Connect America: Revolutionizing Connected Homecare

Connect America: Revolutionizing Connected Homecare

Jim Reilly, Vice President at Connect America, Connect AmericaJim Reilly, Vice President at Connect America, Connect America
Connect America is the nation’s second largest provider of personal emergency response systems (PERS)—providing peace of mind, security and ongoing independence to seniors and discharged patients for over 35 years.

The business of healthcare has changed dramatically over the last 35 years, and Connect America has continued to grow and innovate in support of its broad national network of provider partners. Case in point—Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM).

Many consider PERS the “original RPM”, so it makes sense that Connect America would evolve its offerings to serve the growing needs of its provider partners to effectively and empathetically manage patients remotely—driving down hospital readmissions and improving patient satisfaction scores in the face of a growing shortage of nurses to care for an ever-aging population. RPM is becoming such a vital platform for home health providers and others in the healthcare continuum, as healthcare continues to aggressively shift toward a value-based care model that Connect America chose to brand its innovative RPM offering ConnectVitals.

It’s for ConnectVitals (CV) that Healthcare Tech Outlook is recognizing Connect America with its 2019 Top 10 Home Healthcare Solutions award.

Overseeing ConnectVitals is Jim Reilly, Vice President at Connect America and, importantly, a nurse by training.

“With my deep background in nursing, I have led the development and evolution of ConnectVitals to be highly practitioner and patient-friendly,” said Reilly. “I know firsthand the all consuming nature of a nurse’s daily routine, as well as how hard it is for many patients to embrace and make habitual in-home technology. ConnectVitals is specifically designed to be extremely user friendly from end-to-end, while seamlessly getting practitioners critical real-time patient vitals data and alerts that can consistently make the difference between an at-home, independent patient and one needing to be readmitted to the hospital—or potentially worse,” he added.

ConnectVitals begins with an in-home “hub”—which can be a Bluetooth-enabled PERS unit or more interactive educational tablet or even a non-hardware Interactive Voice Response option. In each case, required health vitals—like weight, blood pressure, etc.—are gathered through provided hardware peripherals and fed into ConnectVitals’ portal for analysis, reporting and, when appropriate, alerts. Importantly, ConnectVitals is built as a hardware agnostic system, allowing healthcare providers to integrate any hardware options into its platform—from Connect America or alternative options.

“Connect America has been a great partner in helping us embrace and reap the manifold benefits of remote patient monitoring,” Carol Parece, R.N. Regional Administrator at Overlook VNA

“When we began to develop ConnectVitals, many competitors were selling kitted systems that forced providers to take equipment their specific patients might not need, creating unnecessary friction for adoption at every level,” said Reilly. “At Connect America, we have chosen a different path—customizable solutions that are rented, not sold, and the practitioner only is charged monthly for what is in the field, not what is in their inventory. This is what being practitioner-and patient-centric is all about,” he added.

In addition, ConnectVitals also offers remote nurse triaging as an optional module that enables healthcare providers to reap the complete benefits of RPM without having to revamp their entire remote care platform. To top it off, the CV service team is second to none when it comes to providing quick support.

A client testimonial sums up Connect America’s prowess in offering best-in-class remote patient monitoring systems. Carol Parece, R.N. Regional Administrator at Overlook VNA says, “Connect America has been a great partner in helping us embrace and reap the manifold benefits of remote patient monitoring.” She adds, “Their service is top notch and our staff and patients have really benefited as we’ve increased our efficiency in allocating resources where they are needed most—leading to lower hospital readmissions, while helping us be perceived as a leader in our space. We doubled the number of patients we monitored with Connect America’s ConnectVitals offering in 2018 and look forward to further expanding this year.”

"ConnectVitals is designed to be as practitioner and patient-friendly as possible"

As a part of their overall connected health services, the Connect America team also educates home healthcare professionals. The training involves how to interface with patients regarding the deployment and proper use of medical devices, stay abreast of new trends and regulations in the HHC industry, and effectively respond to alerts and emergencies. The team also offers insights on the best RPM practices to improve patient outcomes.

Adding to its overall industry leadership, Connect America recently acquired Tunstall Americas, a renowned player in connected health services.

Connect America is excited by the future of ConnectVitals and its contributions to effective, caring, and efficient RPM. In the coming years, the company looks forward to delving into embedded 4G technology and harnessing innovations such as smartwatches, passive vital trackers, and intelligent assistants like Alexa and Siri to modernize and take healthcare to the next level. “Along with these modern technologies, we also strive to become better at predicting in terms of when people are going to be sick or need assistance and enable providers to deliver better outcomes,” concludes Reilly.