United Methodist Communities Announces Strategic Partnership with VirtuSense and Netsmart to Implement $909K “Game-Changer” Telehealth Grant
United Methodist Communities (UMC) announced strategic partnerships with tech providers VirtuSense and Netsmart to implement telehealth strategies to fight coronavirus.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently awarded UMC the $909,560 grant to fund a remote patient-monitoring platform and telehealth software licenses for its skilled nursing units. Components of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program include resident-based internet-connect remote patient monitoring, video consults and remote treatment.
Larry Carlson, president and CEO of United Methodist Communities, said, “This funding may very well be a game-changer not only for UMC, but for the senior living industry. The overall goals are to improve health outcomes through connected care, reduce the costs of delivering healthcare, maintain the level of healthcare our residents deserve, and to help facilitate connected care among UMC’s partners.”
VirtuSense Technologies (VST), an artificial intelligence company using IoT, machine vison, and AI for providing transformative care, offers both VSTAlert and VSTOne. The former monitors bed and chair exits in resident’s rooms. Unlike a traditional pressure pad, the system’s AI recognizes when a person is about to get up and alerts staff 31-65 seconds before they leave their bed or chair. VSTOne allows clinical staff to monitor high-risk resident rooms remotely in order to reduce in-person contact, lowering the risk of transmitting COVID-19 among their associates or residents while conserving personal protective equipment (PPE).
These platforms use a combination of wearable and machine vision sensors to detect bed and chair exits, enable two-way video communication between residents and associates, and monitor vitals like heart rate, respiratory rate, surface body temp, and oxygen saturation for COVID-19 residents. When abnormalities in vitals and bed exits are detected, alerts are sent directly to the attending associate’s phone and central consoles. The data and analytics support early intervention and promote better resident outcomes.
Deepak Gaddipati, founder and CTO of VirtuSense, states, “We are excited to partner with UMC to bring the next generation of patient care first to the post-acute care market. We believe that continuous remote monitoring is the next step in caring for residents and are honored to have the opportunity to contribute in light of COVID-19.”
“The differentiator of VirtuSense is that they are consistently taking bleeding-edge technology concepts and transforming them in to usable and reliable platforms. The technology represents a step forward today, and in the future will be considered a standard of care,” reports Travis Gleinig, corporate director of information technology at UMC.
Netsmart Technologies is an American company that develops and sells health information technology, including electronic health records. A video chat communication component facilitates telehealth visits between residents and their primary and specialty care providers. This technology allows residents greater access to their physicians in a safe, secure environment. It gives the physicians the ability to easily meet with their patients privately through a secure telehealth portal and helps meet care needs while practicing responsible social distancing during COVID-19.
“We are grateful to enable UMC, an innovative leader in the senior living industry, with Netsmart’s Integrated Telehealth Solution to meet today’s challenge of COVID-19 as well as where the future of healthcare is heading,” remarks Netsmart’s AJ Peterson, vice president/general manager of CareGuidance Solutions.
United Methodist Communities was one of 53 applicants approved during the latest round of grant funding through the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which was authorized by the CARES Act. To date, Congress has approved about $68.22 million in funding for more than 185 healthcare providers.
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