[This is a guest post for Aging2.0 from Chris Gaur at Vital Care Services - a New York telehealth startup out of Pace University, sharing its experience about a recently conducted pilot at a NY assisted living facility]
A recent study was performed in conjunction with Vital Care Services and Pace University to observe the usability and benefits of TeleHealth technology for older adults. The Pace University – Vital Care Services research team selected eighteen residents of an assisted living facility in New York City to test pilot the effects of TeleHealth monitoring. Every week, the participants were engaged with a new feature or health benefit of the remote healthcare system monitoring their vital signs. Results of the study concluded that the participants were receptive to the technology and would like to continue monitoring their health and wellness. Furthermore, success stories found ranged from potential life saves of patients with chronic health conditions to health and wellness engagement and awareness. This study concluded that Vital Care TeleHealth technology has potential to reduce cost, improve quality of care, better healthcare access, empower older adults, and more. Moreover, the older adults were able to learn the technology in a few sessions of training.
This study provides supporting evidence to the medical community that TeleHealth is beneficial to both the overall quality of life and engagement of older adults, as well as the healthcare provider quality and access of care services. There were several patient and provider success stories, some of which early intervention lead to discovery of a chronic health condition previously unknown to the patient. Early intervention prompted a patient to see her doctor and they discovered the drug that was causing her blood pressure to rise and extreme discomfort. Appropriate medical directions were given and the systolic blood pressure decreased by 18% by the next week.
Successful implementation is made possible in centralized community settings with the cost-saving multi-user kiosk delivery model. Going forward, Pace University and Vital Care Services will seek other research studies to implement in New York and Westchester with a similar sustainable model.