Innovation Work
Innovation work

This is the world in which we now live: you can get an on-demand chauffeured car, pay your bills with a click, and tap your phone to unlock a communal bike parked on the sidewalk. Companies have stepped up to meet our everyday needs in a way that actually fits into our everyday routines. We think our patients deserve that too: care when, where, and how they want it.

Prenatal care telemedicine

A lot of prenatal care happens without ever touching the patient: a clinician gathers medical history, talks through symptoms and behaviors, educates about screenings, and offers counseling. So, we’re taking the requirement to physically be in an exam room out of how we deliver prenatal care. Through our telemedicine program, a pregnant patient can talk to a nurse long before the first office visit – so she can avoid the Google search spiral, get reliable answers to her questions, and feel supported by her care team from the outset. Eventually, with the help of remote monitoring devices, pregnant Atrius Health patients will even be able to do half of their prenatal care visits virtually.

Developmental pediatrics telemedicine

The father of one patient explained his routine to access developmental pediatric care for his 4 year-old autistic son: take 3 hours off from work, drive his son an hour to the practice, and try to keep his son calm during and after the car ride – often without success – so that he and the provider could have a productive conversation about his son’s progress and services. By offering telemedicine visits, Atrius Health is continuing to provide high-quality care while also lowering the burden on patients and their families.

Tele-therapy

Even for motivated patients, getting therapy can be tough. For many of our patients, telemedicine doesn’t just make therapy more convenient – it makes therapy possible. Through our tele-therapy program, patients can talk with a behavioral health provider virtually from the comfort of home or work, avoid unnecessary travel time and effort, access providers who otherwise would have been too far away to see, and secure therapy times outside the 9-5.

Remote diabetes management

When a pregnant Atrius Health patient receives a gestational diabetes diagnosis, she goes home with Glooko. Glooko, a Bluetooth-enabled device that connects with the patient’s glucometer, collects the patient’s blood sugar data and automatically uploads it for population health staff to review. Using the device, patients can also share their exercise, diet, and medication information. By getting this data in real time, staff can more effectively support patients in managing their blood sugar in between visits.

Digital specialty consultations

With teledermatology, Atrius Health primary care providers who see patients with a concerning skin issue can send a photo of it directly to the dermatology department. In the first two years, more than 10,000 patients participated and more than half of those had their problem addressed without ever needing a specialty visit. Teledermatology’s success led to a comprehensive e-consult system through which primary care providers can get a specialist’s advice on next steps in care, decreasing the need for the patient to see the specialist. These programs have improved the patient experience, increased specialists’ capacity for face-to-face visits with complex patients, and lowered the cost of care.