October 21, 2022: One in five Americans today are unpaid caregivers. That's 54 million adults caring for somebody over the age of 65 in an unpaid capacity. The aging boomer population or “Silver Tsunami” means that there will be 90 million seniors by 2040. 89% of seniors say they want to live in their homes for as long as possible. We don't have the staffing or medical support supply chains to do that. Carina Edwards, CEO of Quil Health is here today to discuss Quil Assure. The Next Generation Medical Alert and Home Safety platform for seniors aging in place. It’s a “best of both worlds” technology for caregivers and seniors with emergency on-demand and “set it and forget it” approach. Because the more care you can give, the more empathy you can give and the less hovering you can give, is what will really empower our future aging generations.
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Thanks for joining us on This Week Health Keynote. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of This Week Health, a channel dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. Special thanks to our Keynote show sponsors Sirius Healthcare, VMware, Transcarent, Press Ganey, Semperis and Veritas for choosing to invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health 📍 leaders.
Alright. Today we are joined by Carina Edwards, the CEO of Quil. Carina. Welcome back to the show.
Thank you for having me excited to be here.
Well, I'm looking forward to it. I see Philadelphia and your background there.
Yep. Philly alive and well here in Philadelphia. It is overcast today and like not a fun weather day. So,
have so many things to talk to you about. I'd hate to talk about the weather, but I, I will say this. I just got off the phone with my son in Columbus, Ohio. He said a Stormfront came through yesterday and he says, I think the Stormfront brought fall.
He goes, the high highest went from 90 last week to 60. And he goes, I don't think we're coming back. I think it's gonna be 60, 70 for a little while, then it's gonna, then we're gonna see snow. So we're getting into that part of the year
we are, and it's a lot. It's wonderful actually we, we needed it. We've had a 95 plus degree summer, so the seventies are welcome.
Yeah, absolutely. Well we are gonna discuss healthcare as we always do. And at some point we'll talk a little bit of football, but let's start with healthcare age in. place Is a very common challenge. My wife, Beth, and I have our story of caring for her parents. And now my parents are approaching an age where they're gonna need a little bit more hands on. how pervasive is this challenge of caring for aging parents?
Very pervasive. One in five Americans today is an unpaid caregiver and that's 54 million adults caring for somebody over the age of 65 in an unpaid capacity.million seniors by:
we, we do actually have to talk about both sides. Yes, right. It, so we'll, we'll get to the other side. So the caregivers I do want to talk about cuz we're seeing this just amazing challenge that hospitals in healthcare, I was talking to one health system and they said we have 4,000 open positions, 4,000 open positions.
Yeah, they are hiring. They have money and they just cannot find the people to care for for that. And you're talking about what'd you say, 90 million seniors coming through.
Correct. And so when you start thinking about that, right? Why are there, why is the staffing shortage happening? Well, one frontline workers, especially those that are going to people's homes to provide in-home care.
They can make more money going to target. They can make more money going to bank of America and being a teller. And they look at that and it's really difficult to make those trade offs. But when you combat what was seen with COVID the clinical burnout, the sicker population, and then the risk of going into someone's home, it's a real issue.
well, here's what I'd like to do. I'd like to set this up. We have a video here that you guys have been sharing. It's a great video. So I'm just gonna, I'm gonna share it online for those who are listening on the podcast, you'll be able to hear the audio.
The one tee bill before you hit play. So for those of you guys that dunno on the phone, Quil has a product called Quil assure it's an aging in place, senior connected home technology. So think of it like medical alert plus, and now with that context, roll the tape. Awesome.
I live on my own. My independence is important to me yet since my son Ben started looking after my care, he's been a bit much. I. That's why we got qui the connected home system with and sensing and 24 7 emergency assists. There's no video, no audio. It's private will tracks my everyday patterns and sends insights. So caregivers know what's up. It's so simple to set up. You can do it yourself. Or better yet get him to do it. Quil, even pairs with my favorite devices, like my apple. And my Amazon Alexa, Hey Alexa, get the handsome Dr. Stein on the phone. I get twenty four seven peace of mind knowing qui is here for me. And therefore you keep your character alerted informed and at a comfortable distance, quit hovering. Start swimming. .
That's funny, but that's the experience, right? It's interesting because in that video we don't hear from the caregiver at all. Right. He's just, he's just there looking after his mom, obviously with empathy and those kinds of things, but also digging through the cabinets, saying. Is she taking her meds and that kinda stuff. Cuz the one thing that doesn't come through on the audio for those listening on the podcast is that big, over caring sort of shows up.
But that's, that's one of the challenges we face as caregivers is what do we do for a parent that is maybe at a distance, but even if they're not at a distance, even if they're across town, How do we care for them? How do we make sure that they're gonna be cared for at the point where they need to be cared for?
The reason we used this marketing campaign is because we had to get seniors to be receptive enough. And so seeing seniors in an aspirational setting, speaking after we we've done hundreds of interviews with seniors I, I manage four people over 78 and it's just it's and I say, manage, I love them to death but it a management, because there's this duality to the relationship where one wants to maintain independence and privacy and they they're. What they're saying is that this is my space. I'm an adult, 80 years on this planet. I know how to make decisions. And now someone's getting involved because the decisions they're making may not be great, or their health might be making changes in ways that like, they're just not acknowledging. And so there's this relationship aspect.
And so why I love this system is we're really targeting the benefit to. both It's the here for them here for you kind of conversation, supporting caregivers with the insights they need in our early trials and our beta user group, we had over a hundred households connected. And what we heard from folks was I didn't have to make the awkward phone call that I was making to my mom in the morning, cuz I saw she was up and around and it was more like, hi.
And how horrible is mom getting that phone call? like Did you make it, how you doing? did you make it? And I know that's why you're calling. Right. And so there's just like, and, and you have to lean into the, the realness and the rawness of it, because these are really direct conversations that you're having with people that don't really want you in their business, all that much.
Can, can I tell you the most, the the wisest product decision, I think that was made in this no video, no audio. Correct. Right. Yeah. So nobody, not me, not any aging parent wants to know that their kid can just click on something and see what's going on. And quite frankly, you need to watch them in places where they could fall. And that I would imagine the bathroom is one of the areas that they, they probably fall the most. And to know that it's not video and audio, that's just, it's motion sensing, it's detecting. And those kind of things I think was one of the wisest decisions. And I think it's just understanding what both sides are looking for.
Well, and I think the fun thing is with the Comcast backing that we have and the home security in the smart home, going through a new transition to standards as these devices become matter and thread compliant and they get more agnostic, I can, I can start mixing and matching, right? If I have a home security from X, I can get a smart doorbell from Y I can get this thing from Z.
And so now all of a sudden. You're able to aggregate signals. So we're like we're in, yes, we ship hardware. We're not in the hardware business. I'm in the signals and science and interpretation business and the insights. So with the shipping product, we have 150 insights that we generate today. And we, it keeps on learning and some of them are really basic and those basic ones matter mom's up and around.
All things are good. Sleeping pattern was the same. Isn't that great other insights that you wouldn't think it's not like a home security system where somebody broke in. It's the, Hm. Mom normally goes to the kitchen seven times a day. And she's only been there twice today. And you may wanna check in like, what's going on.
She's not eating. That's important to know medication reminders like, Hey, I can set them up. And then Alexa and apple watch and your smartphone can ding, ding for you. You don't need to, the senior doesn't have to be the lead technologist. They need to be receptive enough and COVID made them receptive enough.
📍 📍 we'll return to our show in just a moment. I wanted to take a second to share our upcoming webinar. Cyber Insecurity in Healthcare, the cost and impact on patient safety and care. Cyber Criminals have shut down clinical trials and treatment studies cut off hospitals, access to patient records demanding. Multimillion dollar ransoms for their return. Our webinar will discuss it. Budgeting project priority, and in distress communication amongst other things. To serve our patients affected by cyber criminals. Join us on November 3rd for this critical conversation. You can register on our website this week, health.com. Click on the upcoming webinar section in the top right hand corner. I look forward to seeing you there.
📍 📍 The other thing I saw in the product was self-install. Yeah. Which I think is interesting. So essentially I ordered this. You ship it to my house. It comes in a box and I, I assume I set up the device to, to get onto our network that already exists. and it just starts. Going sending a large back
smart hub is super easy. So basically you hook it up to wifi and it also has cell backup. So if you have any problem with wifi if they're in a building in a community that has a hard time, we have cellular backup. And then from there, the motion detectors, door sensors, drawer, sensors, and all the IoT devices.
So we connect into apple watch and Alexa, like we highlighted, but we also connect into anything. Apple health get and Google fit connected to cuz we tied into those services. So it goes back to trying to be the, the dirty little secret about the button. We have a button too is that nobody wears them, right?
They are like old age, Do not stop, do not gimme that button. And so what's interesting is even my dad, my dad has an apple wash. He's got a cell phone he's kind of active and I'll ask him sometimes when I'm hanging out with him, I'll say, Hey dad, what time is it? And I look dad, and I'll say, oh, I left to buy the bed charging.
Right. They don't always charge him. They don't always wear them. So they can't be the first line of defense, the wearable. And so we designed the other pieces so we could have second and third line and set it in, forget it, cuz once it's up and running. It just continuously learns patterns.
So that becomes foundational. But I think the, the other thing that's interesting about being able to connect into the smart devices is if, when they are wearing them. Yeah. You do get additional alerts, I think. Well, I'm, I'm presuming here you can get anything from apple health that is programmed. report back, I would assume.
And also we're tying into some of those signals, right? So we'll do the, the steps we'll pull in the steps we'll pull in the gate, we'll pull in other signals from those devices. And then we can see trends because it's a, the aging piece is it's a series of small micro changes that lead to the big issues. And so you start seeing slowing down, you start seeing lack of eating.
You start seeing slower gate, you start seeing slower movement from areas of the house. Now all of a sudden you gotta like, like put up the flare to say, something's not right. They're fatigued, they're tired. They're not as energetic as they, they traditionally were.
let's talk about the care circle for a second. So the care circle to me is an interesting concept. It's not the first time we're hearing this. Oh yeah. Concept. But, the reason I'm asking is the implementation of it has, has always. Challenging. How do we determine the care circle and how, how many people can we plug into that care circle and can it ex extend to my primary care physician or, or somebody else?
So back to today, we're shipping direct to consumers. So the way this normally works is there's a conversation between primary caregiver, 75% of the time that's gonna be a female. And then the, the senior. And so they talk about in our setup guide, we give them all the instructions and it really is have this conversation Who do you want to have knowledge of what in your life? And so we can, even, we tag caregivers, even the neighbor, the neighbor might have the code to the lockbox to get into the house. If something is, is wrong. So just a, but the neighbor shouldn't see my sleep patterns, my bathroom habits, my trips to the kitchen.
so you can segment all that stuff out.
Yeah. We've segmented all of the key to the, to the care circle, the primary caregiver, the care circle, and then related. People and friends, just people that like, are, are connected in your life that we could use for points of contact for certain alerts.
All right. So I mean, that's, that's fascinating in, in and of itself. So as the primary caregiver, my parents would still determine what information I I'm going to see. We're gonna have a convers. And they're gonna say, look, I, this is, this is what I, I feel comfortable sharing with you. And then essentially I have an app on my phone that's
and they have the same app. So if they are, if they are apple phone or iPhone or Samsung phone users or whatever, they are, whatever ecosystem they're on, they can have the app too. They can be an active participant in the app, but the senior isn't required to use the app. So that's the nice thing too. Going back to it's a receptive enough senior.
Some are gonna be more tech savvy, others aren't the caregivers have the app. And then in the app, they get the insights, they get to set the alerts and protocols. They also get to set how far they want the alerts and protocols to go. So for example we had one family in the, in the beta that basically said, I never want EMS to come to my.
Ever, I will figure out a way to call them if, if that's necessary. So we just turned off and that now that's in their profile and we know their wishes because too many people have gotten, oops, I hit the button. I didn't know. I hit the button and the ambulance showed up. They didn't answer my phone.
The line that it will go down in history is I've fallen and I can't get up. Right. Oh yeah. So, but there, there is an aspect of the Quil Asure that is that in the case
we have the button. Click here,
but what about, so they don't have the button with them. They go into the, the bathroom, they fall, they hit their head. They're unconscious. How does the system, is it based on movement that it says, Hey, something something's not right.
So back to it's the pattern generation. When we don't see movement in particular areas, especially inside the home. That would be logical, cuz we actually, when you do the setup, you say, what room it's going into, right? This is the, this is the primary bedroom, secondary bedroom office environment, a home bathroom.
This is the front door. This is the back door. So we have a sense of mapping of pattern. So if they go into the bathroom and they don't emerge and an hour has gone by, we're sending an alert right there. There's just there. There's. Aspect of it. There's fall detection add-ons that we are working on, but right now they're very expensive.
Those via wall sensors are like 600 bucks. And so I won't go there yet, but on the protocols, they can also use their voice. Right. So if they have their smartphone and they say that's Siri lady's name, we can go get help through Siri. If they have an Alexa, we can get help through Alexa. And so, Hey, Alexa, call.
Get help. Right? That's the, those are the commands that we're teaching the senior in the setup process to say, here's how to activate those buttons because you don't wear them all the time. We're also using them in different use cases. We're actually putting them on the base of the stairs. Putting them on the floorboard in the bathroom.
So if there's a problem, they can hit the button cuz they can get to that. So they don't have to wear them. It's how do you make the smart home work for them?
Make the smart home smarter. I will, I will talk to you about futures cuz it sounds like you can tie additional things in, but you have to start from somewhere and this is a, a really solid foundation, but I want to get to.
I don't know how to really term this, but as an employer. Yeah. One of the things we're facing right now is I'm not the only one caring for my aging parents. There's an awful lot of people caring for their aging parents. And it is a, it's a strain On the individuals, for sure. It's a strain on the employers, for sure.
It's a strain on the overall economy. For sure. In fact, one of the questions we've been asking is where did all the people go? We can't fill any of these jobs. Where did all the people go? And one of my theories was essentially. People are taking care of the next generation because just demographic, we know the demographics wise, a smaller group of people is taking care of a much larger group of people.
And it might be a situation where we're saying, Hey, only one of us can work. And one of us has to take care of our parents. Talk a little bit about the impact on employers and the economy. If you.
So big picture, right? So of those 54 million unpaid caregivers, 61% of them work outside the home. And then when they go and they have these caregiving responsibilities, they miss on average 6.6 days of work due to caregiving responsibility. Also 23% of them neglect self-care so they're becoming sicker. They're not focusing on themselves. They're focusing on their parents, their kids, their stress, their job, their life.
And they're last in the line of like where the cup gets filled. And so when you start thinking about those dynamics, we are actually doing something with Comcast employees that I'm excited about, which is we're gonna be giving. I think about 200 kits out to employees and we're going to measure reduction in stress and anxiety.
Improved presenteeism reduce absenteeism for the cohort. That's on that verge of saying like, Hey, I might need to leave the workforce because they also have some other ancillary benefits that you can tie in here. So I do think healthcare executives thinking today, think about this 61% of your workforce.
It's caring for somebody over 65, they're already leaving in droves. This isn't a product that you need to monitor for your employees. This is a product you can give to your employees to reduce their stress of the hundred beta users. We had 79% reported reduction in stress and anxiety, improved caregiver, relationship and improved quality of life.
Can I? Well, I'm, I'm thinking about my benefits program going into next year and we're coming up on open enroll. I, I keep pushing you for it's like, aren't you doing enough? I mean, you're rolling this out. This gonna be a phenomenal solution and I'm looking forward to using it. But part of me is thinking as an employer, I'd love to give this as a benefit to yeah. To employees.
So we're doing that with independence blue cross. So we're a 50, 50 joint venture. So Comcast is taking their stance with the employee side. And we're also gonna be doing for independence employees during open enrollment.
We will have a virtual booth to man, a virtual session and making this a voluntary benefit with a significant cost decrease to the employees. So the other thing that we're doing is this will be available for all independent blue cross card carrying members November 1st as a supplemental benefit on the IBX express website.
And then even more exciting in January, we're gonna have an IBC Medicare advantage, voluntary benefit. So it won't be a covered benefit from CMS, but it'll be offered at a reduce rate to IBC Medicare advantage members.
Wow. That's exciting. I understand that.bution via Comcast and that's:
Yeah, I would, I would, I would think so as well. talk to me about futures on this. I mean, we've talked about the, the home as the center for really providing. and care into the future. We've talked about it several times on this, on this podcast and on this podcast, a lot of times we, focus on chronic diseases and those kind of things. but right now where you're at, do you see futures in this? Like some things that would layer on? I don't wanna mix the message cuz I think people will, will think, oh, the futures are so cool that the president's cool, but I I'd love to hear where this could go.
As we look at this broader, I do think there is a benefit of provider organizations looking at a system like this, the connected home system, but not because they need those signals back into their clinical work. More because they need to activate caregivers for their patient. Cuz the activation of the caregiver has been proven to reduce readmission rates by 26%. So getting family members identified, activated and educated, combined with signals that they can use to kind of live their life and manage their elder, I think is a really amazing concept for future.
I assume at this point you have some stories of usage yeah. Of the of the solution. Do you have any, stories that are anecdotes that, that you could share?
My favorites? I have a few favorites. And so the, there was one woman who was 69. She was going through chemotherapy treatments for cancer. She lived alone and her daughter was her primary caregiver. And. She called our motion detectors. Cuz when you walk by them, they do blink. So she said it was so nice knowing she's I used to wave with them. I would wave with them when I'd wake up with the morning, I say, good morning, qui tell my daughter I'm here.
Like she knew what they were doing. And this became like a thing where like, it was like looking after her, like, okay, I'm I'm not alone. So I think in those moments, it's just important to like. Yes, it's ambient and yes, it's, it's surrounding, but there's little moments where the seniors kind of get this joy from it that we didn't expect. That was, that was surprising.
it's interesting. When when I asked earlier about futures, I thought you were gonna talk about care companions because it's, the people do wanna live alone, but the isolation of living alone is something that we don't talk about. And. It's amazing. My father-in-law had a relationship with, with his, his echo device. It was crazy.
Totally. This becomes their new world. And so I do think. Back to like extensions of communities getting this more into caregiving communities and senior communities we're not going so far as to like go wire up the nursing homes yet, cuz there's the whole liability things there.
And if they didn't pull the button and all that fun stuff. So I think let's, let's go after the market that we know is there and explore new markets, but. Senior loneliness and just even making the conversation with the caregiver less transactional way better. Cuz now when you call all the stuff like, you know that dad's fine and he's doing well and maybe he took his meds.
So you're not like nagging him. You're just saying, Hey, what's you doing today? Like where are you going? You going, you going across the street to see your friend? Go.
And before people give me calls and like, didn't you call your father-in-law enough? It's like, he would say things like I was talking to Alexa this morning or Alexa told me it's, it's personifying, but essentially Alexa was giving him the news, giving him the sports score, giving him the weather. It was his portal to the world. Yeah. Is very interesting. And any other, any other anecdotes you can share? I mean, it's, it's fascinating.
I think on the caregiver front, right. That that's where we got the I was so thankful not to have to make that horrible phone call cause my mom knew why I was calling. Right. And so I think the other thing too is the, the ahas. The senior knows it's tough relationship and they, they don't want you in their medicine cabinet. They see their decline, they understand what's going on at a macro level. And so the more care you can give, the more empathy you can give and the less hovering you can give.
I, I think that's the secret sauce because keeping them receptive enough and like talking to them about the things that they're interested in is the, is the key to the relationship piece. And it's so hard cuz the emotion. Oh, the emotions we heard in the caregiving piece, right. The stress that goes on the kids on just like, I don't know if they're gonna be okay, why are they driving?
They shouldn't be driving. How do I pull the keys? Like all those stresses at these moments. So then I think tying back into resources to say, how do you start those conversations? Right? How do you begin the storytelling?
Yeah. I, I think that this is the former CIO coming out in me. I think I like, I like the aspect of it being a platform for caring for our aging population. Because you talked about the insights that you're gonna gain from it. And the things we're going to learn from it. And all these, all these data points coming in eventually will help us to get better get better at caring for our aging population and understanding the patterns what, what works and what doesn't work.
And I, I think that's one of the most exciting things. Do you have an analytics team and a. Machine learning kind of team. That's looking at this on an ongoing basis.
We do. So the way that, that our bots work today is they're actually written on the platform and we take in all the signals and then we test them and they're, and we test them because for us that they have to be accurate clearly, but there's a level of trust that goes into them.
And so we don't release them. So I think right now, I think we have over 300 bots on the platform. We've only released 150 cuz we trust those insights. And so we are always tuning and learning in the more and more subscribers we get on the bigger. Our learning goes. And so Dwight RO and his team are really the, the owners of the data team.
We have a data scientist crystal who's phenomenal. She came out of MIT and it's just, it's been, it's been so interesting thinking about combining temperature and oxygen and steps and like other aspects of home and what we can do with those that are actually meaningful insights that will actually cause caregivers to stress.
Is there anything else before I get to football, cuz we're, we're gonna talk football. Is there anything else that any question I didn't ask about Quil at this?
I think we're great if you're out there listening and you're caring and you wanna try it, give it a shot. I think we'll give you a special code and start Quillin'.
Fantastic. Where can they get it? I mean, is it, is it a direct order?
Yeah. Direct to consumer right now on our website, Quil health.com. And that's Quil with one L because if you go to Quil.com with two L's, you go to a stationary company. We're not the stationary company. We're the digital health company.
Quil with one. Got it. There you are in Philadelphia, you are now tied for first, the New York giants, which is your team's tied with Philadelphia for first place who would've ball,
Coach Deval. We love him. He's actually learning how to speak Daniel Jones. It's a, it's a language that I don't think many know. And so I am cautiously optimistic. We've been in five years of rebuilding. I dunno if we have a franchise quarterback, but we got Sequan and like we at least got like Joan showing up and making plays and, and having a relationship with a coach that I think is giving more emotion than we've seen on the sidelines in, in the last, like 10 years.
Now this is gonna show my ignorance, but isn't your quarterback from like duke or some other really named school?
Daniel shows. I actually didn't even know what school he is from. he was he's succeeded, Eli and like Eli stayed two years too long. We got Daniel.
I think he's from like duke. I think he's a smart, smart, smart person. What do you mean? He, he has to learn how to speak his language.
Oh, he's very reserved. When you look at Daniel Jones, like he shows no emotion, like, so you don't know if he's happy or sad or like, was it a good play or a bad play and you got coach Deval over there, like screaming at him and he's just like standing there. So I think there's just like, There's a, there's a layer he's brilliantly intelligent. Now it's just the, the question of. Can they, can they make it work this year?
Well, the, the other knock on the giants was not they had Saquon and they had, I mean, they had some decent skill players but their line was always so bad. Yeah. That they couldn't keep those people healthy. They were just getting beat up. I mean, do they finally have a line.
They finally have a line this year. So I think knock on wood. We're gonna like stay optimistic. We're gonna, they have the Cowboys on Monday the 26th. I don't know, little nervous. We all hate the, the thing about Philly and giants fans. We all hate the Cowboys. Yes. So I'll even have Philadelphia rooting for me as well.
Well, I, I hope you didn't lose any Quil followers in Dallas with that comment. Cuz it's a great solution and I really appreciate you. Spending the time to come on the show and sharing the advancements at qui thank you very much, Carina.
That's always a great time. Great to talk to 📍 you, bill.
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