October 19, 2022: How can a senior’s life be improved? How can their caregiver’s life be made easier? Dwight Raum, Chief Digital Officer shares how Quil Assure‘s connected home system, with the use of AI and ML, learns patterns and keeps caregivers alert when things are off. This means better outcomes at a lower cost. And the best thing? It doesn’t feel evasive. Imagine a 24/7 emergency support technology that just melts into the background but can potentially save your life.
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My dad was certainly very skeptical when we put the units into his home and at the end I was doing a survey and I asked him about technology and did he feel it was evasive? And I was really surprised when he told me it just kind of melted into the background. He didn't even notice it anymore. And I imagine many caregivers and seniors kind of have that relationship where the caregiver is mediating the trust. And I think that was a really critical component to it being a successful tool.
welcome to a solution showcase today, we're talking with Dwight Raum Chief Digital Officer for Quil health. And we're gonna talk about age in place. Quil has a digital health platform that allows people to age in place has a set of cameras sensors and communication devices that enabled me to care for my aging parent across the country. And you as well. And Dwight shares some of the things that they're doing around that. around home care around AI and ML and whatnot. So again, great episode. Great conversation with Dwight. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital. And creator of this week health, a set of channels, dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. We wanna thank our sponsor for today. Quil health for giving us some time with Dwight and making this content possible now 📍 onto the show.
I'm here with Dwight rom with Quil Health Dwight, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. I'm looking forward to the conversation. Quil is doing some really cool things, especially in the aging in place. kind of space and I'm looking forward to that conversation. Give us a little bit of your background though. You didn't you, how long have you been at Quil and where were you?
Yeah, I've been at Quil for a little less than a year now. Prior to that though, I was with Johns Hopkins medicine for about 20 years and had various roles, but chief technology officer and then ended my career there as interim CIO.
Oh, so came in after Stephanie.
Yeah. Yeah. I know Stephanie very well. Somebody I worked with for a very long time.
Wow, fantastic. When I first became a CIO, I went to a a class up at Harvard mm-hmm and Stephanie came in and gave a portion of the lecture. It was outstanding.
Yeah. She's she's a very special person in my career, but also personally,
Well, fantastic. So you've moved over to Quil, chief digital officer, chief digital officer. Yeah. So what does the chief digital officer do for Quil?
So I view it as kind of a mix of both technology and product while I was at Johns Hopkins, in retrospect, I realized that I, I really thrived at bringing technology to bear in solutions that people could really understand and adopt.
So it really required understanding the business That was a natural transition for me as a chief digital officer for Quil, because I'm now responsible for engineering that actually writes the products and delivers them, but also product which defines what goes into that product and how people will actually use that technology and hopefully adopt it.
So Quil for those who don't know Quil is a,
it's a joint venture of Comcast independent blue cross,
independent blue cross, and market you're focused on
we're We're focused principally on direct to consumer right now with our assure product. So as assure is, as you said earlier, an age in place technology it's brand new.
We just opened it up to, to the broader market in the last month or so, but as essentially a suite of sensors that go into a senior's home and there's an ambient set of signals that come out of those sensors that we can use to monitor in a very discrete and non-intrusive way what's going on in the household. Every single. day And it's, it's a great tool to help somebody who may be on the edge of needing senior living or assisted living to maybe stay in their home a little bit longer than they would've otherwise.
it's an interesting model. I mean, we all have stories, right? Yeah. So we lived in California. My father-in-law lived in Pennsylvania. He was alone in this house. And sounds like that would, for me as the buyer, that would be an interesting.
Absolutely. So this is as much for the caregivers as it is actually for the senior. And just speaking from my own personal experience, my father is, is aging.
He's near 80 now, but he's a widower and lives at home and alone. He lives 300 miles away from me and my sisters and I, we all do a really good job of trying to keep tabs on to make sure things are going okay. But this gives us an extra layer of security using technology to understand what time did he get up in the morning?
did he leave home? Did he come back when we expected him? And then assure also mixes in ambient sensors, like from the home, but then also mixes that data with wearables. So signals coming from apple watch and whatnot. We have just so much more insight now into how he's doing other than calling him and pestering every single day and saying, Hey dad, dad,
are you taking? Yeah. Yeah.
Where's the data going to, so am I as the care provider getting the data or is there somebody else getting the data.
So we think of really the caregiver as the primary consumer of the data, the caregiver and the senior themselves. So we are combining that data. It really goes into an app, which we run some models on.
So we have some ML machine learning that actually interprets makes predictions about when they're gonna wake up and they're gonna go to bed, that sort of thing, but it's really for them and them alone at this point.
Interesting. So what kind of sensors
Yeah. Yeah. So actually that was a great question. First question I got from my father is you're not putting any cameras or microphones in my home.
Right? Well, I was, I was gonna go to privacy, but I usually close out with that, but
yeah, so they're actually very simple sensors. They're door sensors, like you would have for home security system and motion detectors. Door Sensors. Yeah. So just a little magnet sensor, essentially, it goes on a door and you put on a perimeter door and we can, we can know and make predictions about when you've left the home or when you're gonna come back based on entry patterns and arrival patterns.
Could we do that with like a bathroom? They went into the back?
Absolutely. So obviously it depends on the use case and the senior, but there are obviously many situations where you'd wanna watch nighttime bathroom visits. It could be an early indicator. Some sort of decompensation with a chronic disease, if you have too many bathroom visits.
So if the individual has something like that, you can absolutely improve the level of, of data that you're getting and insight into what's going on in their individual health.
So doors in motion and motion. Yeah. Okay. So the motion is fall detection, essentially. What other things are we looking for there?
So we're looking for. Looking for fall detection. And the way we do that right now is we, we learn the blueprint of the home, essentially. So we look for patterns in how they move throughout that home. And as they pass through these different sensor zones, we can understand if they are in a hallway or in a stairwell for longer than expected.
There's a high probability that they've had some sort of event in there. And from that we can raise a concern. To the family member to say, Hey you might want to contact mom or dad and find out what's going on. How have they fallen or something like that.
So there's some AI ML involved in this.
There is yeah.
Of seeing patterns. This is what AI, I mean, if I simplified AI in ML seeing patterns that is coming from the video feed or from the sensors or yeah. That kind of stuff. Interesting. are we integrating. Existing devices that are on the market or is there a proprietary device that
so we're integrating really with Google fit and with health kit. So if you're in the Android ecosystem or the Aapple ecosystem, we can pull data in from those devices. And we use that to influence those insights that we give back. It's really kind of early days still, but I'm envisioning a future where we start to draw in data from, from health kit around your conditions.
And that may influence some of the things that. We may wanna monitor. So for. instance If somebody's had hip replacement, we might be really interested in what their gate speed is. Is it going up or going down? Are they experiencing more pain or less pain as a consequence of that things that really start conversations are what those insights are intended for
so privacy, you haven't said camera yet.
No cameras. Yeah, no cameras.
Interesting. So the privacy aspect. a lot less of a concern I would imagine.
It is. And like I said, my dad was certainly very skeptical when we put the units into his home and this was early beta kind of test that we were doing with him. And at the end I was doing a survey and I asked him about technology and did he feel it was evasive?
And I was really surprised when he told me it just kind of melted into the background. Yeah. He didn't even notice it anymore. And A lot of that was based on his trust of me. And I imagine many caregivers and seniors kind of have that relationship where the caregiver is mediating the trust. And I think that was a really critical component to it being a successful tool. He wasn't overtly mindful of the sensors that just blended into the background.
Well, and some of the programs we've done home health and and care at home kind of programs require them to do something. I mean, you're talking about a passive system. It's passive. Yeah. Those active systems, we have all, all sorts of challenges with just get them to, Hey step on the scale once a day. But even that could be a passive system.
Absolutely. Yeah. And you could see with, with like a healthcare integrated scale, you can get weight, you could put that together with, like I said, gates street.
So you could, I didn't think about that aspect. Absolutely. You could start to integrate that. We've talked to some people who are starting talking about passive. Telemetry data essentially, but again, we're talking cameras, but essentially they can look at you. They can see things like respiratory rates and yep. That kind of stuff. Is that something that's in the future or is that not, not on this roadmap,
it's not on this roadmap at this point. I think that could evolve though based on whether or not we get into management of certain chronic diseases. So you could see like a C O P D type of scenario, especially nighttime. If there are any kind of respiratory issues during. You could see having a more sophisticated sensor that would help monitor breathing patterns,
anything specific for diabetes
for diabetes, I think really we're gonna be looking at continuous glucose monitoring, integrating that through health kit. So again, we're not really adding additional sensors into the home, but then combining that with
really what you're trying to do is empower me as the caregiver. Yeah. Because I think about my 85 year old, father-in-law he wasn't gonna look at any of that stuff. So how do I integrate with the health system? All right. So I'm the care provider. And now clearly in this case of emergency call 9 1 1, get those kind of things, but am I gonna be able to identify some things and provide that to the care provider? Is there any integration there?
Not yet. I mean, so that's one of the markets that we're exploring is what kind of value can we bring to a provider directly. And I think there is a lot of insight that we could potentially bring. I mean, obviously for a lot. Diseases like C O P D or CHF, or even diabetes. You have those, those windows of management where you really trying to avoid readmissions, but we have so much insight beyond just what you're getting on a scale or on a CGM or on a blood pressure cuff.
We know if they're moving or not, we can tell if they're sleeping, we can understand bathroom visits. So I think the question is what is the value to providers and understanding that perspective beyond those specific measures that they're already. Perfect.
How does the comcast relationship play into this? I mean, one of the things we've talked to Karina Edwards CEO, a couple times about that relationship and we back then, we were talking about set top boxes and I mean, there's a set top box in my house. I mean, there's, they're just everywhere. Does that play into this at all anymore? Or is it more of a standalone kind of solution?
It is standalone. So you do not need to be a Comcast subscriber to use ashore at. But where Comcast has been a great partner is really the power of their size and their access to technology. So your point around having a set top box in an existing Comcast subscriber home that may be something that we can leverage and really reduce the cost of acquisition for this technology.
Right. Because you're gonna be, you're gonna be sending signals. Yeah. And I assume it's a cloud-based solution. So it's all cloud based sending to the cloud. Then I receive from the cloud.
Yeah. And actually our our kit that goes into the home already talked about the sensors, but there is a hub which is cellular backup. So even if you lose internet it still has connectivity back into our systems and it's also battery backup. So if you lose power, we also have know, battery backup capability on that.
When we were doing our home care programs, one of the hardest things was getting 'em set up. Is this the kind of thing where you just order a box that shows. And then you set it up or are there partners that are setting it up?
So it is a self-install, but we have a white glove service where we actually work with the caregiver typically to do the installation because does require putting the sensors here, just using double stick tape putting 'em in certain places throughout the home. But it is relatively straightforward.
I could see like a geek squad thing. Absolutely. Come on in and, and set that up direct to consumer. How is that? How is that different? I mean, you come from the provider.
It's very different for me, right. Going from a really captive audience to to direct to consumer, I think the, the approach to marketing and the approach to taking friction out of the exchange out of the transaction is so critical.
And then also understanding what the continuing relationship management looks like for that, that consumer that is employing the technology that means putting in tools on our side to actively monitor. Hey, maybe you've got a problem with your setup. We'll proactively outreach to that, to that senior or to that caregiver and say, Hey we think there's a blind spot in this sensor somewhere
are you guys still in pilot? Have you moved to full?
We are fully available now fully available.
Us, us only at this point, us only all 50 states, all 50 states.
Wow. I would assume you're marketing to you're marketing to me. We are yeah. Caring for our parents. Yep. From afar.
Yeah. I mean, I think about it as the sort of the sandwich generation obviously aging parents, but then I have, I have kids in college and whatnot and you're working on both sides. and sometimes I wish I had Aho from my my college age kids. ,
that's, that's a different conversation altogether, but I mean, let's fast forward, chief digital officer. Some of what you're doing is. But what do futures look like? What does five years down the road look like in this space?
Yeah, that's a great question. I think we will have so many more sensor signals in five years. The question's going to be, how do we bring that in and make something useful out of it and drive value from it? Not only from a consumer standpoint. So how do we make the caregiver's life easier? How do we improve the seniors life?
I think that is that's really where we're gonna sink our teeth into is doing the analytics, understanding the patterns, driving new value. for that The other thing that I think is very interesting is as we start to bring on more customers and more caregivers I think about the behavior of compliance with healthcare regimes.
A lot of that for seniors, I believe is driven by the caregivers that are around them. So one of the questions I have that's open is how do we activate that caregiver network? And does that have value to providers in terms of driving better compliance?
Is there. a Vision where potentially it's, not just for aging, but it's for, I don't know. Maybe somebody who's like 50 plus who's maybe a little overweight and that kind of stuff.
Yeah. I mean it ultimately it's about frailty.
I'm not talking about anyone specific. just throwing that out there,
but you could certainly see it being used for a lots of different use cases. Yeah.
Well, Dwight, thank you very much for your time.
Thank you 📍 very much.
What a great conversation. I love talking with Dwight. Dwight, for those of you don't know is the former interim CIO at Johns Hopkins and now chief digital officer for Quil health. it really was fantastic to get, his insight and wisdom. On Quils 24 by seven emergency support technology and just all the different things that they're bringing together to help us on the journey of caring for our parents as they get older. And maybe even caring for ourselves as some of us get older as well. we wanna thank our sponsor once again, Quil health. 📍 For this episode, they are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.