top of page

What Startups Missing in 'Consumer' Experience, AI in Pain Assessment & more - The HSB Blog 9/29/20

What Startups are Missing When They Talk About the ‘Consumer’ Experience &

To Boost Inclusivity, Words Matter in the Healthcare World

Event: (9/22 & 9/23) Two recent reports in Mobihealthnews focus on the importance of including a health equity agenda and acknowledging the importance of langage to improve consumer experience and inclusivity in digital health tools. Digital health need to make sure they “have delivery systems that communities can trust and want to access” especially for groups of people who have been historically marginalized such as those in LGBTQ+ community and communities of color.

Description: Two recent panels shed insights on lessons that could be learned from the dual crises of COVID and racial injustice which have had a disproportionate impact on underserved communities and communities of color. Participants noted that when designing digital solutions for marginalized communities, it is important to take a broad look at health care needs and meet communities where they are. Words and language used by clinicians have impact and can either boost inclusivity or cause exclusion. When designing healthcare solutions, people need to consider – does this work for marginalized communities and what does management and board teams look like from a diversity, equity and inclusiveness standpoint.

Implications: Panelists noted that one of the challenges Silicon Valley has in changing health care at scale is that too often entrepreneurs are reflecting their own experiences onto the challenges of healthcare today. One solution would be to tailor efforts towards a specific population served rather than roll out a one-size-fits-all program. In addition, start-ups need to guard against the “Silicon Valley-ization of Healthcare” that focuses on transactions as opposed to relationships and driving outcomes.

Pain and Dementia: Common Challenges for Care Managers [AI in Pain Assessment]

Event: (9/21) On September 21st, AI technology pain assessment company, PainChek, released a report entitled “Pain and dementia: common challenges for care managers”, which investigates the complex challenges care managers face daily and the relationship between pain and dementia. In August, PainChek launched its new facial analysis technology in the UK, enabling care workers and clinicians to identify and manage pain in dementia impaired patients who struggle to communicate.

Description: PainChek is working to raise awareness of the importance of effective assessment of pain in people with dementia after realizing inappropriate antipsychotic prescriptions were given to dementia patients in the UK. A UK Department of Health study found that of 180,000 patients living with dementia in the UK, 80% of them were inappropriately given antipsychotic prescriptions and at least 50% of people living with dementia in the UK’s 18,000 care and residential homes regularly experience pain. PainChek is using facial analysis technology which enables care workers and clinicians to identify and manage pain in dementia impaired patients who struggle to communicate and assist them with pain management. PainChek has been granted a US patent for pain assessment invention.

Implications: Antipsychotic prescriptions are overprescribed to patients living with dementia and the use of AI assistive technology will help promote the move to value-based care, lead to improved patient experiences as well as better health outcomes for patients. One of the biggest challenges is assessing pain levels for people living with dementia. Using applications like PainChek will yield improvements in communication for patients living with dementia, helping improve the quality and appropriateness of care.

Backed by Google’s Investment Arm, Home-Based Care Startup Ready Lands $54 Million

Event: (9/16) On September 16th, Home Healthcare News announced that Ready, an on-demand health care startup has raised $54 million in Series C funding. Ready delivers home-and community-based services, aiming to provide a doctor’s office-type visit in the home.

Description: Ready deploys “Ready Responders” — who are trained as EMTs, paramedics and nurses — to hundreds of patients’ homes per day. All responders are connected to Ready’s platform through their phones and are also equipped with iPads, testing and monitoring equipment. When Ready partnered with Ochsner Health System, there was a reduction in non- emergency ED visits by upwards of 70%. In addition, COVID-19 has accelerated Ready’s business in New York. Due to New York’s dire need for health care workers during the crisis, Ready launched a year earlier than anticipated, Ready’s original plan was to launch in New York in 2021, but New York’s dire need for health care workers and providers during the public health emergency sped up the process. Since Ready’s main payer is Medicaid, it was able to extend support to under-served communities throughout the pandemic.

Implications: This funding will help Ready continue building out the infrastructure to scale the business, grow visit volume, enhance its product offerings and expand the range of conditions it can support. Even as the pandemic slows down, the company's market continues to grow as patients enjoy the convenience of in-home care. Given Ready's main payer is Medicaid, this service is expanding crucial care in areas of need.

Amazon Expands Virtual Medical Clinic Across Washington State: 5 Details & Amazon Care: 5 Things to Know About Amazon's New Virtual Medical Clinic

Event: (9/22) CNBC reported that in September 2019 Amazon launched the Amazon Care program, which offers employees virtual medical consultations with clinicians as well as in person nurse follow-ups for company employees and their dependents. Healthcare represents a $3.5 trillion sector for Amazon, which is looking for different avenues to bring technology into the work they already do.

Description: The Amazon Care program was implemented to offer employees and their dependents virtual and in person medical consultations with physicians and nurse practitioners. Patients can also use the app to schedule in-home follow up visits, text a nurse on any health topic in minutes, and have medications prescribed delivered to their homes. CNBC noted the application serves to eliminate travel time, wait time, and connect employees and their families to the best trained medical professionals for optimal care. According to Amazon Care Director Kristen Helton, PHD, the program received a patient satisfaction score of 4.7 out of 5, which prompted the company to expand to all eligible employees in Seattle, Washington, where most of their corporate employees are based.

Implications: With the rise of COVID, and the need to physically distance increased accessibility to virtual care is even more crucial for the well-being of employees and their families. This underscores the need for accessible and affordable employee healthcare plans which integrate virtual and in-person care like Amazon Care. For big tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, among others, employee health programs represent a way to test new health-care products in an internal research and development lab. Amazon leads the way in making inroads into telemedicine, which represents a $130 billion market opportunity if the company expands its clinic beyond a pilot for its own employees. Although Amazon joined up with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway in 2018 to form Haven, an exploration of new ways to manage healthcare expenses for their combined 1.2 million employees, that effort seems to have stalled. This new healthcare initiative may indicate that Amazon intends to pursue certain healthcare solutions on its own.

Microsoft Teams Integrates with EHRs for Provider Telehealth

Event: (09/22) A recent article in Healthcare Dive highlighted the fact that Microsoft Teams would integrate with EHRs providers for telehealth and that its industry specific cloud offering for healthcare, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, will be generally available at the end of October. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare includes Microsoft 365, Dynamics, Power Platform and Azure and is aimed at managing patients and staff, deploying resources and promoting data insights. Microsoft also announced the AI-enabled speech-to-text software integration from Nuance.

Description: Microsoft noted that its Teams platform, which has a workplace chat, file sharing and web conferencing and is HIPAA-compliant has seen rapid uptake amid the pandemic with telehealth meetings increasing 35% from April to July. Microsoft’s health system clients had pushed the tech giant to integrate with Epic and other EHRs while keeping privacy and security a top priority when creating the video platform for healthcare. In addition, Microsoft’s recent integration with AI-enabled speech-to-text software from Nuance allows patient data entry by automating physician notes taken during a virtual visit which transcribes notes into the correct EHR field, eventually doing so without human supervision

Implications: Microsoft’s Cloud for Healthcare and Teams EHR integration allows it to link information and help hospitals with telehealth, care management and patient engagement through apps . This will make it easier for healthcare providers to access data and other services in a remote setting should another pandemic or crisis occur. The integration of Teams and Nuance potentially puts Microsoft at a competitive advantage over other existing large telehealth vendors like MDLive, Amwell and Teladoc, by eliminating the need to integrate a separate distinct telehealth solution and easing workflow via the automatic transcription of clinician notations directly into medical records.

High-Tech Aids for Aging in Place

Event: (9/23) On September 23rd, released an update on this year's technology to assist older users and their caregivers who cannot afford the high cost of assisted living/senior care.. Kiplinger’s highlighted six products across a range of devices not all of which are marketed direct-to-consumer. Two we are highlighting here are Smart Sole and Envoy at Home.

Description: SmartSole provides a smart insole to fit into shoes with a built-in GPS. This is used to keep track of a loved one with dementia who may wander off and get lost. The device pinpoints the person’s whereabouts on a map, supplying addresses and outdoor locations to within 15 feet every five minutes. Envoy at Home is a remote caregiving service for older adults who live alone and can't afford a health aide. Using sensors, caregivers can monitor the person's wellness and safety, such as how long or frequent the patient's bathroom visits are, periods of inactivity, and whether they are taking prescribed exercise or rest. The caregiver can then receive reports and alerts on the patient.

Implications: During COVID, many caregivers are socially distancing from their older loved ones and cannot be present to care for them as they are accustomed to or would like. SmartSole and Envoy at Home provide solutions to remotely care for older people living on their own. These solutions and devices like them, help older adults live independently at home longer and provide more flexibility for caregivers by allowing them to care for elderly parents from a safe distance.


Search By Tags
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Social Icon
bottom of page