At Folia Health, we believe that family caregivers have a unique perspective that will change the way that healthcare is delivered. Family caregivers, including parents, notice important indicators of progress and setbacks in a patient's health every day. Doctors and other healthcare providers see patients for a small fraction of that time - maybe 100 minutes per year - and so have only a small glimpse into what the patient experiences.
What if you could capture the caregiver's daily observations and deliver that data to the care team at the appointment, replacing the anecdotal, and often inaccurate, information that they currently receive? You would be well on your way to helping that care team achieve the dream of precision medicine - a care plan tailored to the individual, based on a detailed understanding of the needs and previous treatment experiences of that patient.
To do this, you need a way for caregivers to enter health outcomes information quickly, easily, and regularly - no easy task. For the past year, the Folia team has been hard at work building a platform, now patent-pending, that prompts the caregiver with simple multiple-choice questions targeted toward the specific patient that they're caring for.
How do we target these questions? We're developing a predictive algorithm that uses inputs from the caregiver's recent experience, the instructions from the care team at the last appointment, and Folia's Knowledge Base to determine the most relevant questions for a given day of tracking, and we send 5-10 of these over to the caregiver every evening. Over time, Folia learns from the user's answers and from answers provided by similar caregiver profiles, to refine and improve the questions for each user (so in short, there's AI!).
Why the caregiver? They are simply the most motivated of all the healthcare consumers, and are actively searching for solutions that help them do more to improve the care of their loved ones. Family caregivers spend more than 13 hours per week coordinating care for their loved ones, but there is very little support provided to them to ease the burden. We'd love to help them unload some of the thoughts and observations that they have every day, feel secure that this information is stored in a useful way, and then feel proud to have contributed to the improvement of their loved one's care plan at the next appointment.
This summer, we beta-tested the web application with a group of awesome parents, whose children are living with a wide variety of chronic conditions. In the fall, we're working with three academic medical center partners to perform a more in-depth test of Folia in three condition groups, and we then look forward to a broad launch in the winter.
We'd love to get feedback on our platform from the judges and other participants in the Philips Challenge. One of the most exciting items on the horizon for Folia is integration with connected health devices, and perhaps joining the connected health fray ourselves - we're starting with descriptive, multiple-choice format data, but recognize the power of automatic, device-based tracking as a way to augment our reach with caregivers, and the patients they support. We're also excited to integrate with other communication tools outside of mobile phones, including Amazon Alexa, to explore new ways to ease the burden of daily tracking on the caregiver.
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