Healthcare Summit at Jackson Hole: Q&A with Andrew Flanagan of Telcare
Telcare is a unique device and mobile health platform company that specializes in diabetes, correct?
Telcare pioneered development of the first FDA-cleared cellular glucometer. This device remains at the center of a much broader solution set focused on improving the lives of people living with diabetes. Telcare’s glucometer serves as both a trusted data source and a convenient channel for engaging patients and promoting good self-care. Pairing this near real-time data source with robust analytic capabilities allows us to transform raw patient data into powerful and timely insights that reflect individual provider practice preferences for notification and delivery channel.
With a disease as prevalent and costly as diabetes, how can your mobile health platform influence the effects of diabetes across a population?
Improving the lives of people living with diabetes starts with the individual. Achieving better outcomes requires better self-care. We all know how tough behavioral change can be- even when we’re ready for it. So supporting patients in these efforts requires a personalize approach that reflects both their unique needs and the preferred practice patterns of their providers. This understanding informs every aspect of our solution design.
Telcare’s emphasis on personalization is balanced by our incorporation of industry best practices. There is a wealth of research regarding diabetes and how to promote effective management. Our solutions reflect this knowledge base and contribute to it by using our rich data repository to glean population-level insight regarding effective care practices. We also support our customers’ efforts to more effectively manage at the population level by providing robust and configurable analytics that make population-level insights readily accessible.
Does the value of a platform like Telcare's accrue most to the insurer, the patient or the provider?
The beauty of Telcare’s solutions is that all key stakeholders - people living with diabetes, their providers and health plans - benefit in meaningful and measurable ways. Patients get valuable information and education that help them better understand their blood glucose numbers and ultimately empower them to improve self-care. And timely feedback from providers both encourages treatment plan compliance and helps to moderate the extreme highs and lows in blood glucose levels that patients often struggle to effectively manage.
Providers in turn get near real-time access to a meaningful, trusted data source that gives them a window into the patient’s health beyond the office visit. And our cellular-enabled glucometer promotes office efficiencies as well. There is no longer a need for the time-consuming and tedious task of downloading patient diaries as part of the office visit routine. Providers can easily access patient diaries prior to office visits, allowing them to focus in-person interactions on engaging patients and identifying opportunities for proactive care.
Health plans also realize tangible benefits from implementing Telcare solutions in partnership with their network of providers. The primary goal of effective diabetes management programs is to help patients maintain control over their disease. By deploying Telcare and facilitating ongoing patient-provider collaboration in treatment, health plans help patients and their doctors prevent the extreme highs and lows in blood glucose levels that often lead to poor clinical outcomes and more costly inpatient services.
You're collecting unique data with your platform. How do you think this new data being added to the healthcare ecosystem will change the way the healthcare system operates?
Telcare makes it possible to collect and quickly distribute critical data to the right person so that timely clinical interventions are possible. And our glucometer, which also serves as a communication channel with the patient, makes it easy to do so. The steady stream of patient data Telcare supplies, in combination with rich analytics, provides a more comprehensive view of patient’s health status as well. With these insights, providers and patients can move beyond reactive care to a proactive approach that promotes good self-care.
This data and the derived insights liberate physicians and patients from the constraints associated with conventional care delivery. Under this new paradigm, the office visit remains important, but is no longer the only source of reliable patient data. And engagement of the patient can happen anytime and anywhere. Effective management of diabetes is inextricably linked to an individual’s daily choices. By facilitating an informed and ongoing conversation between patients and providers, Telcare is able to address many of the critical limitations associated with today’s largely retrospective approach to diabetes management.