Life365 a leading virtual care platform provider, today announced a partnership with White Plains Hospital, a leading healthcare provider in Westchester County, New York, to deliver remote care for patients located outside of the hospital and traditional care settings. To learn more about the topic, we conducted an interview with Kent Dicks, CEO Life365, Inc.
1. What challenges did the COVID-19 pandemic impose on patient care?
COVID-19 imposed several different constraints on the Hospital systems, including the Emergency Room (ER) and Hospital beds being at or near maximum capacity, plus the shortage of key equipment related to COVID-19, such as ventilators. Another key concern was keeping healthy people away from the Hospital so that they are not exposed to the virus. Hospital systems experienced challenges with performing elective surgery because of lockdown due to COVID-19. The need to test, connect and monitor remotely became a growing need because patient could be monitoring from a distance by call centers (like American Medical Response – AMR Ambulance), to keep the patient safe at home, or discharge patients earlier to free up hospital beds and monitor by a nurse call center, connected to wireless vital sign equipment.
2. Why did White Plains Hospital choose to partner with Life365?
White Plains Hospital realizes that the hospital must extend to the surrounding community and homes. No longer will the four walls of the hospital define where care is practiced. Telehealth companies are growing at a rapid pace and caring for patient in every community throughout the US. White Plains has an advance having brick and mortar facilities that the Telehealth companies do not have, but Health Systems will start making their facilities smaller and closer to the patients in the community to bring in-patient care from time to time, but the rest will be connected care at home. White Plains is a very innovative Health Systems. They choose Life365 because of the use of new and innovative technology to connect and engage patients at home.
3. In what ways would this partnership empower patient experience?
The Life365 solution provides a one stop shop for White Plains and their patients to be connected. Life365 works with White Plains to align the right connected solution with the right patient to get the right outcome and quality of care. Studies have shown that a patients recovery takes longer when in the Hospital. When they are in their own home, they tend to relax and recover faster. Most patients do not want to spend time in the Hospital but need the necessary care. The partnership with Life365 and White Plains allows the ability to provide the highest quality of care to a patient who is comfortable in their own home.
4. How will Life365’s technology help in connecting between patients and White Plains Hospital’s staff?
Life365 provides wireless kits (Life365 Kits) that have wireless Medical Devices (Scale, Blood Pressure, Pulse Oximetry, Glucometers, EKG, Temperature and more – We interface to over 300+ Home Medical Devices), all connected in a variety of ways, either through a pre-configured Smart Phone Hub, Tablet with 2-way video on it for Telehealth visits, or a downloadable App from this Apple Store or Google Play that allows them to connect to the wireless devices directly, sending the data into White Plains clinical backend systems for storage and review. Life365 has a Virtual Care Platform that connects Devices, Services and Solutions integrated into a common platform that connects to the White Plains Electronic Health Records automatically so that the patients’ doctor does not have to go into a separate system for monitoring. The data is integrated into the same Health Record that is used if they visit their doctor or hospital in person.
5. Will patients be able to use Life365’s technology? Can you elaborate on that?
Most of the patients at home connected to White Plains via the Life365 Virtual Care Platform have used Scales, Blood Pressure Devices, Pulse Oximeters and more in the management of their disease, such as Diabetes, Congestive Heart Failure, Asthma, COPD, Hypertension and more. The kits are pre-configured, connected to the cellular hubs / tablets. Once the kit is shipped to the patient’s home, all they must do is take the equipment out, plug in the Hub / Tablet and take their readings – remarkably simple. The system has been designed to be used by all age groups and comfort level with technology.
6. Can you tell us more about the kits being deployed for White Plains Hospital users?
The White Plains physician will determine what kit is needed for an individual patient (Chronic Care, Diabetes, Cardiac, COVID-19, Kidney Care or Respiratory Kits). Once the kit is determined, an order is sent to Life365 to pre-configure the kit, connect it to the back of the White Plains clinical system and ship it out to the patient to be connected. Once received, the patient could start sending data within minutes to their doctors. The transmission of the data from the patient to the White Plains clinical backend (Electronic Health Records) occurs within seconds in most cases.
7. What are the friction points that Life365 can help in eliminating which would enable White Plains Hospital deliver more cost-effective, efficient care, and address the needs of a broader population of patients?
The friction points in general for scaling Remote Patient Monitoring technology to home is 4-fold:
- It must be integrated into the same Electronic Health Record that the doctor uses for the patient – Same Workflow
- The Physician needs to be removed from the process of selecting a Kit to send to a patient – Just drive off their Care Plan to determine what biometrics they need on a regular basis (Have patient take Glucose 2x per day, Blood Pressure 2x per day and Weight once a day)
- The kits must be pre-configured and shipped to the patient (or arranged to be given out in the doctor’s office) without the doctor being involved.
- Engage the patients to take their readings.
- Ship the Readings into the back of the clinical backend (Health Record) automatically
White Plains partnered with Life365 to specifically reduce these friction points so that they could scale to more patients at home and to not disrupt their clinicians existing workflow.
8. Where do you see the Life365 and White Plains Hospital partnership in the next 5-years?
White Plains and other progressive health systems do not see this as experimental. They do not call it Digital Health, Virtual Care, Tech-Enabled Care, Telehealth or even Remote Patient Monitoring – They call it Healthcare. This is the future, but right now. White Plains must adapt their models of care to be competitive with those new models of care that are coming in to treat their patients in their community, which involves building a bridge to the surrounding community and beyond and Life365 will help them in that effort.
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