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them and, of course, they were on board. Over a series of many months, we created many committees, trying to decide what the program would look like and how the telehealth technology would fit in. In the end, we created our current model. JF: Your plan is to begin in the delta to address diabetes, but you aim to go beyond the region, as well as address other diseases, correct? KH: Yes. That plan was part of our initial discussions, and we hope to find the results we need to ramp up our efforts. Everyone is so committed to the program, but we know


if we are going to be able to scale this up and make a difference nationally, we are going to have to study it as a real research project and analyze the outcomes. All of us jumped in, threw our dollars in and threw our time and resources in. This decision to work together transpired along with a telecommunications company, C Spire Wire- less, which said it will make sure that the connectivity to the homes and to the patients and to the clinic is there. What I love about this project is that it truly shows you


how, if you have the right strategic partners and align- ment of all the governmental officials, public health, as well as the private and public academic medical center, you really can come up with a phenomenal project. We have always sought out new partnerships to confront dis- eases like diabetes, and now not only do we have a unique opportunity to do just that, but we are also in the perfect place for us to really test innovative models that can go beyond Mississippi. This project should deliver outcomes where patients are going to show improved health, and healthcare is going to come to them. We are going to be able to scale it to other diseases and other areas.


Jason Free: Let’s discuss some of the technical elements of the project.


Sean Slovenski, CEO, Care Innovations Speaking at a very high level, our cloud- based platform allows us to aggregate and integrate mounds and mounds of data collected from a whole source of devices; literally any device that some- one may be using to monitor an aspect of their health in the home.


In terms of our interface, a lot of people don’t have access to the Internet, or, especially in certain age groups, they’re uncomfortable using computers and mobile phones and technology. So over the last seven years, Care Innovations has been working with senior citizens, and people of all ages, to figure out what’s the best way and the right types of devices to use when someone doesn’t have their own computer or doesn’t have something they’re used to interacting with. Can we give them something in


www.healthmgttech.com


their home they can interact with and that they will like to use? Is it unobtrusive and does it connect to all the pe- ripheral devices we would need to use on a project like this? Due to this work, our tablet integrates with all the


different peripheral devices that will be measuring the dif- ferent aspects of an individual’s health. It gives them the opportunity to have two-way communication with their care professional via video and other means. We tie that into any interfaces that we can use to help support the family caregivers as well.


Ray Solone, Executive Director of Marketing, Care Innovations T e main thing to add here is the patients, when they log into the system and turn it on, they’re presented with kind of a step-function approach to engaging with the platform. T ey are also presented with video training that is part of the system as


well. So they have on-the-spot video training on the system. Once they’ve watched it, they get it. It’s a very simple and easy-to-use interface. It was de- signed through ethnographic research. Let’s start with the blood sugar levels and get that under control. T en, let’s step you into education that’s delivered just in time. If your blood sugar is high, we may deliver certain content to you. If it’s under control, we’re going to congratulate you and reinforce that behavior through the platform, and through a series of questions that we call “Daily Health Sessions.” T ose daily sessions evolve over time to move the patient from fi rst, let’s get control of the physiological component, and then let’s move into being able to better manage your condition. T at’s really the promise of the platform. We progress the patient through to self-management. T at’s really when you begin to see patients really engaging with the platform. T ey feel somebody’s taking care of them, even though it’s remote. T eir usage of the platform and their adherence to the care plan is very high, and that’s what we like to see as the patients engage through the process. T e interface is super simple, so we don’t have those fears of, “I can’t do it.” T ey get engaged with the platform. JF: What sorts of benchmarks do you use internally in terms of when are you going to really start looking at results? SS: Speaking of a follow-up schedule, to be realistic, the fi rst opportunity to do that will probably be the tail end of May. We get things launched in March, and then we plan to get about a month of data. You need about 60 days of data to work out the kinks. We want to ask, “Okay, how much of an impact are we having on AC1 levels? How much infl uence are we having on weight gain and reduction in weight, adherence to glucose monitoring, self-monitoring and etc.?” It takes a couple of months, even though we’re doing all of that starting in March, for the data to come out and be analyzed.


HMT HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY April 2014 19


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