PHARMACY

EliteHealth launches senior-focused AI health companion

BY David Salazar

MIAMI — A recent sketch on “Saturday Night Live” envisioned a version of the Amazon Echo, called the Alexa Silver, which would serve as an artificial intelligence companion to seniors. South Florida’s EliteHealth is launching a new product that doesn’t make the fictional version seem far off.

The chain of medical wellness facilities focused on Baby Boomers and seniors has introduced Intelliwellness AVA, powered by Care Angel. AVA has been implemented as vital component of EliteHealth’s proprietary process of improving wellness in an effort to reduce hospital readmissions and enrich its patients’ lives. AVA can serve as a virtual nurse and health companion that can be operated through such voice-driven devices as smartphones or landlines.

“Artificial Intelligence is a crucial component to continuing the positive impact in wellness that we have seen in the health of the seniors we treat,” Elite Health CEO Dr. Steven Schnurs said. “We pride ourselves on offering the latest digital technologies to help our elderly patients. Artificial Intelligence allows the continuity of care to flow from the hospital, to the clinic and into the patients' homes, all with an equally high level of patient involvement. The SNL skit was very funny, but the truth is, AVA does exist and is showing spectacular early results as she acts as a medical companion for the elderly to improve health and reduce healthcare costs.”

EliteHealth members currently are using AVA as part of their 360-degree approach to reimagining the healthcare continuum. It can proactively engage patients with a short Care Call. It also can ask questions about a patient’s mental and physical wellbeing, collect vitals, remind patients to take their medication and deliver doctor instructions and health education. Over time, AVA will learn about the patient adapt their care plans automatically. It also can alert the patient’s care team when there’s a potential concern or immediate need, and is able to transfer the Care directly to EliteHealth’s Nurse Triage Line.

“By integrating our intelligent, engaging Virtual Nurse solution (ANGEL) into their Intelliwellness offering, [EliteHealth is] closing the gaps in care between visits,” Care Angel founder and CEO Wolf Shlagman said. “By harnessing AI and voice to scale effective interventions within patient populations, EliteHealth and other clients are seeing outstanding results. The solution is demonstrating lower financial and clinical risks and happier patients.”

EliteHealthCOO Dr. Perry Krichmar said, "Technological advancements are often not targeted for elderly patients because there is a false perception that technology is not useful for or relatable to seniors, as the SNL skit hilariously highlighted. The reality is that AVA Intelliwellness, medical companion has demonstrated positive results, and extends our customized healthcare for the elderly into our patients' homes and we couldn't be more excited.”

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PHARMACY

Synergy Medical adds high-volume automation option with SynMed Ultra

BY David Salazar
 
QUEBEC, Canada — Pharmacy automation company Synergy Medical has unveiled a new enhanced robot — the SynMed Ultra automation solution. The new robot uses SynMed’s medication pick-and-place technology and adapts it to a high-volume environment, giving it the capacity to fill three times more blister cards. 
 
“There are over 300 SynMeds installed in North America; many of them in central fill environments, many of whom need further capacity still,” Synergy Medical president and founder Jean Boutin said. “The Ultra was developed & tested over the last 3 years to address this clear market need. No other solution exists that can offer the precision, speed, and flexibility of the Ultra.”
 
Synergy Medical said that it first installed a SynMed Ultra in a Canadian central fill pharmacy in November 2015, with its first U.S. installation slated for September. The company said that the SynMed Ultra robot has a minimal footprint and can fill more than 100 multi-dose blister cards per hour with two operators. 
 
“I am very proud of our new machine,” Boutin said. “We are a small team of experienced individuals dedicated to being the industry standard in blister pack automation.”
 

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Genoa acquires Medication Management Systems

BY David Salazar

TUKWILA, Wash. — Behavioral health pharmacy and telepsychiatry company Genoa, a QoL Healthcare company, has acquired Medication Management Systems, enabling the introduction of its medication therapy management technology offering, Genoa Medication Management Solutions.

The technology acquired from Medication Management systems allows for improved treatment plans by making recommendations related to pharmaceutical care for patients with multiple conditions.

“The combination of our capabilities provides an end-to-end solution that strengthens and expands our comprehensive pharmacy offerings,” Genoa CEO John Figueroa said. “As a company, we are focused on providing interventions that continue to achieve more than 90% medication adherence rates. This acquisition enables us to do that for more people,” he said.

Medication Management Systems currently provides medication management services to more than 30,000 patients through health plans, and Medicare and Medicaid managed care organizations with more than 4 million members 300 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services contracts license its platforms.

“We already do a great job of improving the lives of those living with a mental illness,” Genoa chief commercial officer Mark Peterson said. “Many people with complex health conditions also have underlying mental health issues. This enables us to serve a broader population.”

MMS also is participating in a CMS innovations program to offer enhanced MTM services to Medicare beneficiaries. The company was founded in 2006 when it was spun out of the newly formed University of Minnesota Venture Center.

"We are very excited to become part of Genoa," MMS CEO and chairman David McLean said. "Genoa’s national footprint, deep industry relationships and expertise providing comprehensive pharmacy solutions to high-risk populations, combined with our patient-centered comprehensive medication management service and technology platform, position us for success far into the future."

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