Category Archives: Home Health Tech

New Pillbox Helps Patients Better Manage Medication, Lowering Healthcare Costs

MedFolioDoctors, patients and caregivers can now better manage patient medication via Cloud-based, digital device system that reduces errors, lowers cost, and increases patient health.

Pacific Healthcare Pharmacy Group and medical technology company MedFolio, LLC have partnered to create the digital medication management program. The new system is composed of an electronic, wireless pillbox, a doctor-supervised medication delivery and management program, and a secure, Cloud-based notification system.

This new system fills a growing need in American healthcare: medication management. Many patients do not properly take their medication, research shows. Indeed, up to 50 percent of medications are not taken as prescribed, and as much as 30 percent of prescriptions are never filled.

As a result, health often deteriorates and patients end up back in the hospital. The cost to American taxpayers is high: Failure to manage patient medication costs the U.S. an extra $100 to $289 billion every year.

The MedFolio system is available at Home Health Tech:

The new system is already helping doctors such as Nicholas Jauregi, medical director of the Wellness and Supportive Care Medical Group. The system, he says, achieves a “triple aim”: improves quality, increases patient health and satisfaction and reduces cost.

“In palliative medicine, we see patients who are the most fragile, the most ill. They can take upwards of 10 medications; it can be a nightmare to manage,” said Jauregi, whose center serves patients in Los Angeles and Orange County.

“This cloud-based system gives us an automated way to ensure good medication management. And the electronic pillbox makes it even easier. It’s a big solution for healthcare.”

Here’s how the system works: Each month, Pacific Healthcare fills patient prescriptions, inserts the medication into MedFolio’s electronic pillbox, and delivers the pillbox to patients. The electronic pillbox, which was invented by a pharmacist, can be programmed to beep and light up when the patient is scheduled to take medication. The patient or caregiver must press a button on the device to turn off the alerts.

The device connects to a computer via USB and a secure cloud database which tracks in real time whether a patient has taken his or her medication. Alerts are sent by text message and email. Doctors and family members can go online and see whether their patients have taken their medication on time and in the correct dosage.

The electronic pillbox and cloud database complement Pacific Healthcare’s Web-based pharmacy application, which enables prescription orders, bill access and medication records.

“The electronic pillbox and the Cloud-based system closes the loop for us. Now we have a complete turnkey solution for medication compliance,” said Stannon Reed, president of Pacific Healthcare Pharmacy Group, which works with more than 60 doctors and helps manage medication for about 6,000 patients, primarily in California.

Julie Fulmer-Mason, the pharmacist who invented the electronic wireless pillbox, added that the partnership means that medication management is easier, more convenient, and more accurate for patients.

“We have always been dedicated to providing patients and their families the best tools to effectively manage their medications at home,” said Fulmer-Mason, president of MedFolio.

“Now, with Pacific Healthcare offering medication dispensing and delivery services for the MedFolio Pillbox, our customers can enjoy the convenience of prefilled, accurate pillboxes arriving on their doorsteps once a month.”

For more information about MedFolio, the Pacific Healthcare Pharmacy Group, and the integrated medication management program, go to

Introducing TelCare: The World’s First Wireless Enabled Blood Glucose Meter

No need to write down glucose readings on paper. No need to call your doctor with concerns. When you start using the Telcare BGM Cellular-Enabled Blood Glucose Meter, managing your diabetes gets easier than ever.

As the world’s first stand-alone, wireless glucometer, the Telcare BGM wirelessly uploads each glucose reading to Telcare’s online server. This online hub gives patients, their healthcare providers, and their family members secure, 24/7 access to automatically organized health data, viewable through any web-enabled device, anywhere in the world.

  • Automatically uploads tests results to the Telserve database
  • Stores up to 300 of your most recent readings
  • Only requires a small blood sample
  • Receives personal messages from your healthcare team
  • Test strips automatically calibrate with the meter

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GrandCare Systems to Offer GreatCall’s 5Star Urgent Response

GT5STARxaGrandCare Systems and GreatCall have recently announced that GrandCare has added 5Star Urgent Response, the leading mobile personal emergency response solution (mPERS), to its comprehensive caregiving technology platform. Both of these products are available at Home Health Tech.

GrandCare’s simple, touch platform enables an at-home senior to view pictures, receive incoming messages, watch videos, video chat with family, listen to music and play fun games. Using a series of wireless activity and telehealth devices, GrandCare can alert designated caregivers by phone, email or text if anything unusual occurs. GrandCare’s technology is used today domestically and internationally by residents of senior living communities and assisted living facilities, seniors living independently, and by recipients of in-home senior care.

See more about GrandCare Systems here:

5Star extends the GrandCare platform by enabling seniors with immediate access to help in an urgent situation, while they are in their home or away. Seniors carry or wear the compact 5Star device and press the button to connect to a 24/7 professional emergency response agent when they feel vulnerable or uncertain, or are experiencing a health or safety issue. The highly trained, NAED-certified 5Star agents have immediate access to the senior’s personal profile and location, evaluate the situation, determine the right course of action and coordinate the help needed, remaining on the line until the situation is resolved. 5Star also includes access to a URAC Accredited Health Call Center, registered nurses, and physicians when appropriate.

See more about GreatCall 5Star Urgent Response here:

Designated caregivers can log into the GrandCare website to send communications to the loved one, view activity & digital health sensor information, and customize the automatic caregiver alerts. A caregiver may choose to receive a call, email or text message if specified conditions occur. With the addition of 5Star, caregivers can use an on-line locator service to find a loved one who is missing or hasn’t responded to a call, and can be designated as a contact in the case of an urgent incident.

“We have always known GreatCall as a capable and visionary leader in the mPERS industry,” said GrandCare Systems founder and CEO Charlie Hillman. “Adding their mPERS solution to our existing caregiving technology platform is a natural fit.”

“5Star Urgent Response offers a crucial safety net for senior care recipients and peace of mind for their caregivers. GrandCare serves a market segment that is important to us, and we are pleased to add them as a distribution partner,” said GreatCall CEO David Inns.

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Father’s Day Gift Idea: 50% Off Presto Email Printer

Looking for a Father’s Day gift idea? Home Health Tech by Home Controls is offering the Presto Email Printer for only $49.99 … a savings of $50!

Watch the video to see why your dad would love this handy computer-free communication system!

Presto’s Printing Mailbox sends printed letters and photographs without requiring a computer or even an Internet connection. Those who are technology-shy or have limited dexterity can stay connected with all the family news and can be reminded of get-togethers and appointments.

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Caregiving Stress Busters Help You Cope & Remain Strong

Caring for a sick or aging loved one can take a huge toll on your health, too … and it’s just as important to take care of yourself. AARP has put together six simple tips on how to take better care of you and reduce the stress in your life.

Make the Freezer Your Friend

“Telling caregivers to ‘eat right’ is useless advice,” says Washington, D.C., dietitian Katherine Tallmadge. Caregivers usually know what to eat; they just don’t have time to cook healthier meals. Her answer: batch cooking, which lets you freeze individual portions that you can eat during the week. She tells harried caregivers to make a big pot of a hearty, all-in-one meal like a soup with meat, beans and vegetables, or a stew.

Mix in Meditation

Twelve minutes of daily meditation can dramatically improve the mental health of caregivers, report UCLA researchers. In that study, 65 percent of family caregivers who practiced a chanting yogic meditation called Kirtan Kriya every day for eight weeks saw a 50 percent improvement on a depression-rating scale. Meditation also increased telomerase activity – a sign that cellular aging had slowed, says study author Helen Lavretsky, M.D.

Stockpile Healthy Snacks

Nutritious foods you can grab on the run help keep blood sugar levels on an even keel and energy levels from flagging, says Tallmadge. She nixes the typical granola bars – “too high in sugar” – opting instead for what she calls “real food” with hunger-busting protein. That means a handful of whole almonds or a PB&J sandwich. Plus, healthy snacks are a good way to add more fruits, vegetables and fiber to your diet.

Slow Down

Whether it’s heating up food for dinner or helping someone in the bathroom, the advice is the same: Don’t rush. “It sounds obvious, but when you’re stressed and distracted, you’re more prone to having accidents. What you don’t need is to cut or burn yourself, or slip in the tub,” says Karen Rowinsky, an Overland Park, Kansas, social worker who specializes in caregiver counseling. Such accidents can be a warning sign that you’re at your limit, a 2006 study finds.


This may seem counter‑intuitive – you’re already doing so much to help your family member. But helping out in a different way, in a different setting, can be gratifying and therapeutic, says Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: “One woman told me she volunteers weekly at an animal shelter because the pets are so responsive.” Plus, volunteers live longer than nonvolunteers, a University of Michigan study found last year.

Improve Your Sleep Habits

Disrupted sleep saps your energy for dealing with the demands of caregiving, says Cleveland Clinic geriatrician Ronan Factora, M.D. Brain scans of sleep-deprived patients in the University of California, Berkeley’s sleep lab also found that brain measures of anxiety shot up by more than 60 percent in those who were the most fatigued. So adopt good sleep habits – a dark room, fewer distractions in the bedroom – for more restful sleep.

Preparing for a Disaster for Older Americans

A unique instructional video containing information specific to Older Americans and tips on how to prepare for emergency situations.

Stay Connected To Your Family & Friends

Family and friends play a big part in our lives and it is important to stay in touch with the ones we care about the most. Available at Home Health Tech, Bellman & Symfon offers a solution if you sometimes have difficulty hearing the doorbell or when the telephone rings.

The Bellman Visit Value Pack includes everything you need for a wireless alert system that lets you know when your doorbell or telephone rings. Designed for those with hearing loss, the Bellman Visit System provides powerful flashing alerts to help you recognize everyday events at home.

See it here:

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Signs Your Elderly Parent May Be Unsafe Living Alone

This information comes from The information was released in September of last year, but is still very relevant today.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between normal, age-related decline and something more serious. According to Alan Gruber, M.D., a psychiatrist with a private practice in Massachusetts, there are several ways a loved one can tell if an elderly relative is losing his or her independence. Here are some things to look for:

Home Health Tech1. Missed appointments: Failing to meet a friend or doctor without cancelling in advance may be a sign of declining health.

2. Maintaining hygiene: Pay attention to body odor, grooming, incontinence and dressing according to the season.

3. Easily disoriented: A failure to recognize familiar spaces, wandering, or getting lost in well-known areas are early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.

4. Loss of memory: Forgetting something at the store is a sign of “benign” memory loss; forgetting something at the store and not remembering that you did when someone reminds you of it is “malignant,” or pathological memory impairment and bears a closer look.

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10 States with the Most Affordable Assisted Living Costs

St. Joseph Assisted Living Center

St. Joseph Assisted Living Center in Montana

When I worked as an Eldercare Resource Coordinator for A Place for Mom, I had countless conversations with families and seniors who were in the process of searching for care. I remember one elderly woman in particular, we’ll call her Janet, who asked me, “What state has the cheapest assisted living?” Janet lived alone and had no living family, but she needed hands-on care. She was in an akward financial position such that her income was too high to qualify for Medicaid, but not really enough to afford the care and housing she needed.

Most people would agree that it’s sad and unfortunate that a senior would who need to consider leaving their state to afford care, but economic realities aren’t always friendly. Janet genuinely saw moving out of state to be the solution to her dilemma.

At the time, I didn’t have the data below, so I didn’t have an answer for Janet on our call. I speculated that states with lower housing costs would also have lower assisted living costs, but urged her to reconsider moving out of state. By putting her income in what’s called a Miller Trust, I told her, she could potentially qualify for Medicaid after all.

Assisted Living Costs

Ultimately, Janet did not end up needing to leave her state. But if there are any other Janets out there, here’s a list of states where assisted living is most affordable according to our 2012 2012 Cost of Care SurveyAs one might expect, southern states and plains states are somewhat over-represented on this list. These figures are based on the average cost of a one-bedroom assisted living apartment in the state:

51. Montana ($2,559)

50. South Dakota ($2,630)

49. Idaho ($2,687)

48. Oklahoma ($2,706)

47. Mississippi ($2,784)

46. North Dakota ($2,808)

45. Indiana ($2,884)

44. Tennessee ($2,913)

43. Kentucky ($2,916)

42. Michigan ($2,927)

For this analysis we counted the District as Columbia as state, hence the rankings end on #51 instead of #50.

Dakim BrainFitness Is Named a 2013 Silver Edison Award Winner

Dakim BrainFitnessThe Edison Awards, celebrating 26 years of honoring the best in innovation and excellence in the development of new products and services, announced that Dakim BrainFitness was voted a silver winner for innovation at the April 25 event at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Being recognized with an Edison Award is one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of innovation and business. The awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) whose inventions, new product development methods and innovative achievements literally changed the world.

“Our judges recognized Dakim BrainFitness as a true innovator out of the many products in its category,” said Frank Bonafilia, executive director of the Edison Awards.

Dakim BrainFitness is available at Home Health Tech:

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