Patients Living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease get 12 Weeks Free on this Virtual Platform

As reported in Med Gadget, Medtech company  ’11 Health’  has made virtual healthcare affordable this quarantine season, providing patients with severe chronic digestive disorders 12 weeks of free access on their online platform. The Alfred SmartCare Platform gives patients virtual access to nursing support for specific conditions including Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease; it connects them with patient coaches who have the same condition. Amidst stay-at-home orders, many patients have had to learn how to handle their own care without ready access to the medical teams and technologies of typical times. Their platform gives patients tools and virtual support that may fill in some of those gaps and enable them to be the agent managing their health.

CEO and Founder Michael Seres

Michael Seres talked about how he was inspired after suffering from different manifestations of Crohn’s disease to set out to help other patients. Because he was a seasoned consumer himself, he knew the issues he ran into when treating his illness. Seres explained that though there are various reasons why these diseases are not given sufficient medical care, as a patient, he thought more about the emotional environment of the care provided for the diseases. He said to Med Gadget:

“The emotional challenges can often be more intense than the physical challenges. Feelings of embarrassment and isolation often flood in, especially during special social events such as family gatherings and school events.”

To handle this, he included peer support to create networks of communication for patients to discuss common experiences. He recognizes how patients are some of the best experts, equipped with first hand experience and empathy to the situation.

The virtual interface is also calibrated with a person’s medical equipment which give patients feedback on their health needs. For example, the ‘SmartBag’ has sensors which track symptoms and check for leakage, skin irritation, and dehydration. These alerts act to prevent more serious incidents. Seres explains that by getting these issues resolved early,

“This led to a 48 percent reduction in acute care encounters overall, including a 31 percent reduction in hospital readmissions.”

They hope that by tying in timely medical detection with the more complex patient experience through mentors and clinical guidance that their technology can be a holistic system for physical and mental health care. They note that in this pandemic, it’s particularly meaningful to be able to share a community space about the disorder when there is no in-patient contact. Seres said,

“We want everyone with digestive disorders to be able to have access to care that will help them live productive, meaningful lives.”

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