Trending: COVID-19 accelerates healthcare tech

Artificial Intelligence

Chronic disease patients benefit from telehealth pilot

With COVID-19 closing physicians’ offices and preventing patients from in-person appointments, healthcare organizations have substantially increased use of telehealth. One group of patients that has benefited from the COVID-19-driven rush to telehealth are those with chronic diseases, particularly underserved populations. In June, Howard University College of Medicine’s 1867 Project and the AARP announced they were teaming up on two pilot projects to improve diabetes management and medication adherence. The first is a voice technology that uses facial recognition to remind patients to take their medication. The second project will launch an online health community that connects patients to others with similar health challenges. Additional pilot projects are planned to address health conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

AI helps payers tackle deferred care

With the ongoing backlog of regular patient appointments with physicians due to the pandemic, artificial intelligence can help payers navigate the wave of deferred care, according to experts quoted recently by Fierce Healthcare. Coult Cartwright, chief data and analytics officer at Premera Blue Cross, says the organization is using AI “to try to protect future cost bubbles.” Another executive, Rajeev Ronanki, senior vice president and chief digital officer for Anthem, says, “If we can predict, forecast and personalize care virtually, then why not do that.”

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Ohio developed Anthem Skill, which helps members improve medication adherence through Alexa-enabled devices. Executives say the virtual assistant can help patients maintain their treatment plan by assisting them with prescription refills, renewals, and helping them check their orders.

Pandemic drives telepharmacy expansion

Telepharmacy has grown dramatically since the pandemic. US Pharmacist reported that since mid-March many states have issued waivers or otherwise amended regulations to permit the use of remote processing or telepharmacy to perform a wide range of pharmacy operations. For example, Ohio is enabling pharmacies to remotely handle medication orders and prescriptions; and Tennessee permits processing of prescriptions at alternative locations, including homes. The exception in all of these waivers is dispensing, which must be done on site.

To avoid hospital readmissions, and prevent patients from being infected with COVID-19, some hospitals are looking at remote “Meds to Beds” programs that will coordinate care and deliver medicines to elderly patients after discharge. According to Andy Stunk writing in Medium, the program he is beta testing “increases the capacity of existing hospital-run outpatient pharmacy Meds-to-Beds programs with automation, software, and managed services. It adds scale by delivering more services to patients without additional pharmacy FTE expense.”

About AllazoHealth

AllazoHealth uses artificial intelligence to make a positive impact on individual patient gaps in care and adherence. We optimize medication adherence and quality outcomes for pharmaceutical companies, payers, and pharmacies. Our AI engine targets individual patients with the right intervention and the right content at the right time.

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