Leveraging technology to provide better HLTH care

Healthcare and technology intersect daily, forming a portion of both the foundation of care provided to patients and the methods of delivery for providers. It’s therefore only logical that the two should engage in high-level conversation. Last month, the Alliance was proud to join the new HLTH conference as an Association Partner. In its inaugural year, HLTH brought together over 3500 attendees from across healthcare and tech for a three-day discussion with payers, providers, government, non-profits, and more on ways to innovate healthcare delivery in a changing landscape.

Home health care, particularly, offers a unique opportunity for tech to engage with healthcare delivery at a personal level. Providing care in the home is a deeply intimate act which requires providers respect patient’s homes and work within a different environment. Tech providers looking to further help the patient experience may find home health care providers a particularly well-positioned ally.

HLTH attendees got the chance to hear from CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll, who discussed how he believes risk-based models will help drive incentives to invest in home health and home and community-based services. Former Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Andy Slavitt also spoke of a need to invest in greater healthcare innovation for vulnerable populations such as the frail elderly.

While this was a good start, there is room for growth in the conversation. We know home health care is already leveraging technology, especially telehealth, to improve patient care; and we know that the needs of an aging population must be addressed, and that tech can help.

Over the last few years, AARP created the Tech Nest and Hatchery. The Nest, housed at the University of Illinois is a technology lab, which, according to Jose Hernandez, vice president of IT business operations at AARP, “Affords us an opportunity to marry up leading-edge technology and apply that to our social mission to disrupt aging, and allow folks to live independently and with dignity as they age.”

Meanwhile, the Hatchery housed in the Nation’s Capital, serves as a startup incubator for those looking to improve aging and connect with peers in the space.

Other examples of leveraging technology to improve care for aging populations are abound, and we know from “The Future of Home Health Care: A Strategic Framework for Optimizing Value” that the home health care delivery system of the future must be technology-enabled. This will require commitment on the part of agencies, collaboration from technology providers, and policy levers that incentive smart adoption.

Opportunity is ripe for even more innovation in technology that assists in the care of patients in their homes and communities, and the Alliance is excited to continue engaging our peers to find ways to improve patient care and experience.