By Tad Reynes – Director, Connected Health Strategy and Development
The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million in 2016 to over 98 million by 2060. And the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will increase to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent1.
If you are one of the millions of Americans with an elderly, chronically ill parent, then the following scenario might sound all too familiar to you:
You head into your first meeting at work. You realize you didn’t make your daily check-in call to your mom. To make sure she took her new heart pill and find out if she’s had any side effects, you make a quick call. There’s no answer. You leave a message. After your meeting you call again. Still no answer. Next you call the neighbor. No answer there either. You make several more attempts. Just before you’re ready to call the police to make a wellness check, your mom calls.
“I decided to sit out back with my neighbor”, she says. “I did forget to take my pill – thanks for the reminder.” She adds, “No side effects, but my feet are swollen.”
You head over there after work to check on the “no side effects” claim.
You want your parents to be able to age in place and live independent lives, but you worry. Are they taking their meds? Are they being truthful when they say they are okay? You need to check on them regularly, but you can’t be in two places at once. Or, can you?
Gyalia Rutledge of Evans, Georgia had these same concerns. Two elderly parents, both with chronic illnesses.
“Checking on them daily, yet trying to keep them as independent as possible, proved to be a difficult task. I was having to trust my parents to communicate with me when something was wrong or when they didn’t feel good, which was not working very well. So, I found myself worrying or constantly having to go over to physically check on them. Even then, there were times that things slipped past me and one of them would end up in the hospital.”
Then Gyalia’s parents entered a clinical trial with one of Anelto Health’s clinical partners, NavCare, using Anelto Health’s HomeAssure 2-way Cellular Hub. Although, she isn’t literally in two places at once, Gyalia now has peace-of-mind with near real-time status checks from the HomeAssure/NavCare platform. The Anelto Health cellular hub pairs with vital sign monitors and activity trackers, which allows nurses and supervised clinicians in NavCare’s Care Center to monitor seniors’ vital signs. NavCare services, in conjunction with the Anelto platform, work in concert together to provide seamless care management services. Since partnering with Anelto, NavCare has rebranded the Anelto program and Care Center services for their clients as My Sophi – Services Optimizing and Promoting Health Independence.
HomeAssure is a comprehensive remote patient monitoring (RPM) solution designed for seniors and the chronically ill. The solution pairs with vital sign monitors and activity trackers, as well as in home sensors. Patient health data, activity and location are transmitted via the AT&T highly secure mobile network to their healthcare provider. There are several features that sets HomeAssure apart from other RPM solutions:
- Easy setup. It uses AT&T cellular connectivity, which means it is literally plug and play. No smart phone or tablet necessary. No WiFi connection needed
- 3-day battery back-up. The patient remains connected for up to three days during power outages.
- Built in alerts. If patient forgets to take vitals or meds – they are reminded, and family members alerted.
- Health status checks via interactive patient voice questionnaires.
- The 24/7 clinical call center available with a push of a button.
- 2-way voice hub for direct communication with their doctor or care team. Relieving the stress of answering the phone of an unknown caller.
- Family access to app. They can check status, oversee chronic disease management, receive alerts of health issues and select family members can communicate directly with their loved one via the hub itself.
Gyalia now feels a huge sense of relief. She knows when she can’t be there, someone is “there” checking on her parents.
“The knowledge that there is a consistent monitoring system in place for blood pressure, weight, pulse oximetry AND someone is checking on my parents and keeping up with things – took a huge burden off me. I can now simply log onto the app, look at their weight and pulse ox, adjust their diet and diuretics accordingly, or contact their Cardiologist if necessary. If one of my parents forgets to have their weight and vitals checked, the monitoring nurse calls them via the HUB with a reminder.”
RPM along with direct patient communication during critical times can help reduce unnecessary ER visits and hospitalizations. This can lead to lower healthcare costs and improved clinical outcomes. And, most importantly, RPM can help improve a patient’s health and quality of life – providing peace of mind to their loved ones.