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
Flo–the Florence Simple Telehealth text messaging system–is well known to our UK Readers as a successful initiative of the NHS. Over the past five years, starting from a test with NHS Stoke on Trent, it has been used by more than 30,000 people in over 70 health and social care organizations to help them monitor their health in areas as diverse as managing diabetes, living with COPD and managing breast feeding. Flo is customized by the clinician for the individual patient on questions, information, and speaks to the patient with a sometimes sassy ‘voice’ to help keep him or her on track. The Health Foundation has spotlighted Flo (named after Florence Nightingale) in ‘The Power of People’ with an overview page here and the video ‘Telehealth with a human touch’.
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/1109151630.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]nhssimple, a Social Enterprise is now tasked with developing the Flo program and since 2013 has partnered with the Veterans Health Administration in the US to develop a counterpart. Named ANNIE after Lt. Annie G. Fox, Army Nurse Corps, who was the first woman awarded the Purple Heart for her actions at Pearl Harbor, the VA is shortly testing it at four sites with intent to roll out nationally in 2016. This Editor has seen two presentations by Neil Evans, co-director of VHA connected health, in 2014 and this year at mHealth Summit (HIMSS Connected Health–see left). The Health Foundation video also includes an interview with Dr Wyatt Smith, prior Deputy CIO of the US Military Health System, and mentions the VHA. Hat tip to Phil O’Connell, Global Lead of nhssimple, for the update.
[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.)
IBM Watson crunches the genomics for glioblastoma. A clinical trial at seven locations is being developed in partnership with the NY Genome Center to identify potential treatment options for the most common type of brain tumor–one where diagnosis and treatment time is of the essence. iHealthBeat, Modern Healthcare….Also in NY, Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx is evaluating several mobile initiatives including a current pilot for texts/care management to support diabetic teenagers, as well as evaluating interacting with diabetics on fitness and biosensor monitoring. FierceMobileHealthcare….Yecco’s social media platform for families caring for older adults [TTA 13 Mar] adds insurance. Allianz Global Assistance UK announced Yecco Home Care insurance, providing up to six weeks of assistance at home following an accident, injury or hospitalization. Release….Six US Senators seek clarification on FDA mobile health regulations. The letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg inquired on FDA plans and asked if legislative assistance might be required. The FDA/ONC-HIT framework report originally due in January now has a deadline of 31 March. iHealthBeat. The Hill ‘Healthwatch’….The Samsung Galaxy S5 won’t be considered a medical device by South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. According to Engadget, it was the heart-rate sensor that subjected it to stricter regulations under current South Korean laws. Oy….And it took a while, but finally the Tunstall Americas management page lists new CEO Casey Pittock at the top! (No release yet though.)
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Envirotxt-plugging-in-1-small.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]With winter very near, and the UK already having a bout of wild weather, something necessary to know but often overlooked until there’s a problem for carers is if the heat or power is on
in an older or disabled person’s home. Thus a press release sent to Founder Steve got this Editor’s attention. This simple plug-in device, Envirotxt,
detects whether the temperature falls below a set low or high temperature, rises suddenly (possible fire) or the power is out. It then alerts via one of three pre-set text messages sent via GSM to a mobile phone of your choice (family member, local authority). The cost is a little high (£99) but there does not appear to be any additional monthly subscription cost. South Derbyshire-based Tekview
has several similar devices for both UK and EU users (Envirotxt appears to be UK only at present; they do not have US-suitable versions). For larger installations they have management software with some enhanced features. Worth looking into for your local authority or simply for your personal use. Website page
. Press release. Video
. If you know of or have used similar notification devices, please add them in Comments.