CipherHealth displays a dashboard (left) and a patient page (right).

encer as they work to put tools in the hands of patients to educate and engage them,” ex- tending beyond their traditional equipment model and expanding their reach, she added. CareThrough, a subsidiary of Health- Channels, makes artificial intelligence (A.I.) “chatbots,” chronic care management (CCM) programs and committed “human” naviga- tors to engage patients in their treatment paths, recognizing a clear shift in trends, according to Kyle Cooksey, President. “Patients expect more from their health- care providers in today’s connected, digital environment,” Cooksey said. “Our mission at CareThrough is to right-size care teams to allow doctors, and care teams to work more efficiently. We also provide AI technology to increase patient engagement and improve satisfaction scores at the point of care, which is critical for ensuring the most optimal out- comes are reached.”

CareThrough’s LifeLink tool provides

health systems with conversational AI chat- bots designed to improve the relationship be- tween patient and provider, Cooksey noted. “LifeLink provides a virtual assistant that is more robust than a delayed flight alert, or banking balance update you may receive via text,” he said. “The LifeLink-powered AI is conversational, and designed specifically to improve the patient experience. Care teams configure chatbots to streamline communi- cation with patients. LifeLink is designed to be effective in multiple healthcare settings, from emergency rooms to outpatient facili- ties. Care teams are able to rapidly customize and deploy conversational chatbots. And for CFOs it’s also important that the technology is affordable, and improves patient engage- ment. If a patient arrives at the Emergency Department, we are able to send approxi- mate wait times, and if they are waiting

on labs, we can send a text message to the patient letting them know the results are available to review. “What we learned from our research is that the common denominator between an 18-year-old patient and a 70-year-old patient is that they are both using text messaging,” Cooksey continued. “Consumers download apps, and delete them at an alarming rate. That’s why health systems look to LifeLink to drive engagement better than patient por- tals and apps. The key to our user-friendly technology are the chatbots’ intuitive com- munication.”

Richard Bootes, Vice President of Product Development, TeleHealth Services, recog- nizes the shift in customer focus, too. “True patient engagement begins with an understanding that each patient is unique,” Bootes said. “We need to learn about patients as individuals and know how to personally motivate them to take an active role in man- aging their health.” TeleHealth Services develops interactive technology that engage and educate pa- tients and families in hospitals using either the patient television or a bedside tablet, Bootes noted. “Typically, a care team spends less than 10 minutes with patients prior to discharge in delivering instructions and stacks of paper handouts, he continued. A revolving door of readmissions contributes to escalating healthcare costs. We developed iCare Navigator to provide a new paradigm of engagement and health education with patients and families.” iCare Navigator is the “first enterprise- scale interactive patient engagement plat- form for hospitals using artificial intelligence and virtual health coaches (avatars) to create a more personalized relationship with the patient,” according to Bootes. “The system combines empathy, game theory and fam- ily involvement using video, audio and imagery to drive positive patient behaviors. iCare Navigator was inspired by Project Re-Engineered Discharge research at Boston University where patient satisfaction surveys revealed that twice as many patients actually prefer interactions with avatars than with human doctors and nurses.

“By fully integrating with EMRs and other

A CareThrough scribe records patient data.

clinical and non-clinical systems, iCare Navi- gator engages patients and families across the patient journey and helps them become more active participants in their own care,” Bootes said. “As the patient interacts with the virtual health coach, workflow decisions are automatically made based on the patient’s engagement level. iCare Navigator measures responsiveness, mood, and receptiveness to learning, and determines optimal times for delivering patient education content. Patients can also use the system to make service requests or order meals using the TV


A patient learns about heart failure through TeleHealth’s iCare Navigator.

or tablet providing additional conveniences that foster greater patient satisfaction.” PDi concentrates its product and service ef- forts on the in-room television, which tends to be the secondary focal point within the patient room behind the primary one — the patient, according to Cat Saettel, Marketing Manager, PDi Communication Systems Inc. PDi’s “medTV” touchscreen sets include pil- low speaker controls for a digital interactive experience that are compatible with “many leading enterprise-based interactive patient software systems” and can include internet- enabled features if desired, Saettel added. “Patients often feel the only thing they have control over is their hospital room television!” Saettel said. “Delivering a high-quality TV experience that offers modern app-based technology and current TV programming is the simplest solution to satisfy patients, with minimal staff time investments. PDi integrates eight game apps and three relaxation apps out-of-the- box. Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of distraction with fun trivia? Also, research shows that soothing nature sounds help patients rest well and heal faster. With a simple touch or navigational clicks on the pillow speaker, the patient can switch from regular TV program- ming and fill their room with the sounds and images of rushing streams, relaxing waves, or soft rain to help ease anxieties, deter patients from dwelling on health news they may receive during the hospital stay, and drown out disruptions from other sounds in the hospital surroundings.”

A patient cues up video games on PDi’s medTV.

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