Aspire’s partner for electronic health records, Therap, is testing a new service. Therap Connect uses smart devices to deliver medical data directly into a person’s medical record. The company is developing three devices so far: a biometric cuff that measures blood pressure, oxygen, and heart rate; a bed mat that records a person’s sleep patterns; and a scale that reports weight, BMI, body water percentage, and bone density.
Aspire was chosen to be one of the organizations to pilot the devices in three staffed residences in Massachusetts. The devices have been delivered and are coming online over the next few weeks. According to Jen Peck, executive administrative coordinator, “These homes are a good fit because the devices relate to the particular health issues of the people living there.”
One resident, who typically finds being weighed highly aversive, is excited about the new scale because the results don’t appear on the scale itself (the data are sent directly to Therap), saving her privacy and her pride. Another person currently requires a direct support professional to remain present while they sleep to observe and record sleep data. The sleep mat may enable Aspire to fade this intrusive practice and reassign the employee to another open position–a win for both the person trying to get some sleep and also for Aspire because workers are in such short supply.
As part of the grant, Aspire receives the devices and software for free, as well as priority for expanding the service once it is rolled out nationwide. In exchange, Aspire provides Therap with feedback about how the products work and the ease of using the data. “This access helps us shape the final product and how it interacts with the electronic record to meet our needs,” notes Jen.
Aspire had a leg up on this grant because of the strong ties that Aspire has built with Therap, through monthly meetings with the Therap multi-state team and by attending their conferences. A conference presentation last year outlined what Therap was looking for in potential pilot agencies, and Aspire signaled interest right away. When Jen and Sherry Lynn MacNeil, senior director of service impact, submitted the grant application in January, they used that knowledge to fashion a successful application.
Aspire will collect data about the outcomes of using these devices for the people involved, including individual-specific health outcomes, ease of use, and people’s comfort with the devices. There should also be benefits for the DSPs and managers: direct data transmission could mean fewer tasks to complete, fewer data errors, and better reporting to the person’s nurse or primary care provider.
Aspire CEO Lou Giramma says, “I’m delighted that Aspire is partnering with Therap to bring this innovative health technology to the people we support.”