The month of May happens to be an important one here at Mozzaz, as it is Mental Health Awareness Month! The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has tons of information to get people in the know and to increase awareness on a topic that affects so many of our loved ones. According to a 2012 study, nearly 1 in 5 Americans have a diagnosable mental disorder, and nearly 1 in 25 have a serious functional impairment due to a mental illness. Mental disorders can have an impact at any age— 1 in 5 of children ages 13-18 have one that is seriously debilitating!
The spectrum of mental disorders is a wide one that can be measured in many different ways. The Global Burden of Disease study assigned a single disability number to each of 291 conditions and injuries. This measuring tactic uses disability-adjusted life years (DALY score) to combine years of life lost to premature mortality and years lost to disability attributable to each condition. From this study, it was shown that brain disorders represent nearly 20% of disability from all causes; making them the largest source of DALYs in the U.S.
What about when mental disability leads to something with a dangerous, tragic impact? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an astounding 41,149 individuals committed suicide in the U.S. in 2013. This rate has unfortunately not decreased over the past two decades in contrast to other rates of mortality. It’s proven to be a clear epidemic among young people, as suicide was the second highest cause of death for young adults ages 15-34. Even if the individual doesn’t turn to suicide, the median reduction in life expectancy among those with mental illness is 10.1 years. A full 8 million deaths that occur each year globally could be averted if those people were to die at the same rate as the general population!
So much of our health care expenditures are directly linked to spending on mental illness treatment… much more than one would imagine! The World Economic Forum gathered data in 2010 to how that mental disorders account for $2.5 trillion global costs in 2010 and will rise to $6 trillion by 2030. These costs were greater than the costs of diabetes, respiratory disorders, and cancer combined!
Of course, the astounding amounts spent on health care go towards a good cause. For majority of those who suffer from various mental disorders, there is hope in terms of treatment. For example, 85% of patients who are severely depressed respond to electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. For those with schizophrenia, approximately 25% experience good recovery and 50% show improvement over a 10-year-period. Numbers like these prove that even among those at highest risk for suicide, prevention and treatment save lives.
In conclusion, too few people receive optimal care for mental illnesses and don’t consider their severity. For some it’s a matter of denying their illness, but others have certain conditions that prelude them from seeking care. Mental illness doesn’t just affect the person, but the daily lives and stresses of their family members. Although we currently have a variety of resources to help those in need, what we have isn’t nearly enough. Both the facts and personal stories of families and individuals affected by mental illness complete the picture of why finding ways to prevent and treat mental illness is such an urgent need.
Calling all Clinical Leads, Practitioners, CIOs, and Technical Leads! We invite you to join the teams at Bancroft, Mozzaz, and CoCENTRIX to learn how data collection is critical to transform care coordination and enhance the quality of care delivered to customers. The 90-minute webinar, which will take place on June 3rd at 2:00pm EST, will describe how Bancroft is supporting augmentative communication, learning, daily living skills, and behavioural therapy to develop treatment plans by implementing interactive, mobile consumer applications. The webinar will give viewers the chance to listen in as Bancroft shares their experiences of progressing towards the implementation of CARETILES; a personalized care solution for individuals with a chronic condition, disability, or behavioral health disorder that can be used to support one’s daily needs and enhance their overall quality of life. It is powered by Mozzaz for the CoCENTRIX Coordinated Care Platform.
The tool for measuring true outcomes in healthcare− data collection− is no longer just an overhead, but rather is becoming a part of delivering quality health care. Bancroft is using technology to transform care coordination and quality delivered to consumers. Hear from Adam Berr, Director Business Transformation at Bancroft; Robert Stokes, Project Manager at Bancroft; and Rini Gahir, Co-Founder and Vice President at Mozzaz, as the three combine their passion and personal experience to show viewers the revolutionary practice of data collection that will take the healthcare sector by storm.
Sound good so far? Here’s what you’d be learning as an attendee during the 1.5 hour executive web briefing:
- How true consumer engagement in ID/DD and behavioral health services is helping drive outcomes
- The benefits in “closing the clinical loop” with integration to electronic health records and care plans
- The clinical advantages of capturing data and observations at the “point-of-care” with consumers
Another thing worth mentioning− this webinar is FREE! So be sure to register at openminds.com to prevent missing out on this opportunity.
Healthcare reforms are igniting debate across the United States; policymakers, clinicians, and care recipients and their families alike all have differing, yet valid opinions about what needs to be done in order to avoid bankrupting the federal government and devastating family budgets.
As costs become increasingly unsustainable, further efforts to control costs are inevitable; legislation like the HITECH Act and provisions such as Meaningful Use are two examples of this. Regardless of varied opinions, most parties can agree that improving quality of care and efficiency of interventions are key platforms as we move forward with solving the current healthcare crisis.
But How Do We Ensure Our Interventions Are Working?
And equally as important, that they are also efficient? Whether an intervention adds value to a patient’s life should be the deciding factor to ensuring high-cost interventions provide high-value to a patient’s quality of life. Several organizations have stated that proving interventions add quality of life years both at the time of said intervention, as well as downstream costs associated that follow, have been difficult to verify.
Measuring downstream costs (which can be very substantial), such as follow up appointments, additional interventions that occur as a result of the first intervention, and/or any costs that have only arisen because the initial intervention was performed, is difficult yet necessary if we are to succeed in avoiding economic and healthcare disruptions.
In order to collect appropriate data regarding quality of life years from high-cost interventions, we will need to implement technology that is able to capture data at the point-of-care and can be fed into an archive which is accessible by the entire care team. Electronic Health Records, which are being funded to a total sum of $19.2 billion because of HITECH, are a step in the right direction, but do not meet the requirements needed to show interventions are working.
That is why at Mozzaz Corporation, we are diligently working to bring Mozzaz Care to market next month. Mozzaz Care, which is currently in use in its Beta phase by several organizations, captures all pieces of patient-centered data and uploads it to a Cloud that permitted parties are able to engage with. Leveraging this data allows checking of compliance against care plans as well as whether or not interventions have proven fruitful – both at time-of-intervention as well as downstream of the initial intervention.
This data is of the utmost importance because it can provide considerable value to engage clinicians, policymakers, and patients in efforts to promote high-value care.
And high-value, quality care that connects a patient to their care provider and gives clinicians the tools they need to prove their care is effective, is what we advocate for.
“One of the consequences of only providing support at the point of substantial or critical risk is that by the time people reach that stage their needs are usually urgent, complex and costly.” Says Maggie Winchcombe, writer for The Guardian UK.
She makes an excellent point, and it’s one that deserves some discussion.
What are we, as a society of care providers – formal and informal – doing to ensure that care is both realistic and timely, preventative and appropriate? At Mozzaz, we’re seeking to engage with clinicians and healthcare organizations looking to up their standard of care by leveraging today’s mobile technology solutions.
Out of 500 people surveyed aged 50-70, the majority was unaware that there are solutions that already exist that could serve their complex care needs in a way that improves their standard of living. Furthermore, these technologies, such as our Mozzaz Care solution, can keep them independent in their preferred place of residence.
The issue is not whether or not we can help; the technologies we have access to in today’s medicinal landscape can meet more complex needs than ever before. The issue is that most people lack the proper advice when choosing what solution works best for them.
Without proper advice, a new healthcare tool ends up tucked away in a closet like a piece of old exercise equipment.
That’s why we are consistently training new healthcare providers and organizations to ensure they are capable and competent enough to guide their care clientele towards a solution that fits their lifestyle and care needs.
Ultimately, people need to be given the information and then decide for themselves. But if healthcare providers are not open to new ideas, then their care clientele is being censored from potentially life changing solutions.
We are always striving to empower the patient; if that means using our solution then that’s great – but the important piece for us is that the care recipient has been given the information they deserve and learned that there currently are ways to improve their life in a costly, efficient manner.
“Patient Engagement” is one of the health (and often tech) industries hottest buzzwords of 2015, yet no one seems to have locked down exactly what constitutes true patient engagement.
Organizations know that patients need to be empowered; they know that clinicians need to improve the quality of care that they deliver, yet they are lost as to exactly what that entails, and are then in danger of using “patient engagement” as a ubiquitous term to ‘prove’ they deliver quality care.
A recent press release from newswise.com details how the University of Pittsburgh Medicine Center (UPMC) has developed a six-step program ‘designed to break down organizational silos and barriers to achieve ideal patient care experiences.’
The program involves shadowing patients through all of their different care events. This includes having clinicians meet the patient as they arrive in the parking garage, recognizing that a care experience transcends walls and offices and that to really understand what the patient is going through, clinicians must identify and establish connections with the care recipient at all points of their care experience.
The thing about this program isn’t that it isn’t patient-centered care; it’s that it isn’t realistic for long-term engagement – nor is it scalable to other, less-specialized clinical settings. Staffing, budget, and total literal size of the location are all barriers to this type of patient engagement strategy.
“Through shadowing, we gain an enlightened perspective that reveals the entire health care experience rather than just the process. Shadowing leads to empathy, which leads to insight, and provides an emotional connection not possible by analyzing data,” says Pamela Greenhouse, MBA, Executive Director.
It’s an accurate statement until the last part, ‘not possible by analyzing data.’ Capturing data at the point-of-care and analyzing it through EHR systems or a secure cloud portal has proven to demonstrate measurable outcomes, improved quality care, and best of all, a true patient-centered experience. Data tracking is a cost efficient means of checking compliance and adjusting care plans that need improving.
The benefits of using technology to capture this data is that it records information constantly and consistently – not just from the parking garage to the waiting room and back again. Home, work, clinical visits, ER visits, family time; it is always available. Furthermore, information from multiple patients can be viewed and analyzed remotely by a single clinician or care provider. This would not be possible with the shadowing system, given that it is a one-on-one setting and then data is later analyzed by a separate person.
The UPMC is on to something special and has been a leader in quality care for close to two decades – we hugely respect their commitment to innovation in patient engagement. We encourage more organizations to take their own patient engagement and quality of care to the next level, but for most, technology is a more viable and appropriate means of doing so.
This week we’d like to highlight one of our technology partner’s: Microsoft.
If you haven’t heard of the Accessibility Developer Hub they’ve created, follow the link and check it out. The idea is that app developers can use their library of videos and ebooks and coding examples to learn how to make their apps more accessible for the over 1 billion people on earth estimated to have a disability.
Some of the obvious examples highlight a change in contrast or a magnifying option to help individuals read in-app text, but there are a plethora of options available to a curious (and courteous!) mind.
If you’re developing an app, are you considering making it friendly to individuals with a disability? You should be.
Aside from the many moral and ethical reasons that you should be striving to be inclusive, there are business reasons as well – such as a hugely untapped market of people whose needs are not being catered to currently.
We’ve developed all of our solutions to be user friendly, regardless of language, learning, or other barriers an individual might have.
Still not convinced putting in the time to make your app more accessible is worth it? Well, head to the Accessibility Developer Hub and see for yourself how easy it is and maybe your mind will be changed.
The Accelerator Centre® (AC), an award-winning centre for the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship located in Waterloo, Ontario, announced today the graduation of two more tech start-ups from its rigorous incubation program. Mozzaz and Plum become the AC’s 44th and 45th graduates, joining a celebrated list of highly successful AC graduate companies including, Axonify, Clearpath Robotics, Intellijoint Surgical, Kik, Miovision, Top Hat Monocle and more.
The founders of health tech start-up Mozzaz, Rini Singh and Sammy Wahab each have a deep and personal motivation to bring modern technology to people with chronic illness and/or developmental disabilities. The company’s vision is to provide affordable, mobile and Cloud-enabled solutions to assist individuals with complex healthcare needs, while providing better connectivity and collaboration to the care teams who support that person. The company offers a personalized care app, called TalkingTiles; a coordinated care solution called MozzazCare, and a clinical management solution called Mozzaz CarePRO.
Frustrated by their own hiring experiences, Plum’s founders Caitlin and Neil MacGregor and Christine Bird were inspired to create Plum, a revolutionary new hiring solution. Plum’s cloud-based hiring solution identifies job applicants with the highest potential and matches them to a company’s culture and position using the science of psychology. Plum assesses each applicant’s problem solving ability and attitude before a resume is read, allowing employers to find hidden gem candidates and predict their future performance on the job even before they are hired.
“Health and HR tech are two of the hottest and fastest growing segments within the start-up landscape and we are happy to be graduating innovative high potential companies in these markets,” says Paul Salvini, CEO of the Accelerator Centre.
-Ellyn Winters, Source
Every April 2nd, Autism Speaks celebrates Light It Up Blue along with the international autism community, in commemoration of the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. Click Here to register today and shine a light on autism!
No one’s at fault and we’re all to blame – my initial reaction to a story about a 9-year-old boy with autism being handcuffed and removed from his Ottawa, Canada school following a temper tantrum.
The parents are currently filing complaints with the school board and the police, and are also considering taking their son, Daniel, to a different school.
What Should Have Happened?
The school staff are trained in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI), a method of identifying and dealing with escalating behaviours typically seen in children and adults with special needs. This child was clearly at the last stage, which dictates you isolate and do not engage because the individual is over-stimulated and not in a position to be reasoned with logically.
As a care provider for people with special needs for over eight years, I can attest that these behaviours are not abnormal. At some homes I’ve worked in you could see this type of behavioural outburst 2-3 times before breakfast is served.
A Divided Readership
If you read the comments below the multitude of articles covering this story, you’ll see some people on the (rightfully so) side of the angry parents, and others defending the police officer for using handcuffs. The thing is, both sides are completely right, but that’s not the point.
You see, if the boy had been left alone to cool off, which individuals almost always do, the situation would’ve resolved itself. However, when the police officer entered the fray, she inadvertently over-stimulated an already overly-stimulated person. Inevitably, she had to use the tools at her disposal (handcuffs) to respond to a potential threat – that is typical police stuff and she should not be crucified for doing her job… It’s just that she didn’t need to be doing her job in this instance.
Nobody Wins Unless Everybody Wins
Now, we’re left with a police force facing negative publicity (because that doesn’t happen enough), parents who are angry about the treatment of their child, and, most importantly, a child who is emotionally scarred and will likely never trust anyone in uniform again.
So who’s to blame?
Well, we are, or at least, Canadian society is. We are massively lacking in the tools and resources to adequately understand and support individuals with special needs and it is causing situations like these on a frequent basis.
We’re putting ordinary people in extraordinary situations and expecting them to react perfectly each and every time – it’s not going to happen.
No one’s at fault and we’re all to blame.