Home-based digital health assessments developed in partnership with the University of New Brunswick and Fredericton-based VeroSource Solutions
St. Stephen, NB (July 14, 2021) – Kindred Home Care, New Brunswick’s largest provider of home care services to seniors and individuals with disabilities, is on a mission to harness tech-driven solutions and real-time data to help clients remain safely at home for as long as possible.
Through the introduction of its Wellness Check Initiative (WCI), jointly funded by the Government of New Brunswick and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Healthy Seniors’ Pilot Project, Kindred is piloting a digital health solution for home-based health care assessments that tracks clients’ cognitive/mental and physical health, including blood pressure and other key indicators. This initiative is a recent example of Kindred’s broader tech-driven approach to home care, to improve the health outcomes of its clients.
Completed by trusted caregivers in the comfort of home, the digital health assessments proactively flag any changes in health before they become larger issues, including falls or unexpected hospitalizations. The WCI is based on the PITCH digital health platform developed by Professor Erik Scheme’s research team at the University of New Brunswick in collaboration with VeroSource Solutions, whose proprietary digital health platform forms the foundation of the solution. As such, the WCI supports a proactive, outcome-based approach to seniors’ health care, providing critical, real-time data to clients, their families and health care providers.
“When you think of home care, you don’t typically associate leading-edge technology,” said Billy English, CEO of Kindred Home Care. “The success of this pilot has proven our caregivers and clients are up to the challenge of innovating, especially when it directly contributes to better health outcomes for the seniors we serve.”
Since the launch of the pilot project in November 2019, more than 185 Kindred caregivers across New Brunswick have been trained to assess and track the health care assessment data through a secure, custom app on their smartphones. As of May 2021, more than 110 clients received assessments within the month. Pilot feedback from caregivers, clients and client families has been overwhelmingly positive as the data gives them better insight into the evolving needs of each client, leading to more informed treatment measures such as medication adjustments or additional physical supports to improve mobility.
“I chose to participate in (WCI) because, if there was something that could improve my clients’ lives, I wanted to be a part of it!” said Lily Fletcher, a Fredericton-based Caregiver and Capacity Support Coordinator, who has participated in the pilot since its launch. “One of the most rewarding aspects was being able to monitor one client’s blood pressure, pulse and weight with pre-existing heart issues…the WCI gave the client peace of mind since they could check their blood pressure more frequently at home. My client was able to successfully lose weight and lower certain heart medications with the help of his health care team. The best feeling was being thanked by his nurses and doctors as they believed WCI was a great motivator in this client’s situation.”
“Collaborations like this initiative with Kindred, UNB and VeroSource demonstrate how impactful technology can be on an individual’s health outcomes,” said Mark McAllister, CEO, VeroSource Solutions. “It’s gratifying for our team to see how day-to-day analytics can make a huge difference in improving one’s health over the long term. We believe this proactive, outcome-based approach is the future of health care.”
“To date, the WCI pilot is reinforcing the critical importance of proactive engagement, continuous monitoring, and prevention,” said Dr. Erik Scheme, Project Lead and Director of the Health Technologies Lab at UNB. “By assessing and tracking even the smallest of changes, individuals and their care teams can make more informed, data-driven decisions, ensuring health issues are managed in an efficient and cost-effective manner. As the study continues, we’re looking forward to seeing the value this adds to regular in-person interactions and to the healthcare system.”
The WCI pilot will continue until fall 2021, when program results will be further compiled and shared by the research team. Building on this project’s progress and key learnings, Kindred is continuing to explore additional proactive, tech-driven solutions to the benefit of clients and their care teams.
About Kindred Home Care
Kindred Home Care is New Brunswick’s largest private provider of home care services, helping seniors and adults with disabilities remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. It provides support to individuals and families in the areas of personal care, activities of daily living and home management. Kindred Home Care is committed to helping its clients remain safely at home through providing technology-driven solutions to outcome-based care. Visit kindredhomecare.com.
About VeroSource Solutions
VeroSource Solutions Inc. is a digital health company established in 2014 to empower people and unlock the potential in Canadian healthcare. Its team of professionals has extensive experience in the full lifecycle of healthcare IT solutions and offers healthcare providers the technology and support needed to go digital. VeroSource’s cloud-first multi-channel software securely connects people, data and systems to drive digital healthcare transformation. Founded in Fredericton, NB, VeroSource has grown to include team members across Ontario and the Atlantic Canadian provinces. Learn more at verosource.com.
The WCI is a pilot deployment of the PITCH digital health platform developed at the University of New Brunswick by a multidisciplinary team of researchers led by Dr. Erik Scheme. Encompassing research in digital health, healthy aging, data analytics, and cybersecurity, PITCH aims to promote and facilitate value-added client engagement as part of a regular and proactive health monitoring solution. Learn more or get involved at www.ece.unb.ca/escheme.