Health-tech startup helpMEwell launches
by Elisabeth Handler
Two-way Provider/Patient Data Platform Technology Launched to Help Prevent Hospital Readmissions. Quantified Self Technology Made HIPAA-Compliant.
Health-tech startup helpMEwell™ emerged from stealth mode on June 4, 2014, at the Santa Cruz Tech meetup, demonstrating its new mobile services to improve patient monitoring and chronic disease care, promote physician and care-team efficiency and increase practice profitability.
The self-monitoring and engagement portal is the first HIPAA-compliant service that leverages simple SMS cell phone technology to create two-way communications with patients, to help reduce hospital re-admissions. helpMEwell™ is launching with a platform specifically designed to help manage congestive heart failure (CHF).
Every year, 40 percent of patients hospitalized for heart failure must be readmitted within 30 days, often because of something as seemingly insignificant as a high-sodium meal. At about $26,000 per incident, these preventable hospitalizations represent an annual cost to the health care system of $10 billion.
“As our Baby Boomer generation gets diagnosed with chronic diseases such as heart failure, diabetes and COPD, physicians need to use new technologies to provide better and more efficient care,” said Bruno Rocca, founder and CEO of helpMEwell™. “Our new digital tools harness the appeal of quantified self-tracking technology to share critical, real-time information with the patient’s doctor and medical team to trigger timely interventions when indicated. Especially now with performance metrics established by the Affordable Care Act, hospitals need to get better fast at preventing readmission within 30 days for CHF patients. helpMEwell™ is a critical instrument for doing that.”
Founded by a team of healthcare entrepreneurs, engineers and UX designers with healthcare delivery experience, helpMEwell™ is in beta testing with various local medical clinics and hospitals. Currently managing an enrollment of more than 1000 cardiac patients and their hospitalists and clinical specialists, helpMEwell™ is on track to reduce readmission rates by 63% percent, saving healthcare organization clients millions of dollars in costs and potential penalties in the next six months.
Anecdotally, physicians love the new service, as it gives them more quality time with their patients and dramatically improves client satisfaction. An additional benefit to healthcare organizations will be larger profit margins due to more efficient use of office staff and physicians’ time.
“Any time we can treat more patients, in less time, with better clinical results, we’re happy,” said Katherine Newcomb, M.D., lead internist at Adventist, and a member of the helpMEwell™ advisory board.
Critical to the medical profession’s acceptance of the technology is HIPAA compliance. helpMEwell™ is fully HIPAA and PHI compliant, as all data stored in and passed through helpMEwell™ follows the “Safe Harbor” de-identification standard. Additionally, all helpMEwell™ staff are required to complete HIPAA Business Associate training, and all data is stored in secure, HIPAA-compliant data centers with 24 hour security and backups.
Patient acceptance is ensured because the technology is so simple – the average patient takes 10 seconds to start logging data. Patients only need to have a message enabled (SMS) phone – not even a smart phone or a computer are necessary, although the program works on those devices as well. Helping a patient get started with helpMEwell takes just minutes of the patient’s discharge meeting after hospitalization for heart failure.
About helpMEwell™: helpMEwell™ is a medical technology company that has developed software and information collection and transmission protocols for managing patients with chronic diseases. helpMEwell™ is the HIPAA-compliant channel between self-monitoring (quantified) patients and their doctors. With 900 users, over 300 employer clients and numerous medical and technology partners, helpMEwell™ is advancing patient care, reducing medical costs and increasing physician/clinical productivity and income.
For more information on the CHF platform: http://chf.helpmewell.com
To experience the self-tracking platform: http://www.helpmewell.com
Sara Isenberg publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat for the benefit of the extended business and technology community. When she is not volunteering her time for the tech scene, Sara makes her living by managing software projects, web strategy planning, and providing development team services (including account management, vendor management, strategic partner management, beta project management, referrals to qualified technical team members, and more). Please visit her website: Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management, or contact Sara by email if you have any project management, account management, or Development Team leadership or service needs.