Wednesday, December 12, 2012

mHealth Helping Caregivers

Several companies demonstrated their technology solutions to help seniors and people dealing with chronic conditions obtain real-time in-home patient care at the mHealth Summit held December 3-5 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the Washington D.C area.

One of the companies at involved in senior technology issues and needs called eCaring was chosen by mHIMMS, AARP, and Aging 2.0 to showcase their system in the EngAGE Pavilion at the mHealth Summit.

“eCaring fills a care coordination gap by providing healthcare providers and caregivers with real-time, comprehensive behavioral and clinical data form a patient’s home,” says Robert Herzog, CEO of eCaring. This unique platform improves care quality, lowers healthcare costs, and reduces hospital admissions so that seniors and people with chronic conditions are able to remain at home longer.”

eCaring demonstrated their cloud-based care management system that enables users to access data from any web-enabled device. Their cloud-based platform enables hospitals, family caregivers, and care providers, to spot changes in a patient’s normal patterns. It is possible to receive alerts when problems arise so that small problems in the home don’t become big problems in the hospital.

By using the system, readmission rates can be reduced. The technology also enables accountable care organizations, medical homes, and managed long term care program to reduce the individual and population costs of their patients which is vital for organizations reimbursed under capitated rates.

As part of the demonstration, eCaring introduced a suite of new features for eCaring 2.0. These upgrades included customizable text and email alerts, a comprehensive dashboard to view reports, free text notes, and easy-to-use vital sign entry. The system has also been optimized for use on tablet devices.

mHealth can be especially valuable when serving Alzheimer’s patients. For example ‘BeClose” at, a company headquartered outside of Washington D.C, exhibited their remote home monitoring system at the mHealth Summit. Their system is designed to allow people to age in place independently while giving family members and caregivers peach of mind.  By going to a secure web site, caregivers can see the in-home activity of an elderly family member.

The BeClose system is a network of wireless sensors showing activity throughout the home that can be customized for many activities. BeClose initiated a research and development partnership with which serves more than 500,000 homes and businesses nationwide.

BeClose used in a successful pilot program in group homes was deployed in New Brunswick N.J. The objective was to assess efficacy in saving long term care costs and to help seniors remain safely in their home. The pilot showed that older adults can stay in their own home at greatly reduced cost to families and payers.

Another company, Royal Philips Electronics released their new mobile app “CarePartners Mobile” at the mHealth Summit that is now available on iTunes and Google Play. The app is designed to help family caregivers coordinate healthcare. The free app available for iPhone and Android streamlines care coordination and enables caregivers to:

·        Communicate in a private secure online community
·        Create, manage, and view upcoming caregiving tasks using a shared to-do list
·        Assign tasks to individuals
·        Sync task responsibilities directly into their smartphone calendars.