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HEALTHCARE IN 2013

New products enabled by our high-speed networks are changing healthcare and getting people the help they need.

Healthcare in 2013

By partnering with private and public health-related organizations throughout the nation, Verizon is leveraging technology to build healthier communities.

Our focus:

  • Deploy technology so patients can more easily access care, particularly those in underserved areas or whose socio-economic condition or age makes getting care difficult;
  • Create patient-centered care models that pair technology with targeted disease education programs and deliver health education to those who need it the most; and
  • Enable better outcomes for chronic disease.

Social issues we’re addressing:

  • Healthcare costs in the U.S., are $2.8 trillion annually and 75% of those costs are due to chronic disease.
  • Chronic conditions affect almost half of all Americans and account for seven out of every 10 U.S., deaths.
  • Populations with low socioeconomic levels are three times more likely to be affected by a chronic illness.

Connecting Kids to Quality Care

By equipping Children’s Health Fund buses in several key cities with 4G LTE wireless technology andenabling health IT solutions, Verizon is making it possible for the group’s medical staff to provide more immediate care to patients.

Administrative tasks that typically takes hours or days can be accomplished immediately using this technology, which can have significant benefits. 

For instance, the medical staff in these locations now has real-time connections to immunization records that are required by schools but often hard for parents to produce, especially if they are living in a shelter. The technology also supports telehealth services like access to specialty physicians as well as texting programs that focus on education and disease management.

This initiative is under way in Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Phoenix, Detroit, and Dallas. Children’s Health Fund estimates that efficiencies created by the program will save nearly 4,000 hours of administrative work each year at these locations combined, freeing up significantly more time to spend with patients.

* Projections submitted by Children’s Health Fund (October 18, 2013)

Reaching More People Who Need Help

“We had recently lost touch with a patient who had moved out of the shelter system. We didn’t have a forwarding address for him, and his phone wouldn’t record messages. I’m so glad that he had enrolled in our health outreach texting program. What was really cool was that he got a text from us. And, then he called for his lab results. It works!” Susan Spalding, M.D.

The group provides disadvantaged children with preventive care as well as diagnosis and management of chronic diseases such as asthma and obesity.  Families also have access to oral and mental health services.  And in 2013, Verizon’s cutting-edge technology helped Quinones and her colleagues reach more people like Shyla by upgrading the group’s electronic health records system.

“It has been invaluable to have this level of connectivity, to be able to see a patient’s full record,” said Quinones. “Sometimes we encounter patients for the first time, but they’re actually not new to the system. 

“Now we don’t have to build a record from scratch. The effort involved in piecing one together is time-consuming, costly, and requires a lot of phone calls back and forth to the main office.”

For all the patients and providers in the program, the technology makes it all seamless. “Whether we see a child in the mobile clinic, or at the clinic in the shelter, the records can, move along, be available and be updated more quickly, and much more efficiently,” said Quinones.

New Discoveries in Women’s Health

Domestic violence is a pervasive social problem and, research now shows, has disturbing implications for women’s health.

A survey commissioned by Verizon this year in conjunction with MORE magazine found that 70% of adult American women over the age of 21 have a chronic health condition. That number rises to 81% among women who have experienced any form of domestic violence.

This is especially serious given that 44% of the approximately 1,000 women who took part in the research said they experienced a form of domestic violence, including physical, emotional, sexual or economic abuse.

Despite the high correlation between chronic health conditions and experiencing domestic violence, only 6% of women surveyed believe their doctor or nurse has ever made a connection between the two. Three-fourths of women say they have never been asked about domestic violence during a medical exam.  Among women aged 45 and older, 85% have never been screened, though they are no less likely than their younger counterparts (aged 21 – 34) to experience domestic violence.

At Verizon, we’re applying our resources to address this pressing issue immediately while also identifying solutions for the future.

  • In November 2012 we held a briefing on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues to announce the implications of the research and address solutions.
  • An outreach effort we’re funding via the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey is arming doctors and nurses with strong domestic violence screening practices
  • We’ve partnered with a nationwide team of experts from a range of disiplines to identify how technology can boost domestic violence intervention and improve chronic health conditions.

Stopping Domestic Violence

Since 2000, Verizon has provided more than $65 million in grants to domestic violence prevention organizations and shelters.  We invest in groups that provide domestic violence prevention education, care for victims, and resources that empower victims.

We have also supported initiatives that encourage adult men to serve as role models to young men as well as programs that teach teens about healthy relationships and preventing dating violence.

We also leverage our wireless operations in this effort via HopeLine, a program that turns no-longer used cell phones into critical lifelines of support for domestic violence victims and survivors.  Since 2001, we have distributed more than 180,000 HopeLine phones with the equivalent of nearly 543 million minutes of wireless service for use by victims, survivors and organizations.

Empowering Women to Manage Their Care

Women are frequently diagnosed with chronic diseases later than men and experience higher fatality rates, due in part to a lack of access to regular care. 

That’s why we support partnerships that highlight the role technology can play in increasing access to care and aiding in chronic disease management for underserved women.

We are working in partnership with academic health centers at Johns Hopkins and Emory Universities, to address both of these challenges. 

Clinicians and patients are working together remotely via mobile technology with the goal of increasing adherence to care plans and self-management of chronic conditions.

Extending Independent Living for Seniors

We’re launching a new program in 2014 that will use remote monitoring devices and telemedicine solutions to help underserved seniors with diabetes, or heart and lung disease to age in place longer. 

One of the first to partner with us on this health technology program is the South Boston Community Health Center in Massachusetts.

Using tablets, cellphones, and medical devices wirelessly connected to a cellular pod, seniors will be able to perform a number of health monitoring functions themselves—at home—that now require frequent travel to the center.  The data from these activities will be transmitted automatically to the center’s healthcare professionals, who will also use videoconferencing to provide even further engagement with the patients.

The program will begin with 60 seniors at the South Boston Center who are suffering with diabetes or heart and lung disease. 

Once implemented, those seniors with diabetes will no longer need to visit the center to have their glucose level checked. They’ll use a glucometer and adapter at home.  Obese patients will not need to visit the center to weigh in; they’ll have an auditory scale at home.  Patients with respiratory disorders will be able to test their respiratory function with a pulse oximeter.  Patients do not even need to push a button to transmit the data.

The technology will make it easier for seniors who have had to get a ride to their appointments, or take public transportation, to obtain medical care. The technology does not eliminate the need for checkups, but it means fewer appointments are needed.

From Child’s Play to Game Changer

We are funding the expansion of a first-of-its-kind treatment-monitoring system that uses our mobile technology to improve care for tuberculosis patients.

The system is called Video Directly Observed Therapy, or VDOT, and is the brainchild of Dr. Richard Garfein and his team at the Department of Medicine at the University of California-San Diego.

VDOT uses our cloud service and smartphones to enable TB patients to video themselves taking their daily medications and send the videos to health departments where staff can remotely monitor and document each dose of medication.

We believe powering VDOT with our mobile technology will improve the likelihood that patients will regularly take their medications—a critical component of successful treatment. The system also provides a degree of monitoring that is much less intrusive than an in-home visit. 

The system stands to be far more cost effective than traditional, in-person monitoring procedures. Analysis by UC San Diego researcher Dr. Jose Burgos showed the program can save health departments $2,800 per patient—a 66% reduction in costs.

The San Diego County TB Control Program is already using VDOT, and health departments in San Francisco and New York City will soon begin using the new system.

Garfein’s pioneering work was honored recently by Connected World Magazine.

Global Healthcare Programs
Partners, Strategic
Programs
Scope

University of Virginia/
Swinfen Charitable Trust

  • Medical personnel around the word are connected via a Verizon cloud-enabled telemedicine network.

Children’s National Medical Center—Washington, DC  /University of Minas Gerais—Brazil

  • Doctors at Children’s National Medical Center use Open Video technology to train community health workers and cardiologists in Brazil to perform and interpret echocardiograms and screen children for rheumatic heart disease.
  • File transfers, storage and databases are hosted in the Verizon cloud.
Employee-driven Local Programs (Select) Scope

Australian Red Cross,
“Healthy baby, healthy community” Project

  • Employees from Verizon affiliates in several locations in Australia will assist community health workers to educate 2,500 women, young mothers, parents and families on ways to significantly reduce anemia among children.
Path Finders Group,
“Healthy birth, healthy baby” Project, Hong Kong
  • Verizon employees are assembling “Welcome Baby packs” at the medical facility in Hong Kong that will provide women migrating from the Philippines with pre- and postnatal care education.
Lord and Lady Swinfen - Managers of the Swinfen Trust

Lord and Lady Swinfen - Managers of the Swinfen Trust

Our partnership with the University of Virginia Telemedicine program has expanded to include the U.K.-based Swinfen Charitable Trust. Swinfen operates a global telemedicine network that uses Verizon’s cloud technology to connect approximately 500 specialist physicians from leading healthcare centers with doctors and nurses practicing in nearly 65 emerging countries where resources are vastly limited.

 

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