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.   

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. 

AARP's AgeTech collaborative is linking start-ups, financing, industry

Many people age 50 and older are more savvy about technology than they are often given credit for.​

They use technology daily in the workplace and at home. Social media has exposed them to marketing for new devices and apps. Plus the pandemic has forced them to adapt quickly to ideas they might have been hesitant to try a couple of years ago.​

“And they’re expecting products and services that meet that level of sophistication,” says Rick Robinson, vice president for start-up engagement at AARP Innovation Labs.

​It has driven AARP and its affiliated AARP Innovation Labs to launch the AgeTech Collaborative, an ambitious community of early stage start-up companies, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, service providers and industry leaders brought together to spark ideas and spur innovation. The promise is that the collaborative will benefit all of them while ultimately serving the greater good of older consumers they are hoping to impress.​

Read the full press release here.

Ōmcare joins fellow home health leaders to discuss the future of care

Minneapolis: October 13, 2021 – Ōmcare will join leaders in home health for the 5th Annual ConVerge2Xcelerate 2021 Symposium (#ConV2X) held November 9 – 11. The symposium will feature U.S. home health leaders to discuss advancing business critical regulation and policy reforms, market gaps, and the future of this burgeoning industry sector.

ConV2X 2021 is the acclaimed health technology modernization symposium focusing on health policy, telehealth, blockchain and artificial intelligence and connectivity in a refocused healthcare market. It is the premier destination community identifying new and cost-effective paths forward through real world evidence, strategy, operations, research & trends, where healthcare leadership and breakthrough technology providers inspire and guide informed decision making for niche markets in the exploding digital health marketplace.

“We are continually seeing the conversation become more prominent around getting care into the home. Aging in place not only allows individuals to maintain their independence for longer, but it’s a cheaper way to still provide high-touch care. Ōmcare is honored to join other companies that are helping win the home and provide even better care, at a lower cost, that also relieves burden on the healthcare workers shortage.”  Lisa Lavin, Ōmcare CEO and Founder.

To understand how technology is empowering peace of mind in the home, sign up for the virtual conference today.

About Ōmcare

Ōmcare is a digital health company pioneering an open access, home health platform that allows healthcare organizations to extend care into the home via a secure telehealth infrastructure and integration with their patented medication dispensing technology. Based in Burnsville, MN, Ōmcare enables remote delivery of wrap around care coordination and integration of existing virtual care and remote patient care solutions, promising real medication adherence defined as right med, right time, right person. Ōmcare is currently in pilot and experiencing promising results.

Ōmcare named a finalist in Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge

“We are thrilled to be named a finalist and recognized as a company poised to transform how care is delivered in the home. Ōmcare is committed to helping seniors age where and how they want, lower the cost of care, and enable better outcomes. It's an honor to be included with seven other companies who are as committed to innovation”
- Lisa Lavin, CEO and Founder

Minneapolis: August 30, 2021 – Ōmcare has been named a finalist in the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge, which brings together leading-edge startups with prominent health companies to tackle some of North America’s greatest health challenges.

Attracting more than 2,600 startup applicants in the past five years, the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge supports finding innovative approaches and solutions to help create better healthcare access, experiences and ultimately outcomes for all people.

“The finalists are emerging businesses that are reimagining the healthcare experience to provide people with the convenience and personalization they are accustomed to receiving with other industries,” said Brian Kalis, managing director of digital health and innovation services at Accenture. 

The finalists are:

The finalists will participate in the final round and awards ceremony at a virtual event to be held on September 28, 2021. The judging panel will comprise executives from globally recognized health and venture capital companies, providing the finalists with exposure and access to industry-leading experience to help bring their ideas to market.

About Ōmcare

Ōmcare is a digital health company pioneering an open access, home health platform that allows healthcare organizations to extend care into the home via a secure telehealth infrastructure and integration with their patented medication dispensing technology. Based in Burnsville, MN, Ōmcare enables remote delivery of wrap around care coordination and integration of existing virtual care and remote patient care solutions, promising real medication adherence defined as right med, right time, right person. Ōmcare is currently in pilot and experiencing promising results.

The Omcare mobile app displaying a picture in picture call and the pills in the pill tray.

Thinking big in Minnesota

Big ideas are nothing new in Minnesota. Earl Bakken’s big idea gave us the battery-powered pacemaker. And Betty Crocker—herself a big idea of the General Mills marketing team—had a big idea that gave us shelf-stable cake mix. Truly, without Minnesotans the world wouldn’t have the supercomputer, the pop-up toaster, or Zubaz. And if these 35 ideas, inventions, and innovations are any indication, Minnesota’s not done thinking yet.

NO. 1

Up North is famous for its vast boreal forests. A Grand Rapids scientist is making sure they remain vast as the climate warms.

Most Minnesotans feel a deep calm on their way up north: The air cools and freshens, and foliage perceptively shifts from the hardwoods of the south to the great boreal pine forest of the north. But species like white and black spruce, balsam fir, and quaking aspen are endangered by our warming climate and encroaching pests. The worst-case scenario is that within 100 years the Boundary Waters will be surrounded by prairie or wide-open savanna. Thankfully, scientists at the University of Minnesota, The Nature Conservancy, and the U.S. Forest Service are planning what our future boreal forest will look like. Brian Palik has been stationed at the Grand Rapids Forest Service research lab for the past 26 years.

“The predictions for northern Minnesota are pretty bleak,” he says about the anticipated 10-degree hikes in winter temps if CO2 continues to grow unabated. “So if we want pine forests 100 years from now, we better look at a range of options.”

One of the best options is called “assisted migration,” which Palik and his crew have been working toward by planting trees in their experimental forest to determine which perform better in warmer, drier conditions—trees like ponderosa pine from the west and burr oak from the south.

“We’re trying to demonstrate that people can start planting these species now in these northern pine forests and expect them to do well.”

NO. 2

An Edina guy parlayed the pandemic into a return trip to the White House.

Andy Slavitt wasn’t always a health care crusader. After graduating from UPenn’s Wharton School and receiving his MBA from Harvard, Slavitt was settling into life as an investment banker and McKinsey type before his good friend died of a brain tumor. During the process, Slavitt saw firsthand the sort of collateral damage the American health care system can inflict on a family, as his friend’s widow and children were forced to move in with the Slavitts. He jumped into health care and ended up in Minnesota as a vice president at UnitedHealth’s Optum. And when the Obama administration hired Optum to fix the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s, he went with the team to D.C. Before long, he became the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Slavitt spent most of the Trump administration fighting efforts to repeal the ACA. That is, until the pandemic set him on an entirely new course. Via his biweekly podcast, In the Bubble: From the Frontlines, he became one of the most prolific real-time sources of credible information and interviews about COVID-19. It even led to a book, Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response, slated to be published in June. Slavitt’s COVID deep dive also got him back into the White House as a senior advisor on President Biden’s COVID response team.

NO. 3

We repurpose abandoned iron ore mines into aeroponic farms.

Community-supported agriculture (CSA), wherein farms sell their crops directly to individuals and families, is nothing new. Neither are decommissioned mines in northern Minnesota. Marrying the two, however? Now that is a horse of a different color. And yet that’s exactly what Tower-based farm start-up Harvest Nation is readying to do via vertical aeroponic farming in the Soudan Underground Mine. Wait. What? In the where?! Vertical aeroponic farming (a novel method of soil-free farming that constantly mists crops with nutrient-filled water to grow) in the underground physics laboratory of Minnesota’s first iron ore mine. Harvest Nation is the brainchild of Denise Pieratos, Tracey Dagen, Dani Pieratos, and Nikki Love. The women, who are all members of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, have long wanted to establish a four-season indoor farm to provide their community nutrient-rich, fresh, and affordable produce, and a random encounter with an official from the Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park led to the epiphany that the mine’s physics lab room, replete with 40-foot-high ceilings, would be just the place. Now, designs are in place, financing is in progress, and once financing is firmed up, presale produce box subscriptions will be available for around $55 per week. Heirloom, soilless, iron-ore-mine dragon carrots? Don’t mind if we do.

NO. 4

We invented an iron lung… for your head?

Early in COVID, when PPE was at its shortest supply and hospital staff were realizing that N95 masks alone wouldn’t cut it for frontline health care workers, U of M Medical School professors Drs. Kumar Belani and Gwenyth Fischer were inspired by a concept they’d seen in Taiwan and created a rigid cube structure that goes over an infected patient’s head. Their “ventilator box” has ports for workers’ arms to access the patient and HEPA filtration to save negative-pressure rooms for the patients who need them most.

NO. 5

A company from Burnsville created a way for you to make sure Grandma’s taking her meds when you can’t be in the same place as Grandma.

Video messaging apps like FaceTime have become indispensable in maintaining contact with Grandma and Grandpa during the pandemic. But what if you actually have to make sure they’re taking their pills at the right time?

Enter Burnsville start-up Omcare’s new home medicine dispenser. Adapted from CEO and founder Lisa Lavin’s smart treats dispenser for pets, the slick new device takes Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and mellows her out by crossing her with a machine that reminds us of Pixar’s adorable Wall-E.

The dispenser’s interactive cameras allow you to not only watch Gammy take her pills when she’s supposed to take them but also to make sure she actually swallows them down. Now all it needs is a spoonful-of-sugar button.

Read the full list from Mpls. St.Paul Magazine here.

telemedicine equipment: automatic pill dispenser

Pill-dispensing tech makes the medicine go down...with human help, that is

When Stephanie Luehrs’s father began losing track of what day it was, she knew his pre-filled pill packs were no longer going to work, even though they were carefully labeled. So she bought him a high-tech pill dispenser.

The MedMinder device she got has compartments for every day of the week, and they pop open with a beep when it’s time to take the pills stored inside. Ms. Luehrs gets a text notification if her dad hasn’t taken his pills. When she learned he missed some doses, she went to his apartment and turned up the volume on the machine. One day, she got a notification that the machine was operating on backup battery—her father, who has Alzheimer’s, had unplugged it. Another time, he didn’t close one of the compartments properly and the box got jammed. Ms. Luehrs had to call customer service, which remotely unlocked the compartments, and then she closed them properly.

People like Ms. Luehrs are finding that when it comes to pill-taking, technology only works with human involvement, especially for people with memory loss. “The machine is great, but you definitely want to have someone to help with refills or other issues,” Ms. Luehrs, of Rogers, Minn., said.

Numerous products and services are designed to make pill-taking easier, from “smart” caps like Pillsy, which screw onto prescription bottles and chirp when it’s time to take pills, to the type of automatic pill dispensers Ms. Luehrs uses.

Other types include Hero, Dose Flip and MedaCube, which hold weeks’ or even months’ worth of pills and can be programmed to release the right amount at the right time. The devices sound an alarm to indicate it’s time to take pills; most also work with apps so that caregivers can get notifications of missed doses.

There are simpler approaches, too: reminder services and apps such as MyMeds, Medisafe and CareZone.

While most of these work as advertised, there’s still the “last mile” problem of getting the pills into the dispensers—and then into peoples’ mouths.

“We don’t have a good system for identifying and matching the right kind of technology with the specific caregiving situation,” said Joseph Gaugler, a professor and director of the Center for Health Aging and Innovation at the University of Minnesota. “A lot of technology for seniors is marketed as being good for all.”

Some medical experts told me patients would take their medicine more often if they were better educated about why it’s important. I’m a bit dubious of that argument. We all know a good diet and physical activity can stave off illness, yet it’s still hard for many people to stick to healthy eating and exercise habits. Some experts said it’s the difficulty of forming new habits that makes pill-popping so hard—and not just for older adults with dementia.

I won’t remember to take vitamins unless the bottle is sitting right next to my coffee maker, where I’ll be sure to see it. After all, none of my daily habits are as entrenched as my morning coffee ritual. But even when the bottle is right there, I often conveniently forget. (I don’t like swallowing pills.)

There are many other reasons people won’t take pills—the cost of medication, concerns about side effects and the reminder that they aren’t in perfect health. Approximately 50% of patients with a chronic illness don’t take medications as prescribed, according to several studies. This is a big deal when you consider that 69% of Americans ages 40 to 79 took one or more prescription drug in the past month, and 22% took five or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Andre Bierzynski, a director at AARP Innovation Labs, has been working with startups to make medicine-taking easier. He said the most promising solutions combine technology with human assistance. He pointed to an early-stage startup he’s been working with called Ōmcare. The company intends to sell its automated pill dispensers to senior-care providers, who would then lease the device to consumers and charge them for their services. The senior-care provider that’s testing it with about 50 seniors in Minnesota has employees who check in with people via an on-device video screen to make sure they’re taking their pills properly. Ōmcare is partnering with a Midwestern pharmacy to provide the pill packs the machines dispense. Company founder Lisa Lavin said she plans to commercialize the service in the Midwest by the end of the year, then expand into more states next year.

Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal here.

Two women using the Omcare Home Health Hub to connect.

Tech behind pet webcam could help telehealth offering medication tracking

Burnsville-based Omcare Inc., a digital health company working to bring its "telehealth portal" to market, cut its teeth with an unlikely product: a webcam for pets.

Following a merger, Omcare is the new identity of Anser Innovation, a firm that makes a webcam that connects pets with their owners called PetChatz. Everything is going according to plan, CEO Lisa Lavin said. Anser built out its video chatting hardware with PetChatz, but the goal was always to eventually make the technology with humans in mind.

Omcare is now looking to commercialize what it calls the Home Health Hub, a tablet-like device that connects users with health care providers and pharmacists via telehealth and dispenses medication. The Home Health Hub helps seniors and people with chronic conditions with medication adherence, or making sure they take the right medication at the right time each day, by providing visual confirmation of them taking the medication. It can work with any telehealth system, Lavin said.

The firm has already recruited a heavyweight board that includes former UnitedHealthCare and Optum CEO Jeaninne Rivet, Bind Benefits Inc. President Jodi Hubler and Surescripts' Chief Intelligence Officer Mark Gingrich.

Read the full article here.

MassChallenge HealthTech Announces 2021 Cohort of Top Digital Health Startups

Boston, Mass. (December 17, 2020) - MassChallenge HealthTech today announced the 30 digital health startups that will join its 2021 cohort. MassChallenge HealthTech invites the community to meet the 2021 cohort at its virtual MassChallenge Verticals Opening Night, an introduction to the digital health and financial technology cohorts on January 13.

“This year’s MassChallenge HealthTech cohort is our most competitive and diverse group to date – we closed our application season with more than 380 incredible applicants from more than 35 countries and 210 cities,” said Nick Dougherty, Managing Director of MassChallenge HealthTech. “The 30 startups represent some of the world’s most innovative businesses that are transforming healthcare. We are excited about what our entrepreneurs will accomplish with their Champion partners in this upcoming program year.”

After rigorous Matchmaking, this year’s startups received 73 partnership offers from 21 MassChallenge HealthTech Champions, an impressive group of institutions, providers, and payors. Beginning in January, these industry-leading organizations will work directly with startups by facilitating key advisor introductions, pilots, research, and investment opportunities. Startups will also have access to tailored curriculum, industry experts, and investors, and the opportunity to apply for scholarships.

Read the full article and see who joined Ōmcare in making the list here.

Maintaining medication adherence during a health crisis

People of all ages can have difficulty managing their medications, but this is especially true for seniors who may face physical limitations, memory loss, and multiple chronic conditions. Add to this the complexity that coronavirus (COVID-19) social distancing has created for caregivers and older adults, and you have a perfect storm for medication non-adherence, which is estimated to account for 10% of hospital readmissions, nearly 25% of nursing home admissions, and 20% of preventable adverse drug events in older adults.

So, what is medication non-adherence? According to the American Pharmacists Association, non-adherence includes delaying or not filling a prescription, skipping doses, splitting pills, or stopping medication early. In addition to generating an estimated $100 to $289 billion in health care expenses annually, non-adherence takes a toll on the health of seniors who may be on long-term medication and need ongoing, consistent care.

Millions of older Americans currently depend on a home aide or family caregiver for help with their medications, but the current COVID-19 crisis is causing lockdowns and restricted visitation rules at nursing homes, while independent seniors are isolated in their homes. As a result, medication adherence is at risk for all older adults. In addition, they are at risk of suffering from loneliness as a result of extended isolation and a disruption in their social connections.

If you or someone you know is a caregiver, or if you’re concerned about medication management for a loved one or family friend during the current health crisis, here are three strategies to stay socially connected to loved ones and help ensure they take the right medication at the right time.

Read the full article from Senior News.