CCRCs Bank on Apple Watch to Improve Resident Care

The much-hyped Apple Watch hits stores next week and one nonprofit provider of hospitals and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) is gearing up by offering a new version of its electronic health record app specifically tailored for the new device.

To better connect patients with hospital-based care providers as well as other senior living organizations across the care continuum, Trinity Health is launching an Apple Watch app across its 85 hospitals and 128 continuing care facilities in 21 states.

Working with CareEvolution Inc., a company that specializes in interoperability tech solutions, the Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health announced this week the coming release of an Apple Watch-compatible version of CareEvoution’s cFHR (collaborating Family Health Record) app.

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Though already available as a free download for iPhone, beginning April 24, the cFHR Apple Watch App will be available on the Apple Watch App Store for those who purchase the long awaited device that debuts the same day.

The new cFHR Watch App from CareEvolution is the latest in a series of innovations from Trinity to enable more people to connect with their care providers at their own convenience, said Barbara A. Walters, executive vice president and chief population health officer at Trinity Health.

“Trinity Health’s strategy is to delivery people-centered care that improves patients’ experiences, improves the health of populations and reduces the total cost of care, and that includes innovations that make it easier to access and use health-related information,” Walters said in a written statement.

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Patients using the cFHR app can receive alerts, review new medical information and participate in the management of their own health. And if they are Apple Watch users, they can do all of this from their wrists.

The app integrates with Apple Health, allowing users to upload health data directly to their health care providers. By enabling Apple Health data sharing within the cFHR app, data stored in Apple Health will be shared with a user’s health care provider automatically upon logging into the software.

This initiative builds on Trinity Health’s existing effort to implement CareEvolution’s HIEBus health information exchange infrastructure across its enterprise.

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“We are connecting the existing digital islands of automation to create a comprehensive patient record that integrates data from within the Trinity Health enterprise with data from payers and community-based providers,” said Vik Keterpal, MD, a principal at CareEvolution.

The functionalities of the Apple Watch itself within the broader health care sector were showcased early March during an Apple (NASDAQ: APPL) live event, where the company unveiled ResearchKit, its latest endeavor to gather health metrics on a variety of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease.

Written by Jason Oliva

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