The Southern California-based company Heal, a developer of a connected care platform for house calls, has introduced Heal Telemedicine, which provides connected care between patients with chronic conditions and their doctors. Last October, Heal announced the support of Health Records for its app on iPhone, which brings together hospitals, clinics and the existing Apple Health app to make it easy for patients to see their available medical data from multiple providers whenever they choose.
Using the Heal Hub, initially introduced as Heal Wellbe, doctors can conduct voice or video calls with their patients with complete health history, home environment, and real-time vitals.
With social determinants of health gaining more attention, telemedicine aims to get physicians back in the homes of their patients in order to pick up on unique details on the patient's home environment and their social determinants of health.
According to a recent Harvard study, the home environment was labeled the best indicator for measuring social determinants of health. This includes actual medication bottles, fall risks, allergens and food insecurities, which can only be assessed by doctors in the patient’s home environment. The study concluded these factors determine up to 80% of health outcomes. With today’s launch, Heal will offer telemedicine to enhance continuity of the unique in-home patient-doctor relationship: The doctor who talks with you by phone or video is the same doctor who has been to your house and knows your personal social determinants of health. This kind of telemedicine extends the human touch for unprecedented accuracy, quality and timeliness of care.
In addition, Heal doctors have unique access to prior health records through its integration with the Apple Health Kit, combined with the ability to gather vital signs in real-time with the Heal Hub, including blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, and other factors that are the best indicators of a patient’s health status. By combining in-home context with prior health records and real time vitals, Heal telemedicine enables always-on delivery of precise, personal and data-driven care.
“Typical telemedicine is plagued by low uptake, underdiagnoses and overprescription,” said Nick Desai, chief executive officer and co-founder at Heal. “There’s a huge difference between an awkward encounter with a random provider and talking to your own doctor, with whom you have a relationship and understands the context of your real-time health data. The latter is what we’re providing today.”
To date, Heal, which serves Orange County and much of California, has delivered 110,000 house calls across the U.S. in less than four years, driving more than $68 million in healthcare cost savings and reducing unnecessary trips to the emergency room and urgent care by 71%. Heal’s house call service is now enhanced with the addition of Heal Telemedicine, which is only available to repeat users. Combined with the Heal Hub, which allows near real-time, 24/7 integration of diagnostic health data with real, live doctors, provides data-driven, point-of-care decision support for doctors and more personalized medicine for patients.
“Heal continues to strengthen the patient/doctor relationship, proving that great technology can be used to bring them closer together and not further apart,” said Renee Dua, MD, co-founder and chief medical officer at Heal. “The combination of house calls with Heal Telemedicine and Heal Hub is the ultimate care solution for patients with chronic conditions, especially elderly patients, who should always feel connected to their doctors. This furthers our mission to make care more proactive so patients spend more time being well and less time getting well.”