Chuck Mooty, Minnesota Business Hall of Fame Inductee, Joins Ōmcare Board of Directors

Esteemed business leader, Chuck Mooty, joins the Board of Directors for innovative home health technology. 

[Minneapolis, August 8, 2022].  

Ōmcare announced that Chuck Mooty has joined their Board of Directors. Recently, Mooty was announced as a 2022 Minnesota Business Hall of Fame inductee for his many successes and thoughtful leadership throughout his career.   

Within a six-year window, Mooty was the CEO and Chairman of four major Minnesota organizations. He led the rejuvenation of the Dairy Queen system, re-opened and rebranded the Faribault Woolen Mill, stewarded Fairview Health Services during a period of crisis and completely reinvigorated Jostens Inc.  

Clearly, Mooty has a track record of helping companies thrive.  

“Chuck is renowned for possessing the strategic insight and business acumen to parachute into any business and fashion a strategy for growth and optimization. As Ōmcare prepares for its commercial rollout of the Ōmcare Home Health Hub®, Chuck’s experience and laser-focused mindset will be instrumental for our national growth strategy,” said Lisa Lavin, Ōmcare CEO.   

Mooty is enthusiastic to join a group of innovators who make home the site of care.  

“I am truly excited to join Lisa and the entire Board of Ōmcare at this pivotal time of bringing innovative technology for medical care into the home” said Mooty. “As our world continues to age and our healthcare workforce continues to decline, technology must be able to meet this challenge and I believe that Ōmcare is perfectly positioned to lead in the innovative care delivery with safe and accurate medications within the home.” 

Ōmcare aims to bring care into the home by extending the reach of caregivers and improve medication adherence and outcomes through its Ōmcare Home Health Hub®, which gives caregivers of all types – from physicians and pharmacists to home care providers or family members – the ability to provide remote care and confirm compliance with medication treatment plans from anywhere.  

Ōmcare is currently wrapping up a successful pilot with Ecumen Senior Care and Thrifty White Pharmacy and will move into full commercialization later this year.   

Lonely man looking out the window

The importance of connection: Why social messaging systems elevate healthcare platforms

High blood pressure. Obesity. Heart disease. Anxiety. Depression. A weak immune system. Cognitive decline. Alzheimer's disease… Even death.   

Those are the conditions that affect lonely seniors at higher rates than those who have meaningful relationships.  

Dr. Steve Cole, Ph.D. says, “Loneliness acts as a fertilizer for other diseases.” He continues, “The biology of loneliness can accelerate the buildup of plaque in arteries, help cancer cells grow and spread, and promote inflammation in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s disease.” 

The statistics: How loneliness affects elderly patients

If you’re the type of person who likes to see the numbers, we get it—so are we. Here are the statistics from the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). Loneliness in elderly patients is associated with increases the risk of: 

  • Dementia by 50% 
  • Heart disease by 29% 
  • Stroke by 32% 
  • Hospitalization by 68%  
  • Emergency visits by 57%  

And the most shocking statistic: loneliness increases the risk of death by four times.  

Overall, the CDC says that the health effects of loneliness rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. It’s known as the “loneliness epidemic.” Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the AARP Foundation, says, “This is a very real public health crisis.” 

Connection is essential to keep seniors healthy—both mentally and physically.  

What is loneliness?

Chances are: most of us have felt lonely before. Emphasis on felt. Because that’s exactly what it is: a feeling. The CDC explains that loneliness is the feeling of being alone.  

Loneliness and social isolation are not one and the same. A person could be surrounded by people, yet still, feel alone. Another person could be socially isolated, yet not feel lonely.  

"Loneliness is the discrepancy between what you want from your relationships and what you actually have,” says Stephanie Cacioppo, director of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine’s Brain Dynamics Laboratory.  

The goal is to help seniors avoid the distressing feeling of loneliness—even if they’re physically alone. 

A deep dive into elderly loneliness

When it comes to experiencing loneliness, seniors are the most at-risk members of society.  

The CDC notes, “Older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation, because they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss.” Here are some more risk factors for loneliness in elderly patients: 

  • Retirement 
  • Loss of mobility  
  • Lack of transportation  

40% of Medicare enrollees feel more lonely since November 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the isolation epidemic. 

Does technology build connections?

50% of older, educated Americans say the internet has been essential in helping them adjust during the pandemic. But it’s not as simple as just connecting seniors to the internet.   

“The solution is not just to say we are going to give everyone an iPad,” says Laura Trejo, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Aging. “What are they going to do with it?” Instead, here are some of the best ways to use technology to combat elderly loneliness:  

  • Engaging online courses 
  • Virtual senior fitness classes 
  • Online community services 
  • Zoom or phone calls  
  • Classes to teach seniors how to use technology 
  • And finally…healthcare technology is an amazing area to help seniors ward off loneliness.  

Healthcare interventions are key

Loneliness leads to health problems, but the opposite is also true: health problems lead to loneliness. For example, 1 in 3 seniors have hearing loss, which leads to them feeling lonely. 

Another risk factor for loneliness is having a chronic illness. Psychology Today writes, “Symptoms and treatment often require withdrawal from the world.”  

Due to the interconnectedness of health conditions and loneliness, healthcare interventions are key. Medical professionals can help patients manage the underlying health problem that’s causing loneliness. Ultimately, this intervention will lead to less health issues down the line. 

What we’re saying is: Healthcare interventions are extremely important to help seniors ward off loneliness.  

The American Society on Aging writes, “Loneliness and isolation should be assessed and treated in the same way as other issues concerning health—through screening and appropriate intervention.” Here are how healthcare interventions can help lonely seniors: 

  • Periodic assessments for loneliness 
  • Inform seniors of the adverse health effects of loneliness 
  • Make efforts to connect seniors with social care 
  • Determine and treat the underlying health issues that are causing loneliness 
  • Recommend therapy 

And finally, take the time to build a relationship with your patients. 

Be a friend to your patients

Another way healthcare professionals can help is by fostering a connection with elderly patients. In fact, you might be one of the only relationships your patient has left. Taking a few extra minutes to show empathy can make all the difference in your patient’s life.   

When you’re communicating via a healthcare platform—for example, video chatting or messaging—you’ll want to be more verbal. During in-office visits, patients can read your body language. That’s not true when you’re providing healthcare virtually. Here are our tips for being a virtual “friend” to your patients:   

  • Let your patients know you’re listening. 
  • Be curious about your patient. Ask questions to understand your patient—including questions that aren’t necessarily about medicine. 
  • Acknowledge the patient and their feelings.  
  • Show support.  
  • Share extra resources. 
  • Treat the patient how you would want a family member to be treated.  
  • Ask for feedback. 

Even if you’re communicating virtually, showing empathy leads to better health outcomes for patients.  

Social messaging elevates healthcare platforms

Connection is key to helping seniors avoid long-term health problems and needless suffering. That’s why we built a healthcare app that allows patients and providers to build meaningful relationships. And the Ōmcare Home Health Hub® was born. It’s a customizable telehealth portal.   

Here are a few things you can do with Ōmcare:  

  • Connect with patients in real-time via video or chat 
  • Provide face-to-face care 
  • Help patients feel less lonely and manage their conditions 
  • Provide medication management (prescribe medications, provide accurate pre-slit packages of multi-dose medication at the right time, and track adherence)

Reach out to Ōmcare today to learn more.  

Do elderly patients want to use healthcare technology?

As we’re considering alternatives to at-home healthcare for elderly patients, medical technology is what we turn to. Age-tech is not only more cost-effective, but it also allows older patients to maintain their autonomy and independence as they age.  

But when it comes to older patients, there’s a stigma that they don’t want to—or can’t—use technology. These are the questions we’re investigating today: Do older patients want to use healthcare technology? What barriers make healthcare technology challenging for the older generation, and how can we overcome them?   

Most elderly patients are using technology in their daily lives

Younger generations have grown up with technology, which makes it less complicated to pick up and learn quickly. But what about older generations who haven’t had the benefit of learning how to use technology from a young age? 

Although we typically imagine elderly patients struggling to use technology, 61% of people 65 and older own a smartphone. Even more—75% of elderly patients—are internet users. And finally, 56% of seniors send text messages daily. While there’s a common stereotype that elderly patients are unable to use technology, the vast majority of them are already using it in their daily lives.  

But what about medical technology specifically? Here are the statistics: 

  • 40% of elderly patients want to use technology for medication management. 
  • 21% of older patients want to use telehealth to video conference with their doctors. 
  • 53% want their health to be managed by a mix of technology and healthcare staff. 
  • 66% of older patients say they’re comfortable sharing their health data with their providers via technology. 
  • 3 in 4 older Americans want to age in their homes with the help of technology. 

Not only are the majority of seniors comfortable using technology, but they’re ready to use it to manage their health. Yet even still, some seniors are being left behind in the new digital age.   

A deep dive into the digital divide

When it comes to developing digital skills, seniors are closing the generational gap and catching up to their younger counterparts. However, there’s still a digital divide among seniors. This gap in technology usage is mainly due to polarizing attitudes toward technology.  

Seniors are categorized into these five groups to help us understand their different attitudes towards age-tech. 

Here are the two senior groups that are least likely to use technology:  

  • Old traditionalists: This makes up 20% of the elderly population. These elderly patients typically don’t have children, are isolated, and have fewer devices than the average senior.  
  • Striving pensioners: These seniors make up 26% of the elderly population, and they’re likely to live alone, have health or financial problems, and have few devices. However, they’re likely to watch TV more often than other seniors.

The next senior group is likely to use technology on an average level: 

  • Sociable grandparents: These seniors make up 25% of the elderly population. They’re likely to be married and socialize often. They don’t often feel lonely in comparison to other seniors. 

Here are the last two senior groups. These two are only about 3 in 10 of all seniors. They’re likely to use the internet and technology more than the average senior:  

  • Mature life connoisseurs: 13% of the elderly population, these seniors are typically married, highly educated, and have steady finances. They’re likely to be more active and social than other seniors.  
  • Aging techies: Making up 16% of the senior population, these elderly patients show a high level of excitement for technology. They’re often well-educated, active, make good money, and socialize often.  

Clearly, there is a large gap in technology usage among seniors themselves. So how can we go about bridging the gap so that more seniors use medical technology? 

How to drive higher age-tech usage in elderly patients 

Among the two groups of elderly patients that are less likely to use technology, we can see some common themes:  

  • They are less likely to have family and friends that can help them navigate new technologies.  
  • They’re more likely to face physical challenges, such as hearing loss, that makes using technology harder. 
  • They often don’t have exposable income, meaning they can’t constantly buy new technologies. 

Here are our recommendations to help these seniors access medical technologies: 

  • Provide detailed instructions on how to use age-tech. For example, create easy-to-understand instructions to help.  
  • If physical constraints, such as hearing loss or visual impairments, are affecting a senior’s use of age-tech, provide them with alternative options to help them overcome that barrier. For example, for patients with hearing loss, a healthcare messaging system may be better than a virtual appointment or phone call. 
  • Help patients understand their financial assistance options. 

Finally, if you’re creating your own healthcare app, focus on making user experience accessible for all. This involves asking elderly patients about their preferences and abilities during research and development phases.  

Turn to age-tech that was created for seniors

While many age-tech options are created “top-down,” with seniors as an afterthought, the Ōmcare Home Health Hub® was developed specifically to help seniors use it with ease. Seniors want to use healthcare technology, so we’ve made it easier for them to do so. The Ōmcare Home Health Hub connects elderly patients with providers and helps them manage their medications. Reach out to Ōmcare today to learn more.  

Practicing good “webside” manner for senior care facilities: Our top tips

Telehealth can greatly improve the lives of elderly patients. It’s a cost-effective option that allows seniors to continue living in their own homes, which increases patient satisfaction. Plus, telehealth reduces the need for excessive traveling to appointments, and decreases the stress on caregivers. 

As technology advances, providers are increasingly interacting with patients through phones and laptop screens. It can be challenging for providers to maintain their bedside manner. While virtual provider-patient interaction is different, many aspects do remain the same—providers still need to be friendly, compassionate, and trustworthy.  

First, we’ll explore why bedside manner is important, and then we’ll explain how to apply bedside manner to virtual healthcare.  

Why is bedside manner important? 

Beside manner is the way providers interact with their patients. Good bedside manner is the art of treating patients like people, not just another number in your workday. eMDs writes, “Your ability to communicate with your patients with empathy, understanding, and in terms the patient understands creates a strong foundation for a lasting patient-provider relationship.” 

Healthgrades found that 52% of patients say their doctor needs to have one of the following: 

  • Bedside manner 
  • Compassion 
  • Comfort 
  • Patience 
  • Personality 

“Patients don’t just want to see a doctor, they want to be seen,” says Healthgrades chief medical officer, Dr. Bowman. And when patients do feel seen, they’re more likely to experience  

  • Better provider-patient relationships 
  • Increased treatment and medication adherence  
  • Better healthcare outcomes 

All of these benefits can be applied to virtual visits as well. Even when doctors aren’t bedside, they can still practice communicating with patients in a way that makes them feel seen. “Webside” manner is the bedside manner expressed via telehealth.  

What is “webside” manner?

When delivering virtual healthcare, direct interaction and physical cues are limited. It makes it harder for providers to recognize nonverbal cues. Plus, telehealth can make it more challenging to connect with patients. Webside manner is seemingly harder, because it’s not quite the same as bedside manner. It’s like using a new muscle.   

Dr. Brian Donley says compassion and bedside manner is like a muscle: “The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.” And the same goes for webside manner. 

So how can providers practice webside manner? Here’s how:  

  • Ask more detailed questions. Because you’re not able to get as many nonverbal cues, you’ll need the patient to give more detailed answers. And that starts with asking more detailed questions to encourage meaningful patient engagement.  
  • Use positive upper body language. Patients can only see your upper half. It’s important to use positive body language in your upper half. For example, nod your head in understanding, relax your shoulders, lean forward in interest, sit up instead of slouching, and look into the camera.  
  • Avoid fidgeting. Your equipment is most likely sensitive to small noises, even slight tapping or clicking of your pen. Avoid fidgeting, and be transparent with your patients if you’re typing or taking notes about them. They might think you’re multitasking, instead of listening to them. Also, wait to take a bite to eat until you hang up from the call.  
  • Listen intentionally. Being booked with patients can make it challenging to listen intently. Practice listening well and making your patients feel heard. 
  • Present yourself professionally. Even virtually, first impressions matter. Dress and present yourself professionally to show patients that you take your job seriously.  
  • Limit distractions in your background and choose great lighting. A blank wall behind you is best. 
  • Use a light and positive tone. Virtually, the best way to demonstrate empathy is by using a light and positive tone in your voice. The words you say are important too, but the tone you use is key.  
  • Close the appointment by reviewing the treatment plan. Make sure patients understand their plan, and leave extra time for questions to make sure that they have all the information they need. 

Good webside manner starts with picking a great telehealth option.

One key component of webside manner is limiting technological distractions and hiccups. That means choosing a great telehealth option. Ōmcare’s Home Health Hub® a video-based healthcare solution to connect providers and patients. Reach out to Ōmcare today to learn more. 

Sajith Padmaja

Employee Spotlight: Sajith Padmaja 

Name: Sajith Padmaja 

Title: VP, Engineering 

Education: Masters of Science, Software Systems 

Time at Ōmcare: 11/01/2017 - present 

One personal fact about you: I dream big. My idea of a pet while growing up in South India was an Elephant! 

1. What led you to Ōmcare? 

My quest for an opportunity to develop a ground-breaking product led me to Ōmcare. I started my career 22 years ago with a startup developing products for Bluetooth technology which was in its nascent stage then. Throughout my career I got opportunities to develop amazing products for organizations like Microsoft, DHL, and Medtronic. My experience at Medtronic—where I helped developed Bluetooth enabled Pacemakers—introduced me to medical device domain which I fell in love with. When the opportunity to lead Ōmcare’s product development came, I grabbed it with both hands. 

2. What’s the most rewarding part of working at Ōmcare? 

Creating a path-breaking product, the opportunities to learn new technologies, and getting to work with amazing people are equally rewarding. 

3. What is your favorite current project you’re working on? 

I enjoy every aspect of my work. My responsibilities include: 

  1. Project management which means managing scope, schedule, cost, resources, risks, quality, and contracting 
  2. Software development and testing which involves embedded systems and application development 
  3. Site Reliability Engineering, which is a new area of focus for me and involves identifying and using software tools and architectures that enable our product to be more secure and reliable 

4. Pick out a core value that means a lot to you. How have you seen this lived out in your time at Ōmcare? 

All our core values mean a lot to me. But if I have to pick one, I’d choose “Acts with integrity and follows through.”  

My day-to-day work involves resolving technological challenges—part of all product development—and the last thing I want to worry about is whether the other person in the room will do what is right. I see all our core values lived out at Ōmcare every single day. I see our team members proactively picking up difficult tasks, getting it done with good quality, and reporting back without any follow ups. We’re able to work like a well-oiled machine because all members of our team are professionals with high integrity. 

5. What are you most proud of accomplishing throughout your time at Ōmcare? 

I am grateful that working with a small but great team, I was able to make an amazing product that is currently helping people to take their medications on time and stay healthy. Starting with a list of product requirements, I led the effort of identifying the product architecture, choosing the hardware and software components, developing the strategy for quality and product security, and hiring engineers who are highly skilled. I am specifically proud of my contribution towards identifying components which are low priced but of high quality. This enables us to keep the cost of goods sold low, which in turn allows us to make the product more affordable.  

Doctor performing telehealth through a video call

3 Affordable alternatives to traditional home health care (2022 Update) 

3 in 4 older Americans want to stay in their homes as they age. Yet, home healthcare has become increasingly expensive, and it’s no longer an affordable option for the average patient. In 2022, the median monthly cost for full-time home healthcare is $4,500 

That’s $54,000 a year.  

Thankfully, there are a host of technological healthcare solutions available for patients who have conditions that need monitoring and treating. Before you decide to hire a nurse to come over daily, let’s explore other, more cost-effective healthcare options. 

Technology’s role in home healthcare

Technology has opened up a world of possibilities for elderly people with disabilities and chronic diseases. Patients are no longer reliant on in-person healthcare to live independent lives.   

“We’re already seeing some really interesting ways technology is being used to help people as they age,” says Ben Jonash, an author of The Future of Aging. Medical technology is allowing patients to age gracefully and in their own homes, even when they have health issues. These technologies represent alternatives for elderly patients to avoid expensive, in-person healthcare. 

3 alternatives to home healthcare

1. Telemedicine

The first alternative to in-person healthcare is telemedicine. This is what it sounds like: a medical professional can provide their services through video chat, rather than in-person. Telemedicine, or telehealth, provides the following benefits: 

  • Promotes continuity of care 
  • Decreases the cost of care 
  • Improves patient self-management and clinical outcomes 
  • Reduces exposure to illness 

With telemedicine, patients can still get the care they need, without stepping outside their homes. They’ll still receive access to the same healthcare that they would in-person. And at times, care is even more accessible, easier to get, and quicker.  

2. Mobile Health

When a patient self monitors, then transfers the data to an online healthcare platform, it’s referred to as “mobile health.” Mobile health, similarly to telemedicine, represents another affordable alternative to at-home healthcare. Here are some examples of mobile health: 

  • Tracking dietary intake and glucose levels for diabetes management 
  • Remote patient monitoring (in these instances, devices do the monitoring for the patients)  
  • Point-of-care diagnostics  
  • Mobile health applications that connect patients with providers (for example, real-time messaging) 

Another example of mobile health would be when a patient wears an emergency health tracking device. Medical alert systems can alarm doctors and emergency responders when patients can’t do so themselves. 

Mobile health, in many cases, removed the need to have someone in the home, making it an incredible alternative to in-home healthcare.  

3. Medication management

Technology greatly enhances the ability of providers to remotely manage medications, allowing easy access for patients.Online medication management is widely known as “telepharmacy.” These are applications that remind patients of refill schedules and allow them to easily message pharmacists to request refills. 

Using online medication management, patients can have their medicine delivered. Some medication management tools even include automatic pill dispensers and medication reminders. By taking the entire process of managing medicine online, patients are more likely to adhere to their medication schedules, leading to more favorable health outcomes. 

Technology drives better health outcomes

Nowadays, most patients can’t afford to drop thousands of dollars a month on full-time home healthcare. Thankfully, no one has to—with the help of technology. Now that you know the alternatives to home health care, all that’s left to do is find the right solution for you.  

One option that offers telemedicine, mobile health, and medication management is Ōmcare’s Home Health Hub®. It’s a platform that offers patients and providers the ability to form a virtual relationship, checking in regularly, remotely. Patients can also request medication refills and have them mailed directly to their doors.  

Reach out to Ōmcare to get started with telemedicine and online medication management. 

Ōmcare appoints Matthew Grose as CTO 

Ōmcare appoints Matthew Grose as CTO 

Grose will lead the development of the Ōmcare Home Health Hub® to bring remote care and medication adherence into the home.

[Minneapolis, June 8, 2022]. Ōmcare announced that Matthew Grose (MG) has been appointed Chief Technology Officer of the company.

An experienced engineering leader, MG spent the last seven years at Optum of UnitedHealth Group, most recently serving as Chief Engineer, VP Software Engineering. Before that, he honed his software skills at LifeTime — The Healthy Way of Life Company.  

“Ōmcare has proven core functionality in pilot and is ready to accelerate development of its total solution”, said Lisa Lavin, Chief Executive Officer. “Bringing on a CTO with MG's experience and skills will enable Ōmcare to scale existing technologies while continuing to build innovative solutions for the future.” 

While at UnitedHealth Group, MG’s contributions raised the bar of engineering excellence creating efficiency, scale and collaboration across business units. Notable highlights include serving as a Distinguished Engineer, leading the digital provider platform Link used by millions of providers a day, introducing sustainable and secure public cloud adoption and acting as Chief Engineer for the company’s technology platforms powering 40,000 engineers and technologists. 

During the pandemic, MG stepped out of his normal duties and focused on increasing accessibility to COVID-19 vaccinations and the successful completion of CARES Act payments by leading rapid speed cloud projects spanning multiple companies, including fast-tracking a year-long cloud scaling plan in 5 weeks. Now, he brings both his software skills and leadership development to Ōmcare.  

"I joined Ōmcare for the opportunity to create technology closer to the human experience while playing a pivotal role in the company's future. Ōmcare's purpose is a natural fit to my personal passion of improving quality of life through technology. It is exciting to imagine where home health care will be in 5, 10, 20 years and I'm honored to be playing a part here with Ōmcare.  Let’s improve care in the home!” said MG. 

Ōmcare is currently in final stages of pilot and expected to be commercial in late 2022.  

About Ōmcare 

Ōmcare is a digital health company pioneering a customizable home health technology platform that extends the reach of caregivers and enables one-touch access to telehealth services, aggregated remote patient monitoring and medication dispensing with visual confirmation of medication adherence. 

Blood pressure monitor

Remote patient monitoring for chronic conditions

Gone are the days when patients needed to be monitored in-person. New technology gives patients the ability to live independently, while monitoring their chronic conditions from their own home. It also effectively lowers the cost of healthcare for patients and providers, since less in-person care is needed. 

Although any patient can use remote monitoring tools, they are especially beneficial for patients with chronic conditions. The National Center for Biotechnology Information writes, “Chronic diseases are among the most important health problems to benefit from health remote monitoring systems (HRMS).” 

What are chronic conditions?  

Firstly, what are chronic conditions? These health conditions are defined as ongoing, incurable illnesses and diseases such as:  

  • Cancer 
  • Asthma 
  • Heart disease 
  • Diabetes 

However, although these diseases are incurable, many are usually manageable. Yet, if they’re left untreated, they can be disabling and reduce a patient’s overall quality of life. For example, the American Diabetes Association writes that worldwide, a patient loses a limb every 30 seconds due to diabetes complications.  

In order for these patients to avoid complications, their chronic conditions need to be monitored and effectively managed.   

What is remote patient monitoring (RPM)?

Remote patient monitoring tracks health and vitals remotely with accuracy 24/7. These technologies gather health data from patients. Here are some examples of RPM tools for chronic conditions:  

  • Diabetes: Glucose monitor to measure blood sugar levels 
  • Heart conditions: Blood pressure monitor 
  • Respiratory conditions: Pulse oximeter to monitor blood oxygen saturation levels 
  • Obesity: Scale to manage weight loss

These RPM tools often give medical advice based on healthcare data. For example, the technology will provide relevant, helpful content about blood sugar management for patients with diabetes. This automated advice provides added emotional support and health guidance for patients and their families. 

RPM can also alert providers if a patient’s data is uncontrolled. The care team can then make changes and updates to the patient’s health plan and medications as needed.   

RPM (also known as remote vital monitoring) represents a solution that is effective, convenient, and cheaper for patients. With the help of RPM tools, patients with chronic conditions receive life-saving healthcare, without constant trips to the doctor’s office.  

Remote patient monitoring benefits providers

RPM devices can decrease the strain on healthcare providers. Currently, in the United States, 7 in 10 patients die from chronic diseases. While dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, providers were overwhelmed with an increase in patients with chronic diseases. That, combined with a healthcare labor shortage, makes RPM tools critical to relieving the burden on healthcare providers. 

RPM gives providers the space to work on critical patients, until an emergency arises in the remote monitoring data. Until then, the technology can do the heavy-lifting of gathering the data and providing general advice.  

Do patients prefer to be monitored remotely?

Many patients with chronic conditions prefer to use RPM to manage their chronic conditions. For example, a MSI International survey found that 43% of patients valued the convenience that RPM offers, while 39% of patients appreciated the efficiency of RPM. 37% of patients felt they had more control over their health due to RPM, and 36% felt more peace of mind thanks to RPM.   

The American Heart Association advises that providers should rely less on frequent in-office monitoring, and more on at-home RPM. This gives patients independence, and reduces the disturbance in their daily lives, while making more data readily available.  

Drive better outcomes with remote patient monitoring

RPM tools are preferred by both providers and patients. But what about healthcare outcomes? RPM can actually drive even better health outcomes for patients, because providers are more able to diagnose chronic conditions earlier. Patients and providers can then begin building a plan to avoid complications.  

Diagnosing chronic conditions early is crucial for many diseases, including hypertension and diabetes. It’s even possible for patients to completely reverse prediabetes, or go into diabetes remission, if their blood sugar imbalance is found early. 

Plus, RPM improves how patients manage their chronic diseases. RPM tools increase patient awareness of and engagement with chronic condition therapies and management strategies. For example, when patients are able to closely monitor their glucose levels, they can make more informed decisions moving forward.   

Ōmcare contributes to chronic condition management

Ōmcare is a telehealth device that helps patients and providers manage long-term, chronic conditions. We’ve got your logistics covered; everything from medication delivery to regular, remote check-ins. Our Ōmcare Home Health Hub is easy to use and manage, for both patients and healthcare providers. Looking for a solution that is accessible anywhere you are? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Ōmcare today. 

Technology's impact on cost utilization

In the United States, healthcare is one of the top expenses for American families. In 2020, Americans spent $4.1 trillion on healthcare (yes, trillion). That means on average, each person in the U.S. spent roughly $12,500. Many physicians are concerned that high healthcare costs are placing a burden on their patients. 

However, to reduce the healthcare cost burden on patients, we need to first cut expenses for healthcare providers. Unfortunately, bad debt caused by uncompensated care continues to increase at health centers across the country. In 2020, 47% of hospitals experienced increased debt due to uncompensated care. 21% of hospitals owe at least $10 million in debt. 

Technology improves efficiency, reducing costs  

Although $1.7 trillion is invested annually in healthcare, the industry is inefficient and burdened with costs. However, technology can help both patients and providers in reducing costs. For example, the right technology allows doctors to detect, treat, and prevent diseases, which reduces the long-term cost of healthcare. 

With rising labor costs, it’s the perfect time for the healthcare sector to embrace using technology to cut healthcare costs – while maintaining a high quality of care. If most providers adopted health technology, the efficiency savings could average over $77 billion per year. 

Don’t be afraid of technology and automation

You might be skeptical of automating tasks, thinking it’ll reduce jobs and staffing. Your administrative staff will still have to manage these technical solutions and address other tasks, but they’ll be much more efficient and productive. Automation and technology are not replacements for staff, but rather, an empowerment tool. 

New health technology helps reduce costs, offers a better patient experience, and encourages innovation.  

How technology reduces the cost of healthcare

1. Lower staffing costs

Labor is one of the biggest operating expenses. Plus, overworking the same employees with tasks that could be automated can lead to medical staff burnout. This reduces the effectiveness of your employees.  

By using technology, hospitals effectively manage their staffing schedules, while decreasing healthcare expenses. Data helps hospitals understand their staffing needs to avoid overworking and over scheduling employees. This can be done by looking at past shifts, plus examining the current patient needs. These apps can carry out real-time labor analysis to predict demands based on:  

  • The number of incoming patients 
  • The number of open beds 
  • Capacity 
  • Equipment status 

This innovative labor technology can help hospitals avoid resorting to expensive alternatives, such as temporary hires or paying staff overtime.  

2. Automate administrative tasks

Another key to lowering staffing costs is automating administrative tasks. The healthcare industry spends $2.1 billion on manual tasks for provider data management. These are poorly performed and error-prone. The entire industry could save 33%, or $13.3 billion a year if administrative tasks were automated. 

Administrative tasks waste a lot of time. Doctors end up wasting their time on entering patient notes, rather than actually treating the patients. But why let doctors waste their time, when there is technology available that lets doctors automate these administrative tasks? For example, instead of manually entering test results, there are apps for you to scan the test results and import them automatically.   

Mobile apps can help hospitals and practices save a lot of time. For example, apps can handle prescriptions, testing, appointment setting, answering patient questions, sending medication or appointment reminders, and insurance processes. Plus, technology can provide analytics that lead to better patient care.  

3. Streamline marketing efforts

Another way to reduce staffing costs, while also increasing revenue, is to automate marketing efforts. Hospitals need to invest time and marketing into their business, and automation is the best solution. It helps you:  

  • Expand your reach and impressions 
  • Gain and nurture leads 
  • Acquire more patients 
  • Grow faster 

Technology can give you data so you can take advantage of segmented marketing. For example, you can market your diabetes care specifically for diabetic or prediabetic patients. Segmented marketing helps you reach the patients who need your care. 

Plus, technology allows you to automate email campaigns, social media posts, patient referrals, text messages, review generation, and more.  

Marketing technology also provides analytics. These ensure your marketing team knows what’s effective, and what isn’t. When they know what types of content are resonating with your audience, they can keep driving engagement.  

There’s always more to be done for marketing teams. Streamlining marketing efforts helps you generate more revenue while avoiding overworking employees.  

4. Reduce the need for specialists

The overuse of specialists can make care very expensive. However, remote patient monitoring (RPM) tools can reduce costs by eliminating travel costs, hospital room expenses, and specialty fees. It also ensures that specialists are spending their time wisely. 

Using RPM technology, providers can remotely monitor patients in real-time. The system can analyze their healthcare data, and alert doctors in real-time if a patient’s condition grows worrisome. Then, the provider can adjust the patient’s treatment plans.  

When specialists are needed, technology makes it possible for them to utilize virtual appointments.  

5. Offer telehealth

Remote care saves an average of $19-$121 per patient compared to traditional, in-person doctor visits. Plus, throughout the 2020 pandemic, telemedicine was the key advancement that helped doctors stay in touch with patients. Even after the pandemic, 43% of Americans want to continue opting for telehealth. 

Remote care also helps providers save financially. They can offer primary care remotely, reducing unnecessary and expensive emergency room visits. It also saves time for providers. Physicians who use telemedicine reduce visit times by about 20% 

Telemedicine is proving to be one of the most important healthcare technologies moving forward. It improves healthcare, and lowers the cost for everyone. It’s affordable, and it saves everyone time. 

Embrace technological advances  

In healthcare, the trends are moving us to a place where artificial intelligence will be used more and more to speed up treatment and reduce costs. With an eye for innovation, new ways of delivering care are made possible, which improves the effectiveness of treatments. Durable, user friendly, and cost-effective systems give us another avenue to improve healthcare. The future of this industry is bright. 

Looking for a technological solution to decrease costs? Ōmcare Home Health Hub® is a video-based, remote solution that ​allows patients to get their medicine and speak with their providers, pharmacist, or caregivers in real-time. ​​Reach out to Ōmcare to learn more!  

medication notifications

Assistance options for seniors living at home (that actually work)

As Americans age, health challenges make it harder and harder for them to live empowered and independent lives. A lot of older people want to stay at home, but they need specialized healthcare to do so. Staying at home with the help of workers isn’t always a viable option, especially considering the cost of those services. 

But what if we turned to technology instead? 54% of doctors and patients said technology can reduce healthcare costs. Plus, digital health technologies are predicted to reduce the cost of healthcare in the U.S. by about $305 billion. A huge part in that reduction is among older people adopting age-tech to lower their expenses.  

However, choosing the right technology options is challenging. Making poor healthcare decisions leads to wasted money and health risks. This blog post was created to help you sort through the best age-tech solutions in the market.  

3 assistance options for seniors living at home  

1. Medication alerts  

Poor medication adherence can cause a host of problems such as complications and diseases. It also decreases function, ability to live independently, and quality of life. Plus, it causes increased treatment costs due to the increased use of expensive and specialized medical resources, and often increases the length of the patient’s hospital stay. Finally, it causes unnecessary medication changes. 

Making medication adherence worse, many elderly patients are taking a long list of medications to manage long-term health conditions. 44% of men and 57% of women older than 65 years take 5 or more medications per week. 12% of patients in this age group take 10 or more prescriptions per week. This is an issue, because 50% of patients don’t adhere to chronic medications.  

When it comes to situations where patients are struggling with Alzhiemer’s or Dementia, remembering to take medications is nearly impossible. To encourage positive healthcare outcomes, technology helps elderly patients adhere to their medication. 

The first step to keeping a senior on track with their medication is to make sure they're organized. A daily pill dispenser is the most important tool for this job. These devices organize pills into individual containers that are marked by day and time. At the designated hour, a reminder goes off, prompting the senior to take the proper pills according to their prescribed dosage. 

A good pill dispenser will have an alarm system that accounts for when a dose was or wasn't taken, but not all systems are created equal. Some are error-prone, while others aren't reliable enough to be trusted with someone's health. The best pill dispensers will also have automatic notifications sent out if there's no response after the alarm has gone off several times in a row.  

Ideally, a pill dispenser can be combined with other in-home caregiving systems. Other apps can be used to send reminders to patients to help them adhere to long-term medication schedules. 

2. Health monitoring

How do we create an environment where we drive positive healthcare outcomes? We need to make sure we're measuring things we want to measure, and taking care of them when issues arise. Great technological tools exist to track senior health accurately and handle problems effectively.  

These tools monitor the patient’s metrics, such as blood pressure, 24/7 in real-time. Plus, these technologies can often give medical advice based on data from other devices. As of May 2020, 39% of family caregivers considered remote monitoring to track an elderly patient’s health.  

When picking what tools to choose, focus on the ones that are specific to the patient's needs. For example, a patient with diabetes may not need any blood pressure monitoring. They need blood sugar monitoring. Also, doctors can recommend specific health monitoring tools for the patient.  

3. Mobile medical alerts 

Another option for older adults who wish to remain living at home is the mobile medical alert system. With the help of this technology, older adults can have access to emergency services 24/7.  

Mobile alert systems may take the form of a wearable device or an app on a smartphone. They are designed to keep seniors safe no matter where they are. The devices often also include two-way communication, so that seniors can reach out if they need assistance. 

If your loved one is prone to falling or has dementia, a mobile alert system may be the best choice for them, and it will allow them freedom from being constantly supervised by a caregiver. For example, Lifeline offers a medical alert service that allows users to press a button or two on a device that can be worn as a necklace or bracelet. Pressing the buttons sends an alert to either the user’s loved ones or emergency services and it comes with location tracking so that help can find them quickly if needed. 

There are home care options that combine technology and real people. 

The best options for home elderly care combine technology with an in-person caregiver. 53% of elderly patients said they prefer their healthcare to include a mix of medical staff and technology.   

The advantages are numerous:  

  • Patients can live at home, rather than in a care facility, and still receive wide-ranging support. 
  • One caregiver can take care of multiple clients from different locations, saving time and money for everyone involved. 
  • If there's a medical issue, technology allows caregivers to respond quickly to the patient’s needs—without having to be present in person. 

Need a healthcare solution that actually works? Our Ōmcare Home Health Hub® is your answer. It’s a video-based solution that ​allows elderly patients to manage their healthcare needs remotely. They can receive medications and speak with their providers, pharmacist, or caregivers in real-time. ​​Reach out to Ōmcare to learn more!