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By Sun Vega, MBA

How do you develop a tech-enabled community-based service line? The short answer is, understand your tech options and understand how to integrate them into a sustainable service program.  That was the advice of the expert panelists in the session I moderated at the 2014 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute, Community-Based Treatment Through Technology: Remote Monitoring, SmartHomes & More.  The panelists – Greg Wellems, Chief Operating Officer, Imagine!; Trish Cavestany, Director, Clinical Products and Operations, Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems, Inc.; Adam Hanina, Chief Executive Officer, AiCure; and Steve Davis, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer, M3 Information – reviewed three successful technologies, and a program for integrating remote monitoring technologies into a marketable service line.

trish_cavestanyTrish Cavestany of Robert Bosch discussed the challenges of providing “end-to-end” telehealth services across the continuum of care – a staple of the deployment of their Health Buddy technology (see New Hampshire-Based Riverbend’s Health Buddy 2013 Program Of Significance By National Council For Behavioral Health and Bosch Healthcare Announces Innovative Technology-enabled Care Management With Launch Of Health Buddy Web). Her management advice for this kind of tech-enabled system?  Patient engagement is key – and keeping consumers engaged comes down to timing of consumer interaction (providing the right intervention, to the right patient, at the right time) with consistent and reproducible service line management.

adam_haninaAdam Hanina of AiCure discussed a more specific use of technology in community-based care – improving consumer adherence with medication management. Their solution uses facial recognition and motion sensing technologies combined with an artificial intelligence algorithm to track consumer use (or lack of use) of prescribed medications. His advice for deploying this type of technology?  Success relies on consumer outreach and education, and services need to be linked to consumer behavior as much as possible.  This doesn’t just improve consumer adherence, it improves data quality.

Moving from the discussion of consumer status monitoring to remote diagnostics, Dr. Steve Davis of M3 Information discussed using remote technology to identify depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and alcohol and substance abuse problems. His work with their M3 Clinician (see What’s My M3 Demo and M3 Clinician Receives NCQA Approval For Its Mental Health Tool; First Tool Approved for Mental Health in the Medical Home Prevalidation Effort ) has been focused on providing diagnostic expertise, and using expert systems in non-specialist settings, via internet technology.  His management advice for leveraging expert diagnostic systems? Success relies on eliminating silos within your organization, as well as providing an integrated setting to keep consumers engaged on both the primary care and behavioral health front.

greg_wellemsWhat does it look like when a provider organization embraces the technological possibilities? Greg Wellems reported on his work with Imagine!, a community-based IDD service provider that developed and runs two SmartHomes in Boulder County (see Imagine! Opens SmartHome in Boulder, Colorado and Imagine! Completes Second SmartHome in Colorado).  His advice for leveraging technology to develop services? It is important to identify the appropriate technologies for each consumer, and those technologies must be included in a strategic plan that includes not only the strategic adoption of the tool, but the strategic development of your operational infrastructure and capacity.

The overall message on the day – management teams of provider organizations can build highly efficient and effective service lines with new technologies. What I found most striking is that these four panelists dispelled the myth that technologies cannot be successful in the recovery management and support systems of consumers with complex conditions. The experience of each of the panelists provided a look at how consumer perceptions are, in fact, quite positive and view the appropriate use of these technologies as both reassuring and less invasive than traditional support models.

For more about technology, stay tuned in the coming week for our post-institute coverage of The 2014 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute; and check out our archived coverage on Twitter @openmindscircle #TII14, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/openmindscircle.

 

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