Lisa Crossley, CEO
The company was born from our own team’s experience with aging parents and grandparents. The technology itself was inspired to some extent by a BBC sci-fi show where robots care for elderly humans in their homes,” recalls Lisa Crossley, CEO of Reliq Health Technologies, while talking about their remote patient monitoring (RPM) platform, iUGO Care. Although the possibility of a comprehensive robotic assistance is farfetched, Reliq provides a voice-based, non-intrusive technology to patients, which is a significant step in providing human-independent assistance. The biggest challenge faced by the RPM industry is the low adoption rate by target patient population and the inherent bias in patient-reported data, such as weight and blood sugar. There is also an undeniable possibility of elderly patients forgetting to enter their vital data. With a mission to take patients out of the RPM equation, Reliq’s iUGO Care is built to streamline care coordination and home health care. It integrates wearables, sensors, voice technology, intuitive mobile apps, and desktop user interfaces to send alerts to patients, families, clinicians and healthcare administrators. “Using a combination of sensors, iBeacons, biometric monitoring devices, and other IoT tools, iUGO Care monitors and guides home-residing patients through their care journey,” says Lisa.
Using Common Technology for Effective Nursing
iUGO Care uses voice as a primary user interface, enabling the platform to leverage Amazon Alexa’s voice technology platform in combination with smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and near-field Bluetooth iBeacons. Apart from Alexa, iUGO Care can integrate with Google and Apple’s voice technology platforms. Depending on the patient’s clinical condition, Reliq provides relevant monitoring devices, such as a glucose meter for Diabetes and spirometer for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
iUGO Care provides contextual reminders, alerting patients to conduct regular tests using the health monitoring devices or take medications. These alerts are followed up with voice-based support to guide the patient to the location of the medication and drug information. In case patients miss their medication or do not respond to reminders, the patient’s relatives and clinicalcare team are alerted. They also receive alerts if the vitals, which are recorded in real time and stored in the cloud, cross the prescribed threshold. Furthermore, in case of a medical emergency, iUGO Care can contact emergency services. While working with patients with reduced mental acuity, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, a GPS-enabled wristband provided to the patient, sends the location of the patient to their family if the former wanders out of premises.
Using a combination of sensors, iBeacons, biometric monitoring devices, and other IoT tools, iUGO Care monitors and guides home-residing patients through their care journey
Also, the patients are given audio reminders on the wristband to return home, along with directions to reach the residence.
Reliq helps supply hardware to home care agencies, primary care physicians, and assisted living facilities among others, in case the clinical care provider is unable to provide the same. Being hardware-agnostic, any hardware can be connected to the iUGO Care platform. Also, the ability to connect clinical care providers to the EHR enables Reliq to download relevant data on patients and provide a summary of devices needed for chip embedding to the clinical care team. The installation is very simple and can be completed in 10 minutes. In conditions where there is a staff shortage, Reliq’s implementation partners can go on-site for installation and also train the patients of the usage of the apps and all the included hardware. The initialization and deployment of the service usually takes not more than a few weeks before handing to the patient.
Equal Healthcare Service to All
Built from the ground-up, targeting frontline care providers and patients from economically disadvantaged communities, Reliq’s platform has a proven track record of being intuitive and user-friendly. For patients in remote areas with little or no conventional infrastructure for Internet access, monitoring devices with inbuilt SIM cards are used, enabling them to leverage cellular networks. With least downtime, the platform proves to be advantageous for all the stakeholders. The voice interface is available in 133 languages, providing flexibility and not limiting the languages available to the user.
The deployment of iUGO Care at Texas-based Paz Home Health demonstrates Reliq’s value proposition. The use of the platform enabled Paz to monitor and triage their patients, enabling them to provide early intervention, preventing complications that could potentially lead to an emergency room visit or hospitalization. Working in McAllen area, which has a lot of patients along the Texas-Mexico border, Reliq was able to provide the platform in Spanish where needed as well.
Of the 37 million Medicare and Medicaid patients in the U.S. who have two or more chronic diseases, Reliq aims to provide equal access to healthcare for those living in remote communities, and the First Nation reserves. Being active in Texas, the company plans for expansion throughout the U.S. and Canada in the years to come. Besides, “We are always on the lookout for global opportunities in Australia, Middle East, Asia, and Europe,” concludes Lisa.