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Astute, Inc makes profound changes in healthcare with latest technology
Technology is revolutionizing the way care is administered and enabling Astute, Inc. to help their customers improve patient outcomes, reduce the cost of care, and identify new revenue opportunities. By offering patient-facing devices powered by Windows and standardizing operations across a wide range of Microsoft products and services, Astute is empowering caregivers with the capabilities needed to provide proactive and personal healthcare around the clock to the patients they serve.
A visiting nurse provides care for a patient named Dorothy on a regular basis. Dorothy is a 65-year-old woman who is beginning to show signs of dementia. Her family notices that she is having difficulty remembering names and events—and, in some cases, even entire recent conversations. One day, Dorothy’s condition worsens while the visiting nurse is not on duty. Her family has several urgent questions, but they don’t have an efficient way to receive answers in real time.
Across town, a personal caregiver spends most days with a patient named Clint, who is an 83-year-old man with mobility issues. Clint lives alone at an assisted care facility and needs help with personal care tasks like bathing, dressing, and cooking. In the middle of the night, after Clint’s caregiver has left, he falls in his apartment on his way to get a glass of water. Since the nearest staff member is making rounds in a different wing of the facility, it may take 8 hours or more until Clint is discovered. But what if Dorothy and her visiting nurse both have innovative mobile devices that enable them to respond in real time? Because these devices are connected to the cloud, the visiting nurse can get alerts immediately when Dorothy’s condition changes and upload relevant information directly to the device for Dorothy’s family to reference. Or suppose Clint is wearing a sensor that is connected to his caregiver’s mobile device. As soon as Clint takes a tumble, an alert is sent to the walkie-talkie carried by the facility staff. Meanwhile, the visiting nurse would get the same alert on his/her cellphone. By using the latest technology, the caregiver is able to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes for Clint to get the proper care. Fortunately for Dorothy and Clint—and caregivers and patients around the world—the latest technology is ushering in a new era of healthcare and making these types of interactions a reality. New devices, advances in hardware and software capabilities, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are allowing caregivers of all kinds to make smarter, data-driven decisions, and improve outcomes for their patients. As a B2B organization that specializes in patient monitoring, Astute Inc. is solely focused on its three pillars: improving patient outcomes, reducing the cost of care, and creating new revenue opportunities. Leveraging the latest technology, Astute Inc. has transformed their internal operations and continues to drive innovation for their care providers, which includes visiting nurse organizations, assisted care facilities, and medical application developers. In order to achieve their objectives, Astute recently made the decision to standardize operations across a wide range of Microsoft offerings, including Windows device, Azure, Power BI, Skype and machine learning.
Engaging caregivers with intuitive and innovative tools
The combination of Astute’s remote data and patient monitoring capabilities and Microsoft’s products and services is creating an opportunity for more value-added interactions between Astute care providers and the patients they serve. Even if care providers possess limited software and programming expertise, Astute’s partnership with Microsoft makes it easy for these organizations to leverage Azure DocumentDB and Power BI to create personalized portals that track the health trends and progressions of each individual patient, without putting additional strain on their budgets or having to hire additional developers and engineers—an industry first that gives more power to caregivers. By pushing control of systems back to the care providers and giving them access to pre-configured applications and analytics tools, Astute is empowering them with capabilities they didn’t have before. These capabilities enable caregivers to create rich, interactive experiences that promote real-time coverage in private residences and assisted care facilities. In turn, this real-time coverage and analysis enable Astute care providers to better anticipate health issues and improve emergency response.
Optimizing operations through standardized processes
Astute’s remote patient monitoring products and services are designed to help care providers cut costs, increase revenue, and ultimately promote a better quality of life for their patients as they age. But in order for these products and services to deliver the desired impact, it is essential that Astute’s technology, people, and processes are working in tandem. Astute has always had the pieces in place to help make profound changes in healthcare. But without the proper technical backing, the startup faced several challenges that impeded their ability to achieve their vision. Prior to optimizing their operations, Astute struggled to integrate a wide range of components from multiple vendors and get these different pieces to work together. Scalability was also an issue, as legacy solutions hindered Astute’s ability to keep up with the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape and adhere to global regulatory requirements. By standardizing their processes and supporting their platforms on Azure, Astute has been able to transform their internal operations and spend more time focusing on improving outcomes for their customers. With Azure, Astute is now able to support the rapid development of applications, devices, and sensors that can take their patient monitoring solutions to the next level. Azure’s global reach also provides Astute with the scalability and scope needed to deploy their solutions almost anywhere and still maintain compliance with HIPAA and other healthcare requirements that pertain to data management.
“We really look at this [transformation] as a global play, which was one of the biggest factors in helping us make the decision to partner with Microsoft; because the Azure platform can be deployed more places than just about [any other cloud solution].”
Transforming products with IoT and the cloud
While Astute’s primary focus isn’t on hardware, they do offer several patient-facing devices and sensors that serve as vehicles for data collection and promote around-the-clock patient monitoring. One of Astute’s ongoing initiatives centers around a line of intuitive, cost-effective, and customized tablets. These tablets, developed in tandem with Microsoft and powered by Windows, have the potential to revolutionize the way caregivers communicate with their patients. The tablets enable patients to access their personalized health data and allow caregivers the ability to upload relevant articles and insights based on each individual patient’s health status. Windows IoT and Skype on these devices allow for easy engagement between caregivers and their patients through video conferencing while using Azure as the platform ensures flawless connectivity and compatibility. Astute is also leveraging Microsoft Intune to help ensure the simplified management of applications and devices. While this initiative is still in the beginning stages, Astute has plans to eventually produce 40,000 tablets per year. In addition to transforming tablets into innovative healthcare solutions, Astute is also focused on providing game-changing, ready to deploy, and affordable patient monitoring services to their clients. Using IoT and Azure capabilities, Astute’s services make collecting health data on tablets and other standalone devices—and analyzing this data in the cloud in real time—simple and easy.
Driving digital transformation
Imagine being able to proactively promote the well-being of individuals around the world through innovative patient monitoring solutions that are reliable, scalable, and intuitive. Imagine being able to leave a lasting impact on the healthcare industry and the global community by lowering the cost of healthcare and making it more accessible for all people. By investing in digital transformation, Astute is focused on turning these imaginations into realities in the near future. In 2017, Astute plans to roll out Astute Care Guardian™, their remote patient monitoring service for independent and assisted care facilities, and Astute Data Guardian™, their development kits for medical application developers, to customers in the United States. In the near future, Astute has plans to move beyond the United States and make their patient monitoring solutions and application development services available worldwide—helping care providers across the globe improve patient outcomes, reduce the cost of treatment, and create new revenue opportunities. Astute also has aspirations to extend their partnership with Microsoft to include more products like artificial intelligence and Cortana analytics in their devices and patient monitoring solutions.
“As we move the platform forward, we’ll end up combining the data on the person and the data on their environment into a central control repository and then really be able to do some pretty amazing things.”