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One Huge Key to Mobile Health's Success

By Rex Moore and Max Macaluso – Feb 10, 2014 at 6:30PM

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The key to effective mobile health is patient engagement. Verizon’s Converged Health Management tool uses a cloud platform to connect physicians and patients and keep the patient interested.

Most of us think of Verizon (VZ 0.26%) in terms of its telecom business, but this global giant also has a large health-care branch, including a chief medical officer, Dr. Peter Tippett.

Verizon had a large presence at the recent mHealth Summit near Washington, D.C. -- a large show that sits squarely at the intersection of mobile technology and health care. The Fool's Max Macaluso and Rex Moore attended the fifth annual Summit to learn where mobile health is today and what lies ahead. While there, they chatted with Nancy Green, the managing principal of Verizon's Healthcare Practice, to learn more about the company's multibillion-dollar health segment.

In this video, Nancy describes the company's Converged Health Management product, how it helps patients and health-care providers, and what makes it stand out among similar systems.

A full transcript follows the video.

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Max Macaluso: Can you talk a little bit about the product that you're showcasing here at your exhibit?

Nancy Green: Sure. That's the Converged Health Management Product, and that's again a Class II device.

...

First and foremost, we call it a device, but it's actually a platform in the cloud. It sits in our HIPAA-ready cloud-based services and sites, within our data center, which is in Miami and then backup with Culpeper in Virginia.

That information, that cloud, sits in that site and receives information from wireless devices. Wireless devices could be a blood pressure cuff, or a scale, or a pulse oximeter, or something that's measuring what we call biometric information.

It comes from the home, so it's prescribed to the patient; the patient has it in their home. The information comes up into the cloud. The physician sets the thresholds of what they want to learn, and what they want to see, and how they want it, so it's not this huge influx of information.

They then can engage with the patient. The thing about mobile health and remote patient monitoring is patient engagement. I need to keep you engaged as much as possible.

We built it, and one of the differences in our product, than what's out there, is that we have a patient engagement and education portion of what we do, so it's not just numbers. It allows a provider to say, "You know what? If you do so much X correctly, I'm going to give you what we call Healthies," which could be points to something, so you start to get invested in what you're doing.

It's also an education portal and I can connect to other people in a social environment, that you're allowed to within that portal, so very, very different in the world of remote patient monitoring. We really believe that engagement is that key piece.

The site itself, this is the web portal. When you look at it, it looks like, "What am I doing?" This is the demo for a diabetes management program. This is the rewards that I was talking about; you can keep track of the rewards that you, as a patient, can be part of.

"Pattycake" is part of this person's network of social. Then it's just really looking at "What tasks do I have?" That keeps track of "You didn't get on the scale yet. You didn't take your blood pressure yet, or you're out of tolerance," or whatever, so you have the ability to change that.

The tab here for coaches lets them have direct access to who their coaches are. When we talk about coaches, that could be a clinical staff, it could be the nursing staff, it could be the home care nurse; whatever network of coaches they have.

I think it's a very unique way to present the information, that the patient can interact with. That's what we want to do, is create that patient engagement.

Macaluso: Excellent. Thank you so much. 

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Max Macaluso, Ph.D. and Rex Moore have no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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