Sometimes I have the opportunity to connect with interesting people that want to provide better healthcare collaboration like myself. Recently, I was introduced to such an individual in Suresh Kumar, the founder of a solution called “vCareConnect”.
I recently asked him about how he came up with his entrepreneurial initiative. Below is my interview with him.
Ajay: Suresh, thanks for sharing some of your thoughts with me and the readers of Healthcare Interoperability. How did you start this concept of Care Coordination?
Suresh: One of my neighbors is a caregiver for her 75 year old Mother. Her Mother had had a mild stroke and had to be taken to the Emergency Room. She shared with me how, during this event, she had to share the same information over and over again with different people and most of the providers were not aware of the care prescribed by other physicians for her Mother. That’s when it struck me. Why can’t the healthcare experience be like going on Amazon.com? In an “Amazon experience” the buyer provides the information only once, completes their purchase with many sellers within the “Amazon ecosystem” without having to re-enter their information and the fulfillment department knows everything about the order and optimizes shipping to reduce costs. Granted in that model, it is possible to be well coordinated as a seller is in that ecosystem. In healthcare, we cannot get all of the healthcare systems under one umbrella. That was the genesis for the solution which I named, “vCareConnect”; a care coordination platform that provides transparency to the patient, provider, caregiver and care manager, enabling collaboration.
Ajay: So what is your concept of care coordination?
Suresh: Coordination means different things to different people, here is how we describe coordination, it is the ability to clearly communicate to provider, patient, caregiver and care manager on what care is needed for the patient, when is it needed and how to organize to ensure patient receives the care.
Lets say, as a scenario, I am on a visit to Florida and I fall sick. I should be able to quickly share my medical record with the provider so that they can see the Care Plan I am on and medications I am taking. After I get back from my travel to Florida, I should be able to revoke provider access if I want to do so.
Ajay: That is an interesting concept, but what’s unique about vCareConnect?
Suresh: Another key part of the platform is a greater inclusion of caregivers. Caregivers play a key role in influencing patient behaviors and we believe this is an aspect that’s not been explored enough to improve patient engagement. Say if I am lagging behind on my blood pressure testing, if my wife knows about it she will certainly influence or prompt me to get it completed.
Unlike traditional careplans our solution helps provider/care manager communicate care tasks in an easily understandable, daily task-like fashion. Our multi-modal communication tool-set delivers the information via the channel the patient prefers (such as online, through a smartphone app or a regular landline/mobile telephone call). What we are trying to do is providing tools to a team based care approach to ensure transparency and communication among all of the stakeholders in the care process.
Ajay: That’s awesome to hear. Have you had any early successes in your entrepreneurial pursuits?
Suresh: Fortunately, we have had a chance to pilot this product in a rural population in India and have had some success in decreasing the miscarriage rate and improving deliveries at the local government facilities from 20% to 35%. We were also able to save the patient population around $140,000.
Ajay: Suresh, thanks for sharing your experience and your entrepreneurial adventures with us. I look forward to your success and your continued advocacy for better patient care through healthcare information technology!
Suresh: Thanks Ajay.
Suresh Kumar is the founder of vCareConnect. He is a technology leader and has worked in technology consulting and advisory for 15 years. As a Senior Enterprise Architect and management consultant, he has provided services to organizations such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Wellpoint and Cigna. He was the Operations Director for Transunion Healthcare’s Analytics Product managedcare.com and has worked for consulting firms such as Booz & Co , Deloitte and Capgemini. Suresh currently lives in Illinois with his family.