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By Richard Asinof
WARWICK – With all the competing news and health care events, the LeadingAge RI annual conference on April 5 at the Crowne Plaza Providence-Warwick fell under the radar screen of most Rhode Island media.
But the keynote address by Audrey Weiner, the CEO of Jewish Home Lifecare in New York City, told a convincing story how patient-centered care that employs technology are changing the way that services are being delivered to seniors. And, those changes will becoming soon to Rhode Island.
Weiner told how the deployment of a “telehealth kiosk” was transforming care at her agency, creating an interactive model for health care delivery.
Dermatologists were able to conduct a “telehealth” visit with a patient to examine a rash and prescribe the appropriate medication, without having to “schlep” the patient to the doctor’s office, an adventure that can take hours trying to navigate through city traffic congestion.
Telehealth monitoring of patients with congestive heart failure and diabetes had produced remarkable results in cutting down on unnecessary hospitalizations and complications.
Innovations in technology delivery – such as using a meowing cat sound instead of an angry beep, and using a grandchild’s voice to thank the patient for taking their medication – had improved the health outcomes, according to Weiner.
Weiner said she had taken note of the wind turbine operating at Shalom Housing in Warwick as new technology in Rhode Island that she planned to bring back to New York.
The conference, “Expanding the Possibilities,” featured 12 educational sessions and more than 60 exhibitors. Two state legislators, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and Sen. Maryellen Goodwin received LeadingAge RI’s “Making a Difference” awards.
More than 350 participants attended the conference.
LeadingAge RI’s membership includes nursing homes, assisted living residentces, senior housing providers and adult day services.