Business Briefs: Two Philips Partnerships Take Home Care Tech to New Heights

Philips Enters Into Two Partnerships to Improve Health Care Tech

Royal Philips (Nasdaq: PHG) recently entered into two partnerships with technology companies.

Philips initiated its first collaboration with Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) to advance connected health across the entire health continuum. Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform will act as the medical device connectivity solution for Philips’ cloud-enabled health ecosystem devices, apps and digital tools, HealthSuite.

The collaboration will enable Philips and Qualcomm to offer care providers enhanced, scalable, connected care solutions and services in a secure global ecosystem, according to a news release. Now, Qualcomm Life customers will have access to electronic health record systems, store normalized data, run analytics and manage authorization and consents in a compliant and secure environment.

Philips also announced its partnership with Develco Products’ Gateway, an open Linux platform that allows multiple wireless networks to communicate with smart meters, sensors, smart plugs, thermostats and various other technology. The Gateway will be connected with Philips CareSensus, a sensors platform, to help digitally monitor seniors’ homes.

The platform will be made up of wireless sensors placed strategically around seniors’ homes to monitor their activities 24/7. The platform is compatible with a wide range of wireless sensors and enables the CareSensus platform to collect real-time data from the sensors. It also can recognize unusual patterns of the seniors and alert care team members accordingly.

Ensign Group Acquires Home Health and Hospice Operations in Texas

The acquisition of Kinder Hearts Home Health and Hospice, located in Abilene, Texas, was announced by The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG). Cornerstone Healthcare, Inc., Ensign’s home health and hospice portfolio subsidiary, acquired Kinder Hearts, effective September 1, 2016.

The deal was, in part, due to the large growth spurt Ensign has seen in the last 18 months, which also happens to be the largest growth they’ve ever seen, CEO and President Christopher Christensen said Wednesday at the Baird 2016 Global Healthcare Conference in New York City.

“We are very pleased to announce this strategic addition to our home health and hospice operations,” Christensen said in a press release when the transaction first was announced. “Together with our three skilled nursing facilities in Abilene, this acquisition allows us to offer a full continuum of post-acute care to our patients and referral sources in the area.”

Cornerstone is still actively seeking additional opportunities to add home health, hospice and home care operations across the country, according to the press release.

The Ohio Masonic Transfers Select Operations to Senior Independence

Cornerstone Masonic Healthcare, LLC, the home health and hospice subsidiary of The Ohio Masonic Home, will discontinue community-based services operations. Beginning Oct. 1, these services will be provided by Columbus, Ohio-based Senior Independence, a subsidiary of Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services.

“We are proud to partner with and to serve the 90,000 Masons and approximately 500 masonic lodges in Ohio,” Laurence C. Gumina, president and CEO of OPRS, said in a press release. “We believe both organizations were founded with similar missions, to provide caring and quality services to people in the place they call home.”

Since Masonic Senior Services of Ohio Corporation acquired Cornerstone in 2008, the subsidiary has built up the ability to serve more than 50 counties throughout West Central and Northeast Ohio.

“We’re pleased to announce the relationship with another faith-based organization. We believe this partnership will expand both organizations’ ability to provide quality care to Masons and non-Masons alike,” Scott Buchanan, CEO of Ohio Masonic Home, said in a press release.

Partnership Between grandPad and Comfort Keepers Announced 

The company behind senior tablets, gradPad, announced a partnership with in-home care provider Comfort Keepers. The partnership will allow Comfort Keepers to continue making innovations for senior care and improve clients’ quality of life.

“We are thrilled to partner with Comfort Keepers and help bring the power of grandPad to the seniors that they serve,” Scott Lien, CEO and founder of grandPad, said in a press release. “We see tremendous possibilities ahead.”

The partnership will help seniors communicate with their families by using the technology of grandPad. It will allow seniors easy access to photo streams, email and video calls with their families. Families will also be able to stay informed on the status of their loved ones’ conditions and recovery needs.

“Our partnership with grandPad is going to revolutionize the in-home care industry by using technology as a conduit for providing the highest quality of care possible,” Sarosh Mistry, CEO of CK Franchising Inc. and Global Home Care, said in a press release. “The independence and empowerment afforded to seniors through the use of grandPad could not be more congruent with the Comfort Keepers brand promise—to enrich the lives of our clients as we enable them to maintain the highest level of quality of life.”

Comfort Keepers began integrating grandPad into its core services for seniors in late April 2016.

24Hr HomeCare Teams Up With JFCS

Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) partnered with senior services provider 24Hr HomeCare to launch a new program, atHome, to quickly link individuals in need of in-home assistance for themselves or a family member using 24Hr HomeCare’s non-medical in-home services.

“As an agency working with many older adults and people with temporary or permanent physical or cognitive challenges, we want to be able to quickly respond to their needs,” Kathryn Miles, JFCS executive director, said in a press release. “By collaborating closely with 24Hr HomeCare, we will be able to set appointments for clients and their families or circles of support to assess their needs quickly and begin services right away.

atHome will provide 24Hr HomeCare’s services, such as from personal care, companionship, incontinence care, transportation services, light housekeeping, medication reminders, meal preparation and Philips Lifeline Emergency Response System.

The program will also integrate these services with JFCS’ current services, including assessments, case management, money management, advance directives, counseling, support groups and Friendly Visitor Program. atHome users will be able to utilize the services for as long or as short as needed.

Nova Leap Health Corp Buys Out Home Care Company

The Dartmouth, Canada capital pool company, Nova Leap Health Corp., announced its purchase of rural home health care provider, Northern Family Home Care, located in Littleton, New Hampshire. Nova Leap bought all of the homecare assets for $240,000.

Northern Family Home Care offers care for seniors, including services such as personal and oral hygiene, companion care services, medication reminders, light housework, transportation, grocery shopping, meal preparation, assistance with daily activity as well as around the clock live-in care.

Nova Leap entered into the agreement with Northern Family in early June to purchase all shares outstanding, with the intention to qualify its transaction under the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange. Currently, the shares of Nova Leap are halted and are to remain halted until the deal is closed.

Written by Alana Stramowski