Older adults with two or more chronic conditions can now access better care with telehealth technology, available through the Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) and its partnership with Michigan-based Behavioral Health Associates.

Improving Access to Technology

The easy-to-use technology keeps users in touch with healthcare professionals who regularly monitor vital signs and reduce the number of medical office and emergency room visits. Disabled adults who require special transportation to travel to regular monitoring appointments greatly benefit from access to telehealth monitoring.

According to DAAA President and CEO, Ronald S. Taylor, access to telehealth technology is critically important in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“Many older adults are already homebound. Leaving home for office visits can be exhausting, time-consuming, and a risk for coronavirus exposure,” he explains. “We want seniors and disabled adults to be safe in their homes and as healthy as possible. Keeping them healthy is easier with the remote monitoring of telehealth technology.”

Managing Chronic Conditions

Telehealth allows older people managing diseases such as, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) to get daily readings of their blood pressure, glucose levels, and more. This digital technology instantly transmits results to healthcare professionals who can help both the patient and family caregiver.

Caregivers will receive feedback from health pros making it easier to monitor medications, eating habits, mental, and physical changes.

DAAA’s Vice President, Long Term Care Services, Josephine Messelmani, RN, says, “Telehealth is a game-changer. Use of telehealth services lowers the cost of essential health care services, and for many users, it may be their first time connecting with a health care professional.”

Collaborating with partners To With connect people in need

The services are available to individuals whether they have a primary care physician or not. Costs are covered by Medicare and Medicaid for qualifying patients. Still, Ronald Taylor knows that any digital technology may be perceived as a barrier to many older adults. “We are working in a partnership that uses high-quality, user-friendly technology, and we will introduce users to both the technology and the numerous other services of our agency.”

DAAA’s partner, Behavioral Health Associates, is a healthcare services agency with a credentialed staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses. The software platform for DAAA’s telehealth services is Dr. Krono. It allows health professionals to communicate with patients through HIPAA-compliant secure messaging. Dr. Krono also allows patients to schedule appointments online, receive health education material, and more.

For Ronald Taylor and the DAAA Team, telehealth is a giant step toward better health outcomes in Southeast Michigan. He adds, “On the heels of the coronavirus, we must reach residents who need better medical care.  Detroit has a history of health disparities and health care inequities. Telehealth can make a difference in delivering better care to many of the people who have previously been underserved.”