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Technology Shifts in Health and Human Services

Vinfen’s President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Bird was a featured speaker at the 2018 Open Minds Technology & Informatics Institute on October 22 and 23. With over 500 attendees, 300 innovative session, and 25 speakers, the event gave attendees the opportunity to learn about innovative tools that can improve the delivery of care for consumers with complex needs.

Bruce spoke as part of a case study presentation that discussed on-the-ground perspectives on new consumer digital treatments. His presentation, Technology in Action: The Vinfen Case Study, provided a hands-on example of how consumer engagement technologies are reshaping service delivery at Vinfen. He was also one of three executives who led a breakout session on The digital substitution effect: A guide to supporting consumers in the community through technology. This session addressed the change of traditional models of service delivery and the need for executives to develop a plan to integrate new digital technologies in efforts to stay competitive, preferred, and keep service cost at a low. Bruce discussed how Vinfen is currently utilizing digital treatment technologies.

“Vinfen is about to launch our 14th technology evaluation project. We have been partnering with national leaders including Dr. Steve Bartels, formerly of Dartmouth College and now of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. John Touros, of Harvard University Psychiatry and Co-Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Telehealth Committee to evaluate technology systems. Along the way, we have been developing a decision matrix to guide CEOs and program managers on criteria used to select mobile technologies,” shared Bruce. “My first presentation at the Open Minds conference summarized our 8 year journey. We believe that these technologies will reshape the entire way individuals we serve are engaged in participating with clinical and recovery staff, and in managing their own challenges. We are joining many colleagues to encourage payers to fund these technologies, which are showing positive results, which are impacting health and reducing unnecessary acute care costs.”

Some of the biggest challenges of this change are assessing the needs of an organization and getting acceptance from clinical staff. For example, in 2015 Vinfen was forced to replace one of their mobile technologies called Health Buddy when the creator decided to leave the US Telehealth market. After thoroughly reviewing possible replacements, Vinfen decided to select a similar device to Health Buddy, Philips Telestation. Home Telehealth technology like Philips Telestation provide a telemedicine tool for patients to take an active role in their health and stay connected to essential health care professionals.

According to Chief Executive Office and founder of Open Minds Monica E. Oss, “one resounding theme from the entire panel was that with consumer acceptance of new technology and the payer push for value-based care have converged, making technology a necessity to be successful in the future.”