LG, the global developer of high-definition TVs, cell phones and other electronics, is tapping into the U.S. senior care market through a new partnership with Atlanta-based Thrive Senior Living.
Eyeing opportunity within the United States’ technology market for post-acute and long-term care, LG CNS, a subsidiary of LG focused on information technology services, has teamed up with Thrive to develop Smart Senior Living Solutions, a suite of technologies that integrates an assisted living resident’s health information into a single platform.
Currently being tested in two Thrive communities, the platform allows staff to access residents’ health metrics recorded from various devices in the community, such as electronic health records (EHR), nurse call and medication management devices.
The aim is to integrate devices that record a resident’s health metrics so that the information relayed from multiple devices can be found at a single access point.
“There are a lot of innovative technologies within the senior living industry that create a ton of useful data, but in different places,” says Jeramy Ragsdale, founder and principal of Thrive Senior Living. “The partnership with LG ties a lot of things folks in our industry are using into one platform while at the same time putting a powerful brand behind it.”
The integration of technologies is based on having an EHR system rooted at the foundation that can record residents’ personal health information.
Community fixtures such as lighting and camera systems, and even heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) can also be recorded in the EHR, which Ragsdale says can be helpful in looking at factors that might have led to a resident episode.
“The huge benefit is being able to see all of these metrics in one place, because they allow us to spot trends in residents’ health that the human eye might not be able to spot,” he says.
For example, smart walkers and wheelchairs currently under development by LG CNS can record if a resident is moving 10% less each week and relay that information back to community staff.
But while these kinds of tech-enabled mobility products are still being developed in LG’s pipeline, Thrive has rolled out beta versions of the primary components such as an integrated EHR and nurse-on-call features into two of its communities.
And with health care reforms under the Affordable Care Act stressing the importance of accountable care organizations, Thrive sees an opportunity for growth in rolling out the tech into its communities that are currently under construction.
“There’s a massive opportunity out there to benefit from this ACO system by providing some accountability for the way we care for our residents in the health system,” says Ragsdale. “If we can send a really detailed records system to hospitals, they’ll understand we are the best place for that resident to go to minimize the chance of a re-hospitalization.”
A lack of ground-up solutions for post-acute care providers to leverage technology caught the attention of LG CNS, the electronics conglomerate’s IT arm focused on developing hardware and software platforms for post-acute care providers in the U.S.
So in late 2012, the company pitched its one-source, single pane software solution to Thrive, as it was a community with the size and experience that would be able to integrate the technologies quickly.
This eliminated larger players who might not have the ability to adapt the tech quickly, while also eliminating smaller providers that might not have the community and people mass to provide a test bed for LG CNS products, according to Ragsdale.
The technologies are not specific to just the assisted living industry only. LG CNS is also working with home health, hospice and nursing home providers to develop similar EHR core-based systems.
“Long-term post-acute care is highly fragmented in terms of technology, leaving vast opportunities for providers to lead with technology,” says Bobby Choi, chief strategy officer at Collain Health and exclusive distributor of LG CNS Healthcare Products.
LG CNS plans to release its technologies for long-term care providers to purchase next year, with providers interested in implementing these technologies able to purchase the various components as they would from any other vendor.
“In the modern age of long-term post-acute care, as care delivery and payment practices shift, there’s an opportunity for providers to optimize revenues, reduce costs improve efficiencies and patient outcomes,” says Choi.
Written by Jason Oliva