What to Know About MedaCheck and the Top Health Trend of the Year

Posted August 13, 2014

We’re now more than halfway into 2014, the year where telehealth was anticipated to grow by 50 percent.

For MedaCheck, the attention that telehealth and telemedicine have been receiving is validating, not to mention exciting.

Here are 2 factors you should know about the state of telehealth in the US right now:

1. Consumers are helping drive telehealth’s adoption.

At MedaCheck, we always knew we would be partnering with community-based providers, various care facilities, hospitals, as well as ACOs and PCMHs, in order to help seniors manage their medication on a daily basis.

We also decided to offer MedaCheck to individual consumers directly through our website, in part, because of the amount of requests we received from people. The majority of those reaching out to us were family caregivers. The reality is that these unpaid caregivers are increasing facing burnout.

People Taking Care of Aging Loved Ones Need Reliable Help

Informal caregivers need help when it comes to managing all the daily tasks that are extremely time-consuming. One of the most time-consuming tasks that can be improved?

Medication reminders and management.

“Burnout happens when the demand of what our job is, is outweighing the benefits we are getting,” explains Dr. Janet Taylor, a Community Psychiatrist and thought leader with AARP Life Reimagined. For caregivers, Dr. Taylor adds, that risk is extremely high.

It’s in our mission to ease this burden that we were hearing caregivers tell us about.

Telemedicine as a whole is moving forward due to individual consumers who recognize the technology to better manage and control our health is available, right now.

Better Preventative Measures While Improving Patient Monitoring

“Telemedicine services such as MedaCheck save countless hours for the paid or unpaid caregiver. Time for the caregiver, or any medical professional, including physicians and pharmacists, is what is scarce,” says Dr. Jeffrey Shepard, MedaCheck’s CEO.

“We prevent medication mix-ups and other adherence problems from even occurring, therefore saving family caregivers even more time and resources. In the process of being able to better manage the medication process once a senior is no longer ‘under the watch’ of a medical professional such as their primary care physician, we are giving back control to the patient,” explains Dr. Shepard.

“It’s been powerful to see a variety of centers and practices that are ready for this kind of platform in their lives, to help patients, or them and their loves ones, and we see that across the board in telehealth. People are ready.”

And that’s not to forget those who don’t have a family caregiver helping them with their health. Even these aging seniors are able to benefit from MedaCheck and other telemedicine support systems.

2. Telehealth is the piece that’s been missing in continuity of care.

A real-time medication or protocol reminder for people results in increased dignity, better outcomes and better satisfaction. It’s also true that effective telehealth implementation can bring greater peace of mind for caregivers, who can know the ongoing status of their loved ones (as is the case with MedaCheck). Telehealth also results in greater access to information for other stakeholders across the care continuum.

“We see that telemedicine efforts such as MedaCheck are raising the bar for continuity of care in the medical neighborhood. MedaCheck is giving feedback to the health care system, or to the medical professional, and that’s crucial,” says Dr. Shepard. MedaCheck also better connects the entire process as a patient travels through her own unique medical neighborhood, and as a result, helps ensure greater patient safety. “For medication management, this has huge implications,” says Dr. Shepard.

Telehealth: A Broad Term, With Clear Benefits

Telehealth is changing access to information, continuity of care, and how we empower patients. “For MedaCheck, it’s about improved outcomes,” says Dr. Shepard. “We’re looking forward to seeing how the year turns out [with telehealth and its impact on health care], and we’re looking to see the reduction in costs that will ultimately surface as even further validation of what’s to come.”

Dr. Janet Taylor is a Community Psychiatrist, a renowned consumer health expert, and a thought leader with AARP Life Reimagined, currently practicing in New York City, the Bronx and Queens. In her own words, “[B]eing on the frontline with individuals and their families battling the emotional and economic impact of Mental Illness is where I can make a difference.” Dr. Taylor is a frequently invited speaker on the subjects of Minority Health, Stress Management, Parenting and Work-Life Balance. She is a regular contributor to CBS’ “This Morning,” and NBC’s “The Today Show,” as well as “Good Morning America.”