Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Do you have a WEP for seniors that live alone?

The recent weather reports from around the country reminds me of the reason that I created the WEPs. What is a WEP?

A WEP is a 30 day Weather Emergency Program (WEP) subscription that can be activated whenever there is a severe weather condition that could present a danger to seniors who live alone. It creates an in-home monitoring system that automatically checks on loved ones using their own home phone. WEP enables notification even if the senior’s power or phone lines are disrupted.

Family members, caregivers, or seniors can register for a 30 day My Buddy Check WEP membership and not activate it until there is a weather emergency. At that time, you simply call/email/SMS My Buddy Check to activate your registered WEP and for the next 30 days your loved ones will receive the full services of My Buddy Check’s daily monitoring system with status updates to their family and friends.

I don't know how many times I have heard of seniors trapped in their homes in bad weather and find themselves cut-off from family and friends for an extended period? They run out of needed medications, household supplies, suffer from hypothermia due to cold weather conditions, or hyperthermia in heat waves. In this age of technology, there really is no reason for this to be happening.

The cost start at less than $10 so that anyone can have peace of mind from knowing that this safety net is in place and ready for immediate use when needed.

We have set aside a limited number of Free WEPs for selected areas so call today to apply or for more information.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mobile phone technology addresses unmet needs of parents of children with diabetes

The Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare in Boston has published an article that highlights a need I have been trying to publicize for years. They conducted a study that showed how Mobile phone technology might address unmet needs of parents of children with diabetes, sending blood sugar readings via text, to help manage child's illness.

In a recent study, new data revealed that parents of children with diabetes were receptive to using novel health technology - such as a mobile phone that could collect and transmit the child's blood sugar readings to a doctor - to help manage their child's diabetes. This study published in the November issue of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. You can read the whole article here:

This is one of the driving reason we created the Buddy Check Network so that new and innovative technology can be used to improve health out-comes. Using technology that allows them to monitor and report compliance using their mobile phone provides high interactivity and privacy. This gives them a level of control while following their plan of care that encourages compliance. This report highlights that acceptance of teens and parents to using SMS technology for controlling outcomes. Acceptance is the first step to improvement.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Do Boomers Want From Technology

Great article, What Do Baby Boomers Want From Technology, posted by Robin Raff.

I have seen some of the same results in our service offering. There seems to be a demarcation line at about 70 yrs old and above and those below when it come to technology adoption. This will change in the future but Boomers like me have decreased tolerance with beta products and learning complex new system. We just want to get things done and for them to work simply.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

56% Re-hospitalizations rate Among Medicare Patients Cost $17.4 Billion (with a B)

There was a recent study published by about re-hospitalization of Medicare members that underscore the reason we started the Buddy Check Network.

This study of Medicare fee-for-service claims data for nearly 12 million Medicare beneficiaries discharged from a hospital in 2003 and 2004 found that one of five patients was readmitted within 30 days, and half of nonsurgical patients were re-hospitalized without having seen an outpatient doctor in follow-up.

The estimated cost of unplanned hospital readmissions in 2004 accounted for $17.4 billion of the $102.6 billion total hospital payments made by Medicare that same year.

To address the problem, the researchers recommend intervention at the time of discharge, reliable and prompt follow-up care by primary care physicians, and aggressive management of chronic illnesses.

This study focused on the enormous cost associated with re-hospitalizations but I have always been concerned with the effect on the quality of life issues. Family members have to get more involved in this because the study showed that half of the patients readmitted in the first 30 days did not receive any follow-up form their Doctor or medical provider.

Additional studies have shown that re-hospitalizations have been reduces by as much as 39% by instituting a basic follow-up program with the patients. This is something we can do on our own and not wait for Government efforts.

Please Read Complete Report and let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Text Message To Keep You Healthy

There ia a great article on ( ) blog about how text messaging is being used to help keep people healthy. This is something we have been focused on over the last few years. There is a report noted in the article: ( )
That outlines the problem.

Do you think this is effective? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Will we ever be able to share medical data easily?

There was a great article about this subject posted on the FierceHealth Blog. It relates an article about Dr. Mark Smith.

He laments about how reluctant many health care professionals are to adopt simple advances in data sharing that are available today and how out of date they are. He made the comment "You can walk into the hospital where you were born and the first thing they will ask you is, 'Are you on any medications? Do you have any conditions.'"

Great read.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Why Caregiver Support Is Needed.

The United States as a nation is getting older. The population aged 65 and over is expected to double in size within the next 25 years according the report “65+ in the United States:2005” published by the National Institute on Aging.

As the county’s population grows, and ages, there are likely to be greater numbers of older people living alone. The first baby boomers will turn 65 in 2011, and by 2030, almost 1 out of every 5 Americans, some 72 million people, will be 65 years or older. Who will help care for them?

Most that find themselves alone in later years are women; in fact, three-quarters of the 10.5 million older Americans living alone in 2003 were women. An alarming fact about this is that according to census reports older women were more likely than older men to be living in poverty (13 percent compared with 7 percent). Especially hard-hit are minority groups with older Blacks (24 percent) and older Hispanics (20 percent) reported to be living in poverty in 2003.

Add to this fact that many of the women in this aging population were themselves caregivers for husbands, and other family members. They now find themselves in the position of needing a little help. Having that role reversed is difficult to accept, especially when coupled with the desire of many older people to maintain their independence. For example there are nearly 17,000 households in Lancaster County in which a person older than 65 lives alone, according to census data.

Much of the care and support of seniors is lovingly being carried by the “Sandwich” group, those sandwiched between aging parents who need care and/or help and their own children. Yet this group needs help in maintaining their dual roles. Many are looking to social agencies for funding and technology for workable solutions to the growing problem.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Will Healthcare reform ever pass?

For many of us that are caregivers we are keenly affected by proposed legislation. I Found this interesting article on the subject which gives some insight into the issues involved and likelihood of passage this year. While not promoting this one way or the next I felt it contained some interesting comments.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Looking to quit smoking - SMS can help

Recent studies have shown that a program that includes SMS reminder messages can improve success:
See article:

Build your own BCN smoke enders program. also visit one of my my favorite sites:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time to take control of your healthcare!

Consumers are facing an ever-rising tide of healthcare cost and number of preventable health conditions every day. We have all read the articles that say we should take better care of ourselves eat right, watch our weight, etc.. the list goes on and on. When we visit our doctor, for that 5-7 minutes, they tells us to lose weight, watch your blood pressure, and lower for sugar. But how to do it and getting help that we could use is harder to come by.

After you make the decision to make a change remember the simple rule that: “What gets measured gets done”. To change behavior we need something that is easy to do every day and fits into our current lifestyles. These changes will help improve our health and save us money. Many of the changes to healthcare being proposed carry a level of personal responsibility for all of us to make changes in the way we think about healthcare. If you are like me then we could use some help!

There are a number of technology tools on the market that will help us track our health conditions (i.e. Microsoft HealthVault, Google Health, etc..) but many are time intensive and if you are like me have little time every day to logon and update multiple profiles and databases. And what if you are not computer savvy? How do you take advantage of all the power of the internet to help track and manage your health?

Empowering you to take control of these issues is why we created The Buddycheck Network (BCN). You setup yours or a loved one’s personal BCN and then let us do all the work of reminding you, by phone, email, or SMS, to take your blood pressure, glucose readings, weight, medications, etc.. AND we can automatically upload the information to your personal health record (PHR) in the HealthVault so that you can see your progress along with any early warning signs. You then have a permanent record to keep and share with your medical doctor if you wish.

Remember: “What gets measured gets done!

Using Mobile Technology in Developing countries

Our company ( ) is starting to work on a project that will enable developing countries to use mobile and voice technology to access medical information from remote areas using their mobile phones. This article shows the ingenuity of the people in those areas to overcome problems.It always amazes me to see what people can accomplish with little resources but great ideas.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stay Connected to the Buddy Check Network with Your iPhone

Starting May 30, 2009 you will be able to tap into the Apple iTunes App Store and download this FREE application and stay connected to your "Buddy" right on your iPhone.

Ease of Use— Personalized one time setup means you are connected and able to access BCN Call Statuses anytime you launch the app.

Immediate Updates— Receive instant SMS and email messages when help is needed with ability to call them with the touch of the screen.

Detailed Call Statuses— Access detailed real-time call status summaries and detailed information about your loved one right from your iPhone.

Appointment Reminders– Never forget a Doctor’s appointment or errand again. Now you can schedule daily, weekly, or custom one-time SMS reminders to be sent to your iPhone whenever you wish.

FREE Download– All registered caregivers in the BCN will receive free activation for this new iPhone app.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Microsoft Startup of the Day - Buddy Check Network

Edited by George Morrison

The Buddy Check Network harnesses the incredible power of speech technology to create a personalized care management system that integrates with any telephone system. Rooted in a belief that enhanced compliance and collaboration improves chronic disease management, The Buddy Check Network is a supportive social network for seniors and their caregivers. In partnership with Microsoft, the BCN has developed the only “Personal Voice Portal” into the Microsoft HealthVault, to allow transparent electronic data record capture and collaboration.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Sensors Help Keep the Elderly at Home

A recent article in the New York Times tells stories of elderly who live alone but are being monitors by new technologies designed to enable them to live independently and avoid expensive trips to the emergency room. One elderly lady fell to the floor of her Philadelphia apartment without her emergency alert pendant and could not phone for help, but ...

A wireless sensor under Ms. Branch’s bed detected that she had gotten up. Motion detectors in her bedroom and bathroom registered that she had not left the area in her usual pattern and relayed that information to a central monitoring system, prompting a call to her telephone to ask if she was all right. When she did not answer, that incited more calls — to a neighbor, to the building manager and finally to 911, which dispatched firefighters to break through her door. She had been on the floor less than an hour when they arrived.

Read Full NY Times Article