This week’s senior care technology roundup includes news of more partnerships between technology providers and senior living service providers, along with the formation of a senior care investment group. There’s also a debate going on about whether electronic health records save money or drive up the cost of healthcare. Lastly, a study on the impact of technology on senior living residents’ quality of life was recently released—and the survey says, it’s positive.
1. InTouchLink: Pharmacy and Technology Provider Partner to Launch Senior Communication Network
Medical Pharmacies and InTouchLink announced an exclusive partnership in March to launch a communication network in retirement residences and long-term care homes across Ontario. InTouchLink is a technology solutions provider to seniors housing operators in the U.S. and Canada, and its technology offers a resource center that enables communication between residents and families, an internal messaging tool, a learning management system for staff, a 24/7 community news and information source, and a senior-friendly communication system, delivering a way to connect operators with their residents, families, and communities.
2. Linkage Ventures: Investment Group Forms to Focus on Elder Healthcare
Long-term care provider trade group Linkage has formed a venture capital initiative with an Ohio-backed investment organization CincyTech to invest in startups that develop technologies for the aging population. The group is called Linkage Ventures, and has an aim to identify, evaluate, and invest in early-stage technologies that startups can take to market to benefit the aging population directly, or through care-giving opportunities.
CincyTech, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a public-private seed-stage investor and has invested in 35 startup companies in the IT and bioscience fields since 2007. Linkage is a Mason-based nonprofit organization with members consisting of senior living providers throughout the U.S. John Hopper, an investment banker and former technology company exec, as Linkage Ventures’ managing director.
The venture will closely align the sources of “deal flow” (the entrepreneurs with aging-related technology) with capital sources to help them bring their ideas and products to market.
3. Health IT Debate: Does Using Electronic Health Records Raise Healthcare Costs?
A recent study on use of electronic health records concluded that doctors who view diagnostic images electronically are more likely to order follow-up tests, which drives up the cost of health care, according to a Healthcare IT News article. The cost factor of EHRs has sparked a debate between Farzad Mostashari, MD, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the study’s researchers, who call Mostashari’s defense of EHRs as a money saving strategy “wishful thinking.”
Read more about both sides of the argument here.
4. LivHOME: National Home Care Provider Chooses Independa’s Senior Care Solution
Home care service provider LivHome, Inc. has entered into an agreement to offer Independa’s CloudCare services, which incorporate social engagement and remote monitoring to enable seniors to live independently and safely.
“LivHOME’s adoption of our services represents a pre-eminent home care provider’s embrace of our Integrated CloudCare platform as a valuable service differentiator in the competitive senior home care market,” said Independa CEO Kian Saneii in a statement. “The system we have developed collaboratively will allow LivHOME care managers to provide broader, higher-level care. For example, they will remotely monitor how care recipients follow medication schedules and keep doctors’ appointments, and be alerted to potential emergencies. Care managers will also introduce the people they care for to fun new ways to stay connected.”
The new service agreement has been branded as as LivIndependa, and will be launched in late spring. It will incorporate Independa’s Caregiver Web App and Angela social engagement solution with features that will include automated medication and appointment reminders; caregiver monitoring; check-in calls; recorded life stories; and one-touch access for seniors to email, video chat, games, Internet browsing, and photos.
5. It’s Never 2 Late: Utilizing Technology Improves Quality of Life
“It’s Never 2 Late” recently released a white paper detailing the impact of technology on staff, families, and elders in Green House long-term care homes. The technology integrates “cutting edge” innovations that include building relationships, enhancing engagement, and connecting older adults with the surrounding community.
The study, funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that participating elders in the project had higher energy levels, participated more in social engagement activities, were less depressed, and experienced a greater quality of life, compared to control groups who did not experience any significant change.
The white paper can be accessed here.