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From August 8th-10th, MaRS Discovery District will be hosting Toronto’s Accessibility Innovation Showcase. This FREE event will consist of a wide variety of companies that will be showcasing the latest advances in accessibility technology and assistive devices. By attending, you will be meeting 50 innovative accessibility technology companies with high investment potential. As an attendee, you will see demonstrations of the latest technologies helping improve the quality of lives of people with disabilities— including prosthetics, specialized applications, and personalized robotics.

Mozzaz will be participating in this showcase presenting our patient engagement solution, Mozzaz Care, which helps individuals with chronic illnesses and disabilities actively participate in their own health care needs more effectively. So mark your calendars for this opportunity to experience these 50 incredible advances in health care technology up close!

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Complex care needs of an individual often last a lifetime and require treatment addressed by a wide spectrum of needs, which can be a costly and time-consuming process. Despite the copious amounts funding allocated to complex care, there is growing evidence that these individuals are not receiving care that is coordinated or implemented in the most appropriate settings. Achieving patient engagement in complex care requires active collaboration in all phases of the care lifecycle, continuous patient participation, a method to monitor compliance, and engagement across the entire care continuum.

As a health care professional, keeping up with the ever-changing world of mHealth is key in implementing true patient engagement. Our white paper addresses the issues associated with the coordination of complex care throughout the care lifecycle. Download it today to see our take on the solution to improve a patient’s overall quality of life.

When speaking openly about mental illness, it’s key to be aware of terms used and how you say them. The National Autistic Society (NAS), the Royal College of GPs, and the UCL Institute of Education decided to take a look at the preferences of people on the autism spectrum, their families, friends, and professionals. On July 1st, 2015, an unprecedented piece of research into the language used by autism communities to describe autism was released. The study consisted of a survey in which 3,470 were analyzed. The results showed that there is no single term that everyone prefers. Not surprisingly, though, the study suggested a shift towards more positive and assertive language.

More specifically, the research found that all groups like the terms 'on the autism spectrum' and 'Asperger’s syndrome'. Autistic adults and families seem to have different preferences; as adults like the terms ‘autistic’ and ‘Aspie’, whereas families didn’t like ‘Aspie’. Professionals on the other hand seemed to most highly prefer the term 'autism spectrum disorder’. Some terms were strongly disliked by all, including 'low functioning', 'Kanner's autism' and 'classic autism'. The language we use is important because it embodies and helps to change attitudes towards autism. The research shows that language preferences are evolving, and we will continue to research and test how different groups prefer to speak about autism.

Take a look at the full research paper: “'Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community' in Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice” or listen to a podcast of NAS Director of the Centre for Autism Carol Povey and Researcher Lorcan Kenny explaining the research.

From June 16th-18th, Open Minds Strategy hosted the 2015 Strategy & Innovation Institute in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sammy Wahab, CEO and Founder of Mozzaz Corporation, walked away with many new market insights.

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One of his biggest take-ways was that reimbursements to provider organizations will require proof of return across all payers; including commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid. The institute focused on payer preference for coordinated care. Another point made was that organizations need to make sure they are maintaining a competitive “value equation” ̶ in other words, getting the bang for their buck ̶ in terms of cost vs. quantity. The technology being implemented must not only create an advancement in the care continuum, but generate a return that’s greater than the cost of carrying out the technological advancement. The final take-way from the institute highlighted how new service lines emerging will all involve “care management”, meaning patients will become actively involved in their own care. “There was an increased emphasis on community based and coordinated care,” Wahab stated regarding the presentation.

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He had plenty to walk away with, but major emphasis was placed on containing costs and providing more care across medical, behavioral, and social health sectors. More information on the 2015 Strategy & Innovation Institute can be found on the Open Minds website.

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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.

CoCentrix June3rd Webinar

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.

The high cost of interventions

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.

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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.

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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 Key to Independence is Proper Advice

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.

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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.