Seniors Housing Business

AUG-SEP 2015

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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62 Seniors Housing Business n August-September 2015 n Technology A new way to deliver care Remote patient monitoring devices can save lives, money and give senior living communities a competitive edge. By Eric Taub In 1997, Albert Kingston sufered a heart attack. Eigh- teen months ago, the 79-year-old retired publishing executive received a pacemaker. Early last May, the pacemaker began to fail. And yet, Kingston considers himself a lucky man. That's because a remote monitoring device used at his home determined that his pulse was erratic before any damage was done. Once the data was automatically sent to his health- care provider, he received a telephone call and was told to seek medical advice immediately. Within days, he had a new modern pacemaker with its own built-in defbrillator. "That monitor saved my life," says Kingston, who lives in Chandler, Ariz. The monitor that saved his life was made by Philips, the Dutch electronics giant, maker of light bulbs, tooth- brushes and Norelco electric razors. The product is just one part of a suite of vital signs monitoring devices that has come to be known as remote patient monitoring (RPM): products that are capable of checking weight, blood glucose, blood pres- sure, oxygen levels and more, and then transmit those results instantly to a medical facility or caregiver. When an individual's specifc defned parameters are breached, the caregiver is automatically notifed via email, phone call or text message, allowing the caregiver to reach out to the patient before his or her condition worsens. Timing is everything With emergency room visits costing as much as $10,000, any chance to reduce ER admission can dra- matically cut costs and improve a patient's mental and physical health. Traditionally, RPM companies have targeted institutions that can see a direct improvement to their bottom line if their clients stay healthy. That includes: the Veterans Administra- tion, the largest RPM user; Medicare Advantage plans that receive set amounts of money to care for their clients; and hospitals, that are now penalized for readmissions for certain conditions within 30 days. But recently, RPM companies have begun to pursue the assisted living and skilled nursing markets as well. While those communities may not see an obvious direct fnancial gain, cutting costs and keeping residents in better mental as well as physical shape can only help improve their bot- tom line, say RPM executives. Philips is far from the only company getting involved in RPM. In fact, it's a crowded feld popu- lated by other large companies such as home security provider ADT, General Electric, Honeywell and Intel, not to mention a number of smaller players. While available for over a decade, RPM is just now beginning to impact the healthcare market, thanks to the Affordable Care Act and skyrocketing healthcare costs. "Assisted living communities pay a lot of money for amenities that no resident uses, like fve-star chefs and gazebos," says Kian Saneii, founder and president of San Diego-based Independa. The company sells a package of RPM devices, which include a scale, blood pressure cuff, a pulse oximeter and a glucometer, as well as motion sensors and a personal emergency response system. "This is one tool that can improve a resident's quality of life," says Kian Saneii, founder, president, Independa. Health Harmony by Intel-GE Care Innovations is a remote care technology platform that encourages patients to monitor their health from home. The platform enables seniors to use simple devices and peripherals, participate in interactive health sessions, access educational content and engage in videoconferencing with their clinician. Above, a mother and daughter use an Apple iPad to access the remote care technology platform.

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