Following up with Avaya UK on October’s Perspectives on COVID-19 contact tracing and the use of AI to automate virtual agents for initial contact, they have released details on their contact tracing application that integrates with current Avaya software or into a company’s call center system. Based on their materials, it automates the initial contact with the individual using natural language text to a smartphone or tablet messaging app, web chat, or email. AI in the contact tracing app helps to screen the response and directs it to the correct agent. Augmentation tools provide real-time prompts and suggestions during a live call with the individual. Notifications can also be automated and also individual follow up can be made via text message. Additional features are detailed on their web page and in the contact tracing overview (PDF). Having heard horror stories from friends who have been subject to contact tracing and follow up apps in the wake of COVID-19 contacts and diagnoses, a great annoyance was daily live phone calls with agents repeatedly asking the same information and making the same assistance offers. Text messages would have been far more acceptable and directive.
Contact tracing is a part of their OneCloud Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) which enables organizations to design their own applications and workflows with a platform that supports SMS, MMS, voice, messaging, transcriptions, and digital channels. With vaccination now front and center, for provider organizations, OneCloud can be used to build systems for COVID-19 vaccination information access, recruiting staff, and administering the process. Additional details are in their OneCloud CPaaS overview.
This week, OneCloud for healthcare was awarded Frost & Sullivan’s Competitive Strategy Leadership Award. Release.
Hat tip to Mary Burtt of AxiCom UK
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/sleep.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Try texting and more. One of the more unfairly overlooked mHealth tools is text or SMS. While simple, the back end and integration can be complex, especially when integrated within healthcare IT systems.
In the US, one of the key metrics that hospitals are rated on in their HCAHPS scores (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is quietness of the hospital environment. Hospital noise is more than annoying–it is at a level that blocks healing and deprives patients of needed sleep (see study). There are door slams, people walking and talking, TVs and incessant boops and beeps from equipment. This annual survey told Inspira Health Network, a three-location hospital system in southern New Jersey, that they had a noise pollution problem.
One noise IHN hospital management could control was overhead pages–over 150 daily at their Vineland hospital. In a Quiet Hospital initiative, they replaced the overhead page system largely with a secure texting system developed by Newark, NJ-based Practice Unite, implemented by their reseller, Futura Mobility and consultant Pursuit Healthcare Advisors. Texts now go from nurses to physician smartphones, reducing overhead pages to perhaps two emergency ones daily. Scores for quietness satisfaction have improved drastically: at the Elmer hospital from 60 to nearly 100 percent, Woodbury from 45 to 56 percent, and Vineland from 55 to 62 percent.
Where the interesting integration–and workload reduction–happens is that those nurses can also make a stat consult request to a physician via Inspira’s EHR which is then sent to the physician’s phone. It also leaves an audit trail so that completion can be tracked. Lab results also can be sent to the EHR or phone, depending on physician preference, and patient round lists to residents’ phones. According to Healthcare IT News, these features have been adopted by affiliated medical practices; it has improved response times, patient consults and EHR updates, plus reduced patient stays. Health Data Management, HIT Consultant (Photo Cambridge Sound Management from their article on sound masking in hospitals.)
This year, on the 10th Anniversary of Telehealth and Telecare Aware, we have invited industry leaders nominated by our readers to reflect on the past ten years and, if they wish, to speculate about the next ten. Here is the first article, with a UK focus, by Dr Kevin Doughty.
Many of us are frustrated at how little progress there has been in the deployment and acceptability of telecare during the past decade. Yet, despite warnings that an ageing population was about to bankrupt the NHS (and health insurance schemes elsewhere in the world), and that access to social care for older people was being withdrawn at such a rate that it could only be afforded by the wealthiest in society, our health and social care systems have just about survived.
But this can’t go on, and in England over the past 12 months: (more…)
Results from a year-long evaluation provide evidence that text4baby benefits users. text4baby is a free mobile health information service of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) that provides pregnant women and new mothers with health and safety information via text message. The content includes messages about immunization, nutrition, birth defect prevention, safe sleep, etc. A survey developed by researchers from the National Latino Research Center (NLRC) at California State University San Marcos and the University of California San Diego, with support from the Alliance Healthcare Foundation, was administered to 631 text4baby users in San Diego. Findings indicate that text4baby is increasing users’ health knowledge, facilitating interaction with health providers, reminding them of their appointments and immunizations, and improving access to health services. More information and link to the study results. Heads-up thanks to Bob Pyke.
The mHealth Alliance and consultant/research company VitalWave have published a globally-oriented study detailing what holds back mHealth from scaling up in low to middle-income countries, centering on financing. Hundreds of projects are in the field, but practically all are dependent on short-term financing or grants, and few have viable plans beyond the next grant. Projects also by their nature are stand-alone and don’t integrate in their design and delivery with other often similar projects. This study evaluates five financial models and transferring from external funding to a revenue stream from buyers. Case studies include VillageReach (maternal SMS/phone support), Switchboard (free calling network for health workers), Sproxil (drug verification), SMS for Life (SMS for anti-malarial drug distribution) and Changamka (affordable health care). Sustainable Financing for Mobile Health (42 pages)