Chamber Honors SimplyHome with 2014 Sky High Growth Award

SimplyHome is honored to be a recipient of this year’s Sky High Growth Award. Asheville, North Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce awards the Sky High Growth Awards to the fastest growing small businesses for the year. The award is based on outstanding achievements in areas such as sales growth and employment. This is the third Sky High Growth Award for SimplyHome! Click here to see the full list of all 28 businesses honored. IMG_0678

DHHS Secretary Urges Technology, Innovations, Teamwork to Meet N.C.’s Behavioral Health Needs

SimplyHome was honored to be a part of this tech summit. Our very own Allen Ray, SimplyHome CEO is featured in this photo. We look forward to providing technology to improve services provided in NC. image

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos on Wednesday encouraged more than 150 behavioral health advocates and specialists attending an Innovative Technologies Summit, to use technology, innovative thinking and teamwork to meet the care needs of North Carolina’s citizens with mental illnesses, intellectual and developmental disabilities and substance abuse disorders.

Technological advances in behavioral healthcare were highlighted and demonstrated at the one-day conference at the Raleigh Convention Center. The conference was organized by the State Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services and the Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse. In a welcome to conferees, Wos emphasized Gov. McCrory’s passion for innovations and technology and concern for our citizens who have behavioral healthcare needs.

“Today we bring together this passion for innovation with our vision of improved services in our state for citizens with mental illness, substance abuse disorders and developmental disabilities,” Wos said. “We are looking for better ways to do business, better ways to provide services, and better ways for our citizens to access the services they need.”

Wos directs the many divisions of DHHS to work together to bring more technology to bear in the delivery of health and human services.

The conference attracted top speakers who discussed how North Carolina can take advantage of technology to provide care for citizens in need of services and supports for mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Presentations on innovative technologies included smartphone applications with GPS and interactive messaging, avatars that can offer brief intervention strategies, and smart home technology with adaptive equipment built in and geared toward an individual’s needs. This technology is used to empower and support individuals to live healthy and independent lives in the community. North Carolina strives to remain a leader in progressive technologies as a means to support prevention, treatment, recovery, and habilitative care.

Several themes were in play during presentations and discussions, including:

  • Reducing the barriers to the utilization of innovative technologies by offering a more flexible funding system at the state level;
  • Use of technologies as an adjunct to care, rather in place of care; and
  • Coordinating technological systems across healthcare agencies as a means to enhance care for the individuals served.

Wos praised the passion for innovation demonstrated by some of the speakers who are top leaders in their fields, including H. Westley Clark, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment within the U.S. DHHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He leads the agency’s national effort to provide effective and accessible treatment to all Americans with addictive disorders. He discussed the role of electronic health records as a tool for improving care.

Clark praised North Carolina for dedicating $4 million for telepsychiatry to meet the needs of individuals where few psychiatrists practice, particularly in rural areas. DHHS’ Office of Rural Health and Community Care is responsible for administering this appropriation made by the General Assembly.

Another speaker, Melissa Pinto, assistant professor at Emory University, participated in a team that piloted a three-dimensional, avatar-based program that immerses young adults into a virtual primary care environment. Through the program young adults interact with virtual health care providers and health coaches to practice effective communication about depression symptoms. The technology generates tailored feedback to the participant’s responses.

Rodney Bell, representing the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado, and is an independent consultant in technology management, discussed his software company’s mission to advance the effective use of emerging technology in service of social needs, particularly to promote the quality of life and independent living of people with cognitive disabilities.

Wos encouraged all stakeholders to consider using more technology as a means to enhance outcomes for individuals served. She also noted that these measures offer more opportunities for self-direction and autonomous living in the community.

She praised the speakers and urged providers and innovators alike to help North Carolina find the most economical and effective ways to meet the needs of its citizens.

“Your efforts will allow people to live more independently,” she said. “I believe that if we work together, we can develop system supports that promote independence and self-sufficiency using technology,” she said.

SimplyHome Tech Tip – Your Personal Website/Data and Trends

Jason Ray, SimplyHome VP of Product Development, talks about the personal website offered to all of our SimplyHome System customers. He explains what data to look for and how to run reports to view trends in the data.

Please feel free to call us with any questions.
(877) 684-3581SimplyHome Tech Tip

SimplyHome Tech Tip – Bed Pads

Jason Ray, SimplyHome VP of Product Development, talks about the installation and troubleshooting of a bed pad. He explains who can benefit from a bed pad. Please feel free to call us with any questions about these sensors.
(877) 684-3581SimplyHome Tech Tip

Paralyzed and Living Alone – Watch Jonathon’s Story

Check out this amazing video of Jonathon and see how he is moving in a positive direction after his accident. We want to give The Charles Lea Center in Spartanburg, SC a big thank you for putting this video together and for sharing it with us. We are so proud to be a small part of Jonathon’s independence.

Jonathon is a strong-willed person who longs for his independence. Paralyzed not long after graduating from high school, Jonathon promised the doctors and nurses he would accomplish two goals: He would walk again one day, and he would have his own apartment and live on his own. With the help of SimplyHome technology and the Charles Lea Center, Jonathon is able to stay alone at nights and on weekends in his own apartment. SimplyHome worked to install technology into Jonathon’s apartment that allows him to open and close his front door, control his thermostat, lights, fans, and television through an app installed on an iPad.

All Things Telehealth

We continue to expand our products and services. Because Telehealth is still new and we get so many inquiries about the technology, we thought sharing this tutorial would be beneficial. Please take a minute to listen to our interview with Gabrielle Corey, a SimplyHome Customer Service Representative. She has taken the lead on implementing the technology and training staff and partners on how to use the equipment. She recently spearheaded a pilot program for the Telehealth Suite and has some great data that you will hear her share.

What you can expect in this tutorial:

  • nuts and bolts of the new Telehealth Suite
  • benefits vs limitations of the equipment
  • pricing
  • pilot program overview and data analysis

Play Video

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SimplyHome Now Offers FDA Approved Wireless Telehealth Devices

SimplyHome leads the industry with FDA approved telehealth devices (used to monitor blood pressure, pulse, blood oxygen levels, glucose and weight) that guarantee patient data is securely transmitted to ensure proper treatment.

Asheville, N.C.

SimplyHome is now introducing an FDA approved telehealth product suite in preparation for an FDA rule that will be finalized this October. The rule states that IT companies will be required to register health care hardware and software that transfers, stores, converts or displays health care data.

Some devices that have not been FDA approved, but are being used to transfer patient FDAdata, present a potential risk to patients if they do not work as intended. For example, if the wrong reading is transferred to a website for a doctor to view, the doctor could potentially prescribe the wrong medication or dosage to the patient. There are several telehealth options available right now on the market but not all of them are FDA approved.

“The FDA approval represents a level of scrutiny so a customer can be confident that they are using a product of the highest quality possible,” says Jason Ray, SimplyHome VP of Business Development.

SimplyHome uses the term “telehealth” when referring to tools they offer used to remotely monitor blood pressure, pulse, blood oxygen levels, glucose and weight. Each reading is taken and then wirelessly transmitted using bluetooth to a base station that collects the data and then sends each reading to a confidential and personalized website.  Then, after customizing an individual’s profile, family, medical personnel, and caregivers can receive instant notifications if health parameters are in a range of concern.

The benefits of telehealth technology are:

  • Promote preventative care
  • Support overall wellness
  • Cut down on hospital readmissions

Each device used to test blood pressure, pulse, blood oxygen levels, glucose and weight must be individually approved by the FDA. Not only that, but all of those readings need to be transported to a central device so those readings can be logged to view trending activity, pin-point potential problems and set up alert rules and that device must be FDA approved as well. Some companies have built their own portal or base station to collect this data, but have not gone through the FDA approval process yet.MA105_angle-OEM device collage_v6_flat

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal governmental agency charged with protecting the health and welfare of the American public through the regulation of food, drugs and medical devices. When a product is FDA approved, it means that EVERY aspect or component of the device, including any claim found on the device, has been scientifically proven to be valid, safe and effective. It also includes a thorough FDA inspection of the laboratory and facilities, in addition to intense review of the validity of the computer system’s hardware and software. It is against the law for any product or service to claim it is FDA approved when it is not.

When equipment or software is intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of a disease or other condition, the FDA considers the equipment or software to be a medical device. The FDA also regulates the software used in telehealth systems.

“We feel a responsibility as a company to make sure we are providing solutions that meet FDA requirements so customers can rest assure that their purchases will meet regulatory requirement long before they are being enforced, ” says Jason Ray, SimplyHome VP of Business Development.

Click here for more of SimplyHome in the NEWS.

Elder Abuse Awareness Month

“With Gov. Pat McCrory’s declaration of June as Elder Abuse Awareness Month in North Carolina and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, it is important to raise awareness within the local community in order to make an impact not only in the state but also the nation.

“While people may recognize signs of physical abuse, it is often mental and financial abuse that occurs and goes undetected,” says Amy Natt, a certified geriatric care manager and owner of Aging Outreach Services, a full-service elder care firm with offices in Southern Pines and Cary.

The latest U. S. Census statistics show approximately 14 million U.S. adults age 65 and older and 19 million U.S adults aged 18 to 64 have a disability, which increases their susceptibility to abuse. Elder abuse and neglect occurs when a family member, caregiver or individual trusted by the elder, intentionally creates risk or does harm to that elder.

With the more than 10,000 baby  boomers turning age 65 everyday, this group is the largest growing segment of the population making the need to combat elder abuse and raise awareness even greater. By 2050, U.S. Census data predicts there will be more than 19 million age 85 or older.

With a growing population of elders, it is often impossible to have exact numbers of elder abuse reports because many go unreported; however, the latest studies have revealed that females elders are more likely to be abused than their male counterparts and that the older the elders are, the more likely they are to be abused. Research has also shown that those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are at a greater risk of being abused. Older adults may not report the abuse because of fear of retaliation or because they are embarrassed, or because they lack the physical or cognitive abilities to do so.

The impact of elder abuse impacts not only the elder with additional medical costs or personal financial losses but also increased expenditures by county, state and federal entitlement programs.

“An alarming number of scams now target older adults with false claims and promises, hoping to tap their financial resources,” says Natt. “Sadly, we have seen many cases of abuse that occur within a family. A lack of resources, caregiver stress and fractured relationships can contribute to this as well as a history of past abuse.”

With raised awareness through education and initiatives like Elder Abuse Awareness Month, elders can be safer in their communities. “Abuse occurs in many forms, and as a society, we need to have an awareness and become advocates for our elder population,” says Natt. “After all, we are all aging and someday, it may be you who needs a voice.”" For more information visit Aging Outreach Services

Aeris Communications and SimplyHome Partner to Improve Quality of Life and Independence for the Elderly and Disabled Living at Home

Santa Clara, CA (PRWEB) May 08, 2013

Aeris® Communications, the only cellular carrier built exclusively for machines, today announced it has partnered with SimplyHome, a leader in the assistive technology industry, to launch the most innovative home care solution for independent living – specifically tailored to serve aging and disabled populations nationwide.

The new assistive living solution utilizes the latest advances in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications to eliminate the need for just-in-case staff time. This saves state programs, such as Medicaid, millions of dollars, while giving families peace of mind and providing the elderly and disabled the medical support needed without sacrificing quality of life or independence.

By communicating with multiple sensors to observe activities of daily living, SimplyHome can proactively alert caregivers and loved ones of changes in behavioral patterns. Text, email, or phone alerts can then be generated by a single event, a combination of events, or by inactivity. SimplyHome can also monitor wellness priorities ranging from blood pressure and glucose levels, to weight and medication management.

“The single biggest driver of elevated costs in assisted living care is just-in-case staff time. As the Baby Boomers age, healthcare costs will likely rise. As a result, Medicaid is under increased pressure to find more cost-effective solutions to better control these costs without compromising care,” said Allen Ray, CEO of SimplyHome. “We partnered with Aeris because of its flexible pricing structure, comprehensive network coverage, as well as its overall ability to support mission-critical applications.”

Read More of this Article on how Aeris Communications and SimplyHome’s Partnership will Improve Quality of Life and Independence for the Elderly and Disabled Living at Home

GPS Tracking Devices: What to Consider When Researching Trackers

_DSC0971Jake is a cheerful and curious child who enjoys exploring his environment.  His mother, Dreama, called us with concerns because he was running from his school classroom. Jake does not communicate verbally so Dreama was worried that if he left the campus, he would get lost and not be able to ask for assistance. She called SimplyHome asking about a GPS device that could be attached to Jake and provide tracking to locate him.

Given cellular technology, there is a wide range of GPS products in the market today.  Most are sold as pendants or watches, but innovations in equipment have even led to the creation of GPS trackers being embedded in shoes.  Just as with any product, GPS equipment varies in price, service, and effectiveness so you may want to consider the following guidelines when researching trackers:

  • What kind of cellular service is needed for the device to be tracked?  Some units only work if a particular cellular phone service is available.
  • What kind of range does the tracker have?  There is a misconception that GPS trackers can locate/pinpoint someone directly where they are.  Ask about the distance involved in determining the location of the device.
  • What kind of services are offered and what fees are associated with them?  Does the company just provide tracking or is there a “geofence” option?  A geofence is an area around a particular location that if a person leaves that area, a notification can be sent.
  • What are the fees associated with the equipment?  The cost of the product may not include the cost of tracking and/or notifications.
  • How are notifications delivered?  Are they automated or is there a call center involved?  Are there text, phone call and/or email options?

SimplyHome’s GPS Care Watch

The Care Watch is actually a tiny cellphone combined with an ultra-accurate GPS location system. Users are completely protected wherever GSM cell service exists. Worn as a watch or a pendant, it’s activated with the simple push of a button.

More Information