Tech Maven & Investor Mary Meeker Says Digital Health at “an Inflection Point”

Digital health has come a long way in a very short period of time. Not long ago, tech maven Mary Meeker’s annual report on internet trends didn’t even include healthcare. This year, 31 pages are dedicated to it.

Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report is a massive slide deck that the noted investor and Kleiner Perkins analyst presents every year around this time. The report, which details internet trends across all sectors and industries, has something of a mythic status in the tech world because of the way that Meeker draws together facts, figures, and statistics into a powerful narrative that explains where the internet is now and where it's likely going next.

Healthcare, she says, is at a “digital inflection point” for a myriad of reasons.

First of all, there's more and more healthcare data being generated thanks to the rising provenance of wearables and connected health trackers. And there's other types of data proliferating as well: more kinds of lab tests are available than ever before, and it's easier than ever before to have one's genome sequenced and get health insights from the results.

There's also an increase in what Meeker calls "digitally native health-related data sets", which means basically that more and more people are using health apps and those apps are creating new kinds of datasets. And even hospital originated data is increasing with more use of EHRs. Meeker cites IDC data showing that a typical 500-bed hospital now contains 50 petabytes of data.

The crux of the matter in this inflection point comes down not just to new gadgets but that all this data, combined with dramatic increases in computing power and AI, will provoke a new process of knowledge acquisition in healthcare.

Meeker predicts all this data will lead –  and is in fact already leading –  to more and faster clinical trials and publications, and a general acceleration of the accumulation of medical knowledge. As we build up more data, we could even replace some longitudinal trials with mathematical models and simulations to address the problem of clinical trial lag times.

Moreover, consumer embrace of digital health technology will soon reach a tipping point that will simultaneously propel enterprise to do the same.

With 88 percent of consumers using at least one digital tool for their health, that enthusiasm will lead to faster innovation cycles and a rapidly changing face of healthcare delivery. Technology adoption curves get faster with every new innovation, and Meeker sees digital health going the same way.

Forbes Looks at How the Internet of Medical Things Will Alter Future of Caregiving, Part II

Yesterday, we covered the first half of Forbes’ article on advances in the Internet of Medical Things, and today, we turn to the second half.

But first, a review of the context:

In 2013, AARP coined the term “caregiving cliff”—that impending moment when the number of older adults needing some level of caregiving will vastly outnumber those human beings able to provide care. In 2010, there were 7 able adults for every 1 needing care. By 2030, the ratio will be just 4 to 1, and by 2050, it will fall to 3 to 1.

But the issue is not just a shortage of caregivers; it’s also the cost of care. In a recent article for Forbes, writer Reenita Das elaborates:

For example the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimate that while the U.S. elderly population in 2010 was about 13%, it accounted for 34% of the total healthcare expenditure. As life expectancy rises in the future, the share of expenditure, too, is expected to rise. It is also estimated that elderly health expenditure may more than double between the ages of 70 and 90, depending on the region. With rising pressure on governments, payers and manufacturers to reduce healthcare costs, senior care needs solutions in order to be prepared for this impending rise in expenditure.

As AARP argues, however, the convergence of the caregiving cliff and the skyrocketing cost of providing care to so many aging baby boomers should be seen as an enormous economic opportunity. (They also identified six specific “caregiving frontiers” ripe for innovation—frontiers that, along with nine “health frontiers”, define the themes covered by The Longevity Network).

Entrepreneurs and investors have listened to that call for caregiving innovation.

Forbes recently provided their own short list of the ten ways the medical internet of things (MIoT) is going to revolutionize senior care. Here we take a look at the first five, paired with some of The Longevity Network’s very own Entrepreneur of the Week profiles.

Again, yesterday, we covered the first five ways, and here, we take a look at 6-10.

  1. Disability Assistance Tools

Varied smart products are available for some disabilities that seniors suffer from hearing difficulty to sensory or cognitive impairment.

The Longevity Network’s “Entrepreneur of the Week” Examples:

GTX Corp: pioneer and innovator in Smart, Mobile and Wearable GPS, cellular and BLE tracking and recovery location based services. 

Timeless: simple and easy to use mobile app for Alzheimer’s patients to remember events, stay connected and engaged with friends and family, and to recognize people through automatic Artificial Intelligence based facial recognition technology.

GoGoGrandparent: a service to connect older adults to on-demand services for rides, meals and groceries via any phone without needing to use a smartphone app

SafeWander: a wearable sensor made by SensaRx that sends an alert to a caregiver’s mobile device when a loved one or patient gets up from a bed or chair, even if the caregiver is far away

NeuroCern: a dementia population health analytics and care management software solution that helps improve health and financial outcomes for patients, family caregivers, and healthcare enterprise stakeholders

RespondWell: Telerehab solution that gives care teams the transparency needed to monitor patient condition and advance patient recovery through a gamified approach to rehabilitation with on-screen digital instructors and incentives

Constant Therapy: a platform for providing customized therapy tools to those with brain injury, stroke, aphasia, and other brain conditions

MedRhythms: a neuro-rehab company, providing interventions to achieve optimum outcomes in sensorimotor, speech & language, and cognitive goals in patients

Audicus: high quality, customized hearing aids affordable and accessible by offering them online without the markups found at a clinic

Liftware: Liftware currently offers two products that stabilize and level handles and attachments for people with hand tremor or limited hand and arm mobility

  1. Smart Implants

Pacemakers that communicate data to smartphone apps for sharing with physicians (Medtronic MyCareLink), sensors that are embedded in orthopedic implants to communicate performance post-surgery (OrthoSensor) or glucose sensors that communicate diabetics’ glucose levels to smartphones or dedicated readers (such as products in development by GlySens, Senseonics, Echo Therapeutics or Google’s smart lens) are all examples of smart implants. These can help seniors take care of their health and manage their conditions better, ensuring medical intervention is sought immediately when required.

  1. Smart Senior Homes

Care staff can monitor seniors with the use of wrist-worn wearables that track their location as well as activities performed (such as bathing, walking, sleeping, etc…But the true power of the technology lies in machine learning and predictive analytics to derive insights from seniors’ daily routines as well as any deviations. Insights could include emerging physical or mental health conditions, which can help alert care providers to the need for immediate medical intervention. 

The Longevity Network’s “Entrepreneur of the Week” Examples:

Marvee (2017 LivePitch finalist):  voice-enabled assistant to connect users with limited vision, mobility, or other challenges with their caregivers

 Home for Life Design: a home assessment service followed by recommendations for products and services to help seniors and baby boomers age in place safely and comfortably.

  1. Family Caregiver Remote Monitoring Tools

There are a plethora of devices which ensure that seniors are constantly but non-intrusively monitored and receive immediate attention and medical assistance when it may be needed the most…Any deviation in routine will be detected, and family members can contact seniors to ensure that seniors are, indeed, all right. 

The Longevity Network’s “Entrepreneur of the Week” Examples:

Care3: a patient and family engagement platform for coordinating post-acute care to improve outcomes and reduce costly hospital readmissions for underserved populations including seniors, people of color, and the disabled

OnKöl: a caregiving hub that enables third-party connected home sensors to work in conjunction with health sensors such as Blood Pressure Cuffs, Blood Glucose Meters, Scales, and mainstream activity trackers to connect seniors with their family and caregivers.

Caremerge: a HIPAA-compliant communication and care coordination network that keeps the entire care team informed and cohesive through an intuitive interface

  1. Other Approaches

Several innovative devices are being developed to address medical challenges. Consider the Opnwatr.IO approach of developing a wearable device that could provide MRI-level details in the bodies or brains of wearers. For seniors, this means not having to frequently undergo expensive procedures, and receiving more knowledge about their conditions without the discomfort of being surrounded by large scanning machines, and at a much lower cost. Another device is the Gyenno "Smart Cup" for Parkinson’s patients, allowing them to use cups independently despite tremors they may be experiencing. Sensors detect and help counteract the action of tremors to keep the cup steady. Similar spoon and fork products, although not necessarily true IoMT devices, are also available from Gyenno as well as LiftLabs. These products can help seniors become independent, and help reduce, at least partly, the costs of constant care support.