Business Briefs: SimplyHome Receives $200,000 For New Tech Platform

SimplyHome Receives $200,000 Grant for New Platform

SimplyHome, LLC, a player in the field of customized assistive technology, announced their receipt of a $200,000 specially adapted housing assist technology (SAHAT) grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The grant will be used to develop a new platform meant to simplify the user experience of voice commands to control assistive technology in a home environment for veterans and service members.

Once complete, the SimplyHome platform will allow veterans and service members with physical disabilities to issue single voice commands to accomplish complex sequences of pre-customized actions. For example, a command such as ‘time to go to bed’ can lock doors, set the thermostat and turn off lights in the home.

“Empowering veterans to control their home environments is important not only for the quality of life of the individual veteran and his or her family, but also vital to maintaining the fabric of our communities that depend of these service members,” Jason Ray, vice president of business development at SimplyHome, said in a press release.

The SAHAT grant is authorized by Congress. It is given to companies to expand home modification options for veterans who apply for the VA’s specially adapted housing (SAH) benefit in an effort to give them more options for living independently at home.

SEIU 775 Benefits Group Partners with Retrofit to Tackle Obesity

A provider of weight-management and disease prevention solutions, Retrofit, announced its partnership with the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) Benefit’s Group. The partnership aims to help the organization’s home care workers become healthier.

One quarter of SEIU 775 Benefit Group members are morbidly obese, 17% are obese and 32% are overweight, which places them at a higher risk for obesity-related health conditions.

“Home care workers are dedicated, selfless professionals who are focused on tending to the needs of others,” Mary Pigatti, CEO of Retrofit, said in a press release. “Retrofit is honored to help them make their own health a priority to better care for their patients.”

The program will begin as a pilot, which will allow home care workers who qualify to receive health coaching via video, be a part of interactive classes and social support from an online community as well as access to activity trackers and a Wi-Fi scale for self-monitoring.

“Home care workers prioritize their clients, and after a physically taxing work day that frequently includes long, erratic hours and being in someone else’s home, healthy living can be challenging,” Leslie Phillips, SEIU 775 Benefits Group director of health and safety, said in a press release.

Netsmart Homecare Announces New SVP

Netsmart Homecare, a human services and integrated care technology provider, announced Dawn Iddings as its new senior vice president and general manager.

Iddings has over 15 years of health care and technology experience and will manage continued development of Netsmart’s home care, hospice, palliative care and private duty solution, including integration into the Netsmart CareFabric suite of clinical and business solutions. Prior to Netsmart, Iddings held senior-level positions at Siemans Healthcare, Cerner and Garmin International.

“Dawn has a proven record of facilitating long-term collaborative relationships with both clients and healthcare industry leaders,” Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine said in a press release. “Her diverse experience in the health care ecosystem complements our ability to meet the needs of our clients as we grow our quality, innovative home care solutions.”

The Netsmart Homecare solution provides business, clinical and scheduling functionality for home health, hospice, palliative care and private duty, and automates clinical and business processes from care engagement to billing and accounts receivable. It is designed to fit all home care organizations, regardless of size.

Highmark Creates New Company

Private health care company Highmark Health announced the creation of a new company, HM Home and Community Services. The for-profit company is intended to improve post-hospital care in nursing home and home care settings.

The new company will use data to rank providers, giving larger payments to the best and dropping the worst for the Highmark network.

“We believe we will drive an unprecedented shift in the market to higher levels of service,” Dr. Brian Holzer, president of HM Home and Community Services, said during a media phone conference. “The move could be transformative across Pennsylvania.”

The new company will contract with other companies to manage post acute services.

Written by Alana Stramowski