Veterans receive daily cancer care using Health Hero Technology Platform and ADCOM to deliver it in Canada

Mountain View 07 August 2003Veterans Integrated Service Network 8's Community Care Coordination Service (VISN 8 CCCS) have been enrolled into the Advancing Cancer Care Through Technology (ACCTT) project. VISN 8 CCCS currently uses Health Hero technology to manage over 1000 patients across seventeen disease states in Florida and the surrounding region. In addition, Health Hero Network and ADCOM have signed a partnership contract. Under the terms of the agreement, ADCOM will distribute Health Hero Network products throughout Canada.

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ACCTT project objectives include providing daily cancer monitoring and management to veterans undergoing chemotherapy and offering appropriate follow-up for symptoms. The Institutional Review Board-approved project aims to show quality of life improvements and to help cancer patients comply with and complete their course of treatment in a comfortable manner.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Veterans, with approximately 50.000 new diagnoses each year. Treatment for the disease is often lengthy and demanding of VA resources. VISN 8 CCCS uses technology to provide high-quality co-ordinated care to Veterans while reducing unnecessary use of clinical services. VISN 8 CCCS's high level of patient satisfaction with home telehealth projects, combined with cost-effective results, led to the development of the ACCTT project.

The home telehealth model treats cancer as a chronic medical condition, seeks to provide information to Veterans to enable them to make shared decisions with their providers, and establishes the home as the preferred site of care. Enrolled Veterans' health status will be monitored and providers promptly alerted to any changes in symptoms. If a patient reports acute symptoms in response to questions that a VISN 8 care provider has flagged, his or her survey information is uploaded immediately, allowing care providers to review results in real time with a goal of providing appropriate relief for patients without delay.

Using the Health Hero Health Buddy appliance, an easy-to-use patient communication device for daily question and answer, education, and reinforcement surveys, Veterans in the project are currently receiving support during their chemotherapy treatment. VISN 8 CCCS care co-ordinators will receive daily patient data risk stratified with clinical trend charts through the Health Hero iCare Desktop, a Web-based care management system for monitoring patient data.

Following chemotherapy treatment, Veterans will receive post-therapy maintenance focusing on anxiety levels and survivorship. Additional support for enrolled Veterans will come from a chaplain, social workers, and medical providers associated with the ACCTT project.

"We are excited about this new dialogue to improve the lives of Veterans with cancer", noted Crystal Todd R.N., Care Co-ordinator for the ACCTT Project. "The ACCTT project, which was partially funded by the National Cancer Institute, will serve Veterans in northern Florida and southern Georgia."

"When examining outcomes at six months, we hope to find that the ACCTT project results in more rapid intervention, decreases unnecessary visits to the hospital, and improves the quality of life for Veterans", stated the project's co-principal investigator, Dr. Neale Chumbler, a Research Health Scientist at the VA HSR&D/RR&D Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center at the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System in VISN-8 and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration in the College of Health Professions at the University of Florida.

"Using daily feedback to monitor symptoms during treatment should enable Veterans to complete their chemotherapy cycle in a timely, comfortable manner, will empower them to remain independent, and improve self-management of their symptoms", Dr. Chumbler added.

Health Hero Network Inc., founded in 1988, develops and licenses technology solutions for health monitoring and management. The Health Hero technology platform offers Internet-enabled care management tools, multiple patient interfaces, and a secure environment for data communications. The company's products include the Health Buddy appliance, featuring Buddy Link device connectivity, Health Buddy Web, other licensee devices for data collection and communications with patients, and iCare Desktop, an Internet-based care management and research tool for health care professionals.

Health Hero Network offers over a dozen standard health management programmes delivering daily monitoring and education, and promoting positive behavioural change for better chronic care with lower costs to the health care system. Buddy Link allows patients to upload device-reported data from a variety of peripheral devices. Health Hero Network technology is protected by over 50 issued United States patents.

Recently, ADCOM Inc. joined Health Hero's team of international resellers. With seven offices across Canada, ADCOM provides comprehensive telehealth solutions including state-of-the-art technologies and a full range of consulting and training services to support successful integration into the health care setting.

ADCOM and its TecKnowledge Professional Services Division bring tremendous experience and practical knowledge in planning, implementing and managing successful telehealth networks. The company provides strategic planning, project management, application design and implementation, and training services to health care clients throughout Canada.

A true pioneer in videoconferencing since 1974, ADCOM provides superior face-to-face communications solutions. Offering a complete range of professional conferencing products, peripherals and acclaimed high touch value-added services, ADCOM has the proven expertise to satisfy and exceed customers' requirements.

With the addition of the Health Hero suite of products, ADCOM is able to provide a product line encompassing manufacturers of videoconferencing and telehealth technology. From the most elaborate integrated theatres and board rooms, to mobile systems for classrooms and meeting rooms, from the bedside in a busy emergency unit and now to the home.

ADCOM's complete product line offers health care organisations a complete solution, all supported by ADCOM's design, engineering, custom installation, project management and the exceptional training services. ADCOM resources and expertise are all focused on ensuring their clients get the most out of today's conferencing technology. ADCOM Xpress, their 24x7 high touch services group, provides international Video and Audio Bridging, worldwide Public Video Room Rentals, Managed Services, contract Bridge Management and special Events Management.

The TecKnowledge Professional Services Division offers a full range of telehealth consulting services to support the design and implementation of effective and sustainable telehealth solutions to meet the challenge of providing health care services and education across distance. ADCOM is headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, along with valued partners and agents servicing the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and South America.


Leslie Versweyveld

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