Fitbit

OneCare Integrates with Walgreens – Wins App Challenge!

Around the end of October, OneCare developer David Brelloch stumbled upon a competition listed on Challenge Post by Walgreens titled, “Balance Rewards App Challenge.” He has previously completed other competitions through this site (if you aren’t familiar with Challenge Post, click here) and decided to look into the details thinking OneCare’s platform may be a good entry.

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Click here for the official Walgreens Balance Rewards App Challenge post.

Walgreens’ API was giving third party apps permission to connect with their existing services in order to share individual health and wellness information such as steps walked, running activities, weight tracking, etc. In doing so, these connected users would earn Balance Rewards Points that equate to Walgreens’ discounts.  (more…)

Is hitting Snooze affecting your weight?

We all do it. We all know it is good for us.
And the majority of us wish we got more of it.

I’m talking about SLEEP.

Countless studies have shown that getting a good night’s rest can improve mood and stress level, but did you know sleep loss affects your metabolism? Beth Malow, chief of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Division of Sleep, states, “There are many studies linking not getting enough sleep with diabetes and obesity.”

Seven out of every ten adults in the United States reported daily stress or anxiety that interferes with their lives. This 2007 study by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, which aimed to examine the effects of stress on sleep, claimed all seven of those individuals also said they have trouble sleeping… well, it is no wonder we are seeing an increase in numbers of diabetic and obese individuals today!
With the announcement of Withings’ new Aura sleep tracking device, the company simultaneously released the results of a study on the habits of waking up. Including data about what we use to wake up and the sounds we prefer to wake up to, the study also said an astonishing 42% of Americans set an alarm earlier than they plan on getting up so they can stay in bed an additional 5-10 minutes.

And what about that dreadful snooze button? Withings reported 57% of people snooze their alarm clock at least once, with over 28% snoozing two or more times! So why is this important?

“Constantly varying the time [you go to bed or you wake up] can lead to ‘social jet lag’ and can make you feel like you’ve just traveled across multiple time zones.” – Brandy Roane, a behavioral sleep specialist with the University of North Texas Health Science Center

For those of you who’ve suffered from jet lag, you know it’s not any fun, sometimes affecting your productivity for days.

The increasingly popularity of health tracking devices and the concept of the ‘quantified self’ has also led to a surge of sleep trackers being developed. But will they really help you manage your sleep?

It depends.

Like with any data-collecting device, it is important to understand how to use that data. If you simply track your sleep without noticing the trends, then you’re not going to be successful at improving your overall sleep quality or how rested you feel the next day. Roane mentions sleep trackers not taking into account other factors such as ambient light levels or outside noise. While this is true for some fitness trackers that include sleep capabilities, there are several devices now on the market that are solely sleep trackers that do consider these factors.

The same US Health News article, ‘How to Make the Most Out of Your Sleep Tracker,’ includes several helpful tips for putting the data to good use. For instance, even though your tracker may have a tendency to exaggerate the number of times you wake up during the night, it is important to correlate those restless nights with that extra cup of afternoon coffee you keep telling yourself you shouldn’t drink!

In conclusion, it is important to understand what you are interested in learning about, and from there to pick the best method of data collection for you. If you’d like more information about the consequences of insufficient sleep, Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep has a great website devoted to its importance.

Although the devices available today for at-home sleep tracking may not be perfect, learning about your sleep habits and using that knowledge to make positive adjustments in your routine (or lack-there-of), could be an easy way to improve your overall health… something we should all be striving to do!

The comparison table below is in no way an exhaustive list of all available devices or sleep-tracking features, so make sure to fully research devices if you’re planning to buy one!

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P.S. Did you know our OneCare Platform can incorporate sleep data as well?! Quickly view all of your important health information in a single personalized dashboard!

Bringing mHealth & EHR to Long-Term Care

A report on Long-Term Care by the U.S. Commission in 2013 stated that the number of people in the United States dependent on long-term care is predicted to increase from 12 to 27 million by 2050. This large increase in patient numbers will place a heavy burden on long-term care providers who will be tasked with keeping track of the growing patient population.

LongTermCare Although technology is becoming more widely accepted in the medical field, only 17% of U.S. assisted-living and residential care communities are using electronic health records (EHRs) according to a data brief released by the National Center for Health Statistics in September of 2013. This presents a huge market for long-term care focused EHR, telemedicine and mHealth EHR developments.

CareMinders Home Care of Buckhead is one long-term care provider ready to adopt such technology to improve their existing services.

CareMinders Home Care of Buckhead

CareMinders of Buckhead is a medical and non-medical home care company that works to professionally and compassionately help elders stay independent.  As one of only 8% of home care companies nationally that have been awarded The Joint Commission Accreditation, CM of Buckhead is committed to the highest quality of care available which fosters peace of mind among all family members.  Through a highly trained and experienced staff led by a Director of Nursing with more than 39 years of caregiving and case management experience, the care provided to families is unsurpassed.

OneCare has recently partnered with CareMinders Home Care of Buckhead to provide the opportunity for both individuals and their families to be even more engaged in the positive outcomes of their health.

OneCare‘s technology was developed to ease the burden that chronic illness places on an individual and their family members. By making it easy to compile, view and even track multiple health-related values such as blood pressure and glucose, people begin to get a better idea of their overall health picture. In addition to a centralized dashboard, the OneCare platform allows users to invite other people to have access to any or all of their information, including their doctors.

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Within the system itself, a user has the ability to set specific goals, schedule tasks and even initiate email, text or phone call notifications for those tasks. For example, an individual with hypertension could be instructed by their doctor to record their blood pressure twice a day for two weeks. The person can schedule this task within their OneCare account, notify themselves that a task is due soon, notify a family member if they failed to take the reading, and even notify a care provider if a value is recorded as abnormally high or low.

In addition, the platform has integrated many devices to simplify the process even further. Activity trackers from companies including Fitbit and Withings are directly linked, allowing data to be directly synced with the OneCare system. Other devices include wireless glucometers, blood pressure monitors, weight scales and even pulse oximeters.

CareMinders Home Care of Buckhead has recently developed working relationships with several Independent Living Facilities where they will house on-site offices.

The idea is to offer residents a program that includes the benefits of nursing services through use of OneCare’s Platform.

Proposed Plan Offerings:

  1. Initial setup
    • Create OneCare account
    • Risk assessment
    • Fill out all health data
    • Connect family members to OneCare account
    • Setup any purchased devices
    • Enroll into any selected programs
  2. Data entry (appointments, changes in diagnoses, medication changes, etc)
  3. Care Plan Activities
    • Education
    • Welness Programs
    • Medication Management
    • Fall Prevention Strategies
    • Setup any purchased devices
  4. Progress updates and feedback
  5. Use of an on-site clinic monitoring station (for BP, weight, etc)

Plan Benefits:

  1. Daily monitoring for peace of mind
  2. Weekly or daily contact to prevent social isolation
  3. Motivation and support for a healthy lifestyle
  4. Professional oversight for disease states like hypertension, diabetes, CHF and Alzheimer’s
  5. Keep family in the loop and fully engaged
  6. Keep medical team apprised of any changes or concerning medical readings
  7. Real-time intervention when necessary

The first plans will be offered August 1, 2014 in conjunction with the opening of a brand new independent living facility in the Atlanta area. Agreements for offering the joint plan in additional communities are already being developed. Since this is one of the first offerings of its kind, there is a huge potential for growth as the adaption of technology is just beginning to enter the long-term care industry.

Both OneCare and CareMinders Home Care of Buckhead are excited about the potential the relationship provides for the full continuum of home care and oversight so that loved ones are able to enjoy independence for even longer.

Take Control of Your Health, Save Money!

According to a recent article from the American Heart Association, the home-monitoring of blood pressure by individuals can reduce the healthcare costs insurance companies are facing.

High blood pressure can show little to no symptoms and has a long list of risk factors, making periodic testing crucial for timely and accurate diagnosis.

A&D Monitoring Kit

A&D Monitoring Kit

Withings Bluetooth Blood Pressure Cuff

Withings Wireless Monitor

By reimbursing their plan participants for purchases of home monitoring kits, insurance companies could actually decrease their overall costs. Individuals who are aware of their own blood pressure patterns will be more likely to notice negative trends enabling them to implement a care plan early. Those individuals will then be less likely to end up as emergency patients making more costly insurance claims in the future. Researchers found benefits of home-monitoring for almost all ages, including those over 65, by helping to avoid future cardiovascular complications brought on by hypertension.

How Can OneCare Help?

Our platform offers direct integration with several blood pressure monitoring systems. As readings are taken, they can be automatically added into a sortable list or graph view. This view allows you to compare your values against the normal range, view only systolic or diastolic values, and filter the time period being displayed.

In addition, you can setup notifications to be sent to you or your care team through SMS, email or phone call. This can be done for upcoming readings, missed readings, or even if a value is abnormally high for you!

This is extremely beneficial for those in the “at-risk” categories, because you can have an instant alert that further action may be required. The platform works with more than just blood pressure monitors, and provides a centralized location where all aspects of your health and fitness can be viewed in a single dashboard!

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OneCare’s technology was developed to reduce the impact chronic diseases have on patient outcomes, family care givers and on the high cost of health care.

Click to read the original American Heart Association article, “Home Blood Pressure-monitoring Kits Save Money”

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