Tech Firm Brings Do-It-Yourself Home Care System to Senior Living
An Atlanta-based technology company is offering a do-it-yourself solution to empower seniors to take control of their health, and it’s teaming up with an independent living community and home care agency in Georgia to do so.
Through the use of a kiosk-based system, technology from OneCare connects individuals using health data to bridge the gap between home care and senior living.
Collaborating with The Mansions at Sandy Springs independent living facility in Norcross, Ga. and CareMinders of Buckhead, a non-medical home care company, OneCare is leveraging its connected mHealth platform to help seniors manage their wellness, chronic conditions and medications through its multi-user kiosk located in The Mansions community.
The kiosk syncs data from various wireless mHealth devices, including blood pressure monitors and weight scales, directly to residents’ personal health records within their OneCare accounts.
Housed in an on-site clinic managed by CareMinders within The Mansions, the OneCare kiosk allows home care professionals and community staff to receive real-time reminders and alerts, enabling them to intervene if certain metrics or activity levels show signs of abnormalities.
“We’ve created a system that makes it easy for people to care for themselves, connect with family and share with management like CareMinders so caregivers and families can know their loved one’s status,” OneCare CEO Gary Austin tells HHCN.
Since its launch in February 2011, the Atlanta-based company has raised over $1 million of capital toward the development of its kiosk technology. Currently, OneCare is focused on the second round of capital raising and is working with health plans, rural health clinics along with medical providers and employers to grow and implement its technology on a more widespread basis, Austin says.
“The OneCare platform is very collaborative and built to be easy to integrate with disparate systems or software like electronic medical records, or other third-party software,” he says.
To use the kiosk, residents at The Mansions can visit the CareMinders clinic housed on-site. The tablet-based technology guides users through the process, telling them in an intelligible voice each of the steps, including when to begin routines like recording weight by stepping on a scale, as well as how and when to apply the system’s blood pressure armband.
Along with weight and blood pressure readings, the system is also capable of tracking any vital sign, interoperating with other devices, including those that monitor blood glucose levels or other activities.
The system then saves all of the metrics a patient records, which then CareMinders staff can access via a secure computer terminal. Being able to prevent avoidable, and often costly, care episodes is what the OneCare platform boils down to, says Austin.
“There is nothing more important to an aging senior than caring for one’s self,” he said. “That’s why we’ve created this to system help them prevent avoidable care episodes, because just one episode could lead a person on a slippery slope from independent living to skilled nursing.”
Though The Mansions at Sandy Springs is the only senior living community where OneCare has launched its kiosk platform, the company envisions rolling out the system to multiple long-term care facilities.
Thus far, The Mansions has already contracted with CareMinders to put the OneCare tech in three other facilities in Atlanta. The company is also entertaining the possibility of putting its tech in four additional communities located in Oklahoma, though CareMinders is not contracted there.
“Healthcare is becoming unaffordable, particularly for the senior market, many of whom are on fixed incomes,” Austin said. “By providing solutions that reduce episodes of care, there is a lot of downside that we’re eliminating through this platform.”
Written by Jason Oliva