Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Frontive combines AI and Amazon Echo to simplify patient care

Steve Rogerson
October 1, 2019
Frontive, a California-based digital health company that aims to improve health management for patients and families, has launched its smart personal health platform, Frontive Health.
Frontive combines its patented artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technology with Amazon Echo's voice assistant to connect and organise fragmented pieces of health information securely to help patients and caregivers more easily adhere to care regimens. The company aims to enhance the patient experience by delivering highly personalised, relevant and timely information in a way that reflects how patients actually experience care management.
Today, when patients receive a diagnosis or undergo a major surgery, they are sent home with generic and complex self-management instructions from doctors, nurses and pharmacists. For example, a patient may already be on medications for hypertension and diabetes, and then be sent home with pain relievers following joint surgery. Unfortunately, it is left to the patient and family to determine how to interpret these care instructions and then integrate them with ones they may already be managing. As a result, avoidable mistakes occur too often, and patients are unnecessarily hesitant, anxious and frustrated. Additionally, poor outcomes and unnecessary costs increase.
Nearly one in three American adults and more than half of those over 65 live with three or more chronic conditions. Additionally, tens of millions of Americans annually undergo major surgeries, such as total joint replacement or cardiovascular procedures. Organising and carefully following the instructions around the various medications, pre-op and post-op protocols, and dietary modifications is significant and often overwhelming.
Rather than pushing excessive health education content and constant reminders to patients who may already be overwhelmed, Frontive Health takes a less-is-more approach, prioritising a limited number of daily actions that are most important for the best possible outcomes.
"When patients are heading home after surgery or were just prescribed their tenth daily medication, expecting them to fully grasp and recall the details around all of these instructions is unrealistic and sets them up for failure," said Anthony Jones, co-founder and CEO of Frontive. "Today, too much patient information is organised and presented to reduce liability instead of supporting patients the way they actually experience recovery and health management. We're aiming to change this so that patients always feel supported and in control."
To help enhance both pre-op preparation and post-op rehabilitation for total knee replacement patients, Lowell General Hospital (LGH), a not-for-profit community hospital based in Lowell, Massachusetts, recently completed the first pilot using Frontive Health. The pilot included 15 patients who were set up with Frontive two weeks prior to their surgery and continued to use the platform for two months after discharge from the hospital.
Using Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, patients were able to get detailed information about their prescription medications and, most importantly, receive daily guidance on specific goals, expectations, actions and items to avoid. Because Frontive Health knows the patient's actual date of surgery, the daily guidance is specific for that moment in time, making it more relevant, simpler and more likely to be done. A second pilot at Lowell General was recently started, which adds an integrated mobile app to support both patients and family caregivers.
"Care doesn't end when a patient leaves the hospital, but it does become harder to help them manage their care," said Cecelia Lynch, vice president of patient care at Lowell General Hospital. "Frontive Health works in conjunction with the care team to help make it easier for our patients and their families to keep up with their care regimens at home and successfully recover."
Jean Grieco, a 78-year old participant in the trial, said: "I am amazed at what Frontive Health can do and how it helped me after my knee surgery earlier this year. Even though I read through the binder of information I got at my pre-op session, I didn't need to go back to it after my surgery because I could just ask Frontive. I asked personal questions about my health – from what medications I should take and when, to where I should be in my recovery – and it told me everything I needed to know. For anyone who wants to know exactly what to expect ahead of a surgery and how to manage their recovery after, Frontive Health is a wonderful tool."
Frontive Health is designed to support how patients and family caregivers actually experience care management by:

  • Focusing on the task management of care instead of diagnosis and triage;
  • Identifying and guiding patients through the three to four daily actions to do and/or to avoid that most contribute to their goals instead of attempting to convert patients into clinical experts; and
  • Leveraging patients' existing health information and preferences to create a highly personalised interaction that dynamically adapts as needed.
Frontive Health also relieves patients and family members from time-consuming manual data entry and maintenance by automatically extracting and updating select items directly from patients' personal health records. This information is maintained in a private HIPAA-compliant cloud to protect patient privacy. By simplifying and personalising care management, patients are more likely to remain adherent to their instructions which increases the probability of improved outcomes.
Frontive is based in Los Angeles, California.