Japan attempts robotics and technology solutions to deal with an aging population.
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Five vendors from Connected Health Symposium (2 of 2)
Tangential to the talk: technology for an aging population. Looking through the agenda of the Connected Health Symposium in Boston, it's apparent in an agenda so densely packed with doctors (not to mention the attendees, with 26 just from Mass General Hospital) that this is not a conference about technology and aging (duh!). And that is despite the fact that the biggest patient dilemma for both the businesses and providers packing the rooms remains the aging and very old patients who fill their offices and hospital beds and run up the largest bills at end of life. Among the sponsors and exhibitors, these vendors stood out for me as important for serving an aging population. In alphabetical order:
American Well: A sponsor, not an exhibitor at the event, Boston-based American Well has created a system that enables delivery of online care (on-demand video, audio, and chat consultations) that will enable the vision of 'Calibrated Care' for patients, many of them elderly and for whom the trip to the right doctor is challenging, if not impossible. Today American Well's system is offered to patients through partnerships with specific health plans and delivery networks on a state-by-state basis, but online consultations with physicians may be making its way into the pharmacy. Learn more at AmericanWell.com.
GreatCall -- services for seniors and families beyond the Jitterbug phone: With a large installed base of seniors with phones and a partnership with AAA, it was a logical progression to become a platform vendor, enabling extension into other handsets (as with the AAA offering). GreatCall is now partnering with health care organizations and capitalizing on its service, linking older adults to a senior-friendly 24x7 response center. The 'mHealth' portfolio includes emergency response, diabetes coaching, medication and prescription refill reminders, LiveNurse (healthcare advice), wellness calls, check-in-calls and daily health tips -- and is designed to scale up to partnerships with large healthcare organizations. Learn more at GreatCall.com.
IDEAL LIFE -- consumer-priced health monitoring: Positioned favorably next to Philips, IDEAL LIFE has a set of consumer-priced bluetooth devices for managing blood pressure, weight, glucose -- the stuff of traditional telehealth, but without the first generation box limitations and the price tag (typically $1200 for the unit) of the traditional vendors. Described as 'universal mobility' (see video from CBS Early Show), a fully automated and wireless “plug ‘n go”™ system is designed to easily integrate with many different channels of communication, including cell phones, telephone lines, and the Internet." A device can cost as little as $60 and the monitoring as low as $10/month. Learn more at IDEALLIFEonline.com.
SentiCare - for complex medication regimens: Medication adherence system vendor, SentiCare, of Southborough, MA, is in clinical trials with its PillStation for managing complex medication regimens, which (from the vendor) "has the ability to take clear images of the medications being loaded and takes up-to-date images of the prescriptions after each use. These images are sent to the SentiCare Advisor Center. Using SentiCare Technology Platform, caring Advisors monitor images from the PillStation and confirm that medications match client prescriptions." Learn more at Senticare.com.
WellAWARE Systems -- refined monitoring of sleep disturbance: The Richmond, Virginia-based company received a round of venture funding late last year, hired a new CTO (Jeff Segal) and announced it's participation in a large-scale study of remote activity monitoring system effectiveness in July. Along the way, the company ramped up focus on engineering and produced a new version of its remote activity monitoring system. This version incorporates a smart sensing device that extends well beyond the traditional bed sensor from the typical in-out of bed status to monitoring sleep disturbances that are represented by movement, agitation, and change in heart rate. Learn more at: WellAWARE Systems.