Meet Healthsense, provider of health monitoring systems

Steven Loeb · February 9, 2015 · Short URL:

Vator will be highlighting the up-and-coming healthcare companies before Splash Health on Feb. 12th

With Vator Splash Health coming up soon, we've been focusing on different aspects of the healthtechspace, including the companies that have raised the most money and how quickly the space itself has been growing in recent years.

One big part of that involves discovering what the future of healthtech looks like, and the up and coming companies.

So VatorNews reached out to venture capitalists who invest in health companies to find out from them: who are the next generation of health companies, and the ones that will disrupt and shape the space in years to come.

One such company is Healthsense, a provider of aging services technology, offering technology-enabled care solutions for the senior care continuum. With its range of health and safety monitoring systems, providers are empowered to proactively deliver the highest quality care possible through critical health information. Caregivers reduce costs, increase independence and enhance senior experiences when armed with the right information at the right time. 

I spoke to Healthsense President and CEO A.R. Weiler about the company, its mission and his vision for the future of healthcare.

EDITOR'S NOTE: On February 12th, Vator will be holding its first ever Splash Health event in Oakland, where speakers such as Dr. Katrina Firlik, Tom Lee, Founder & CEO of One Medical, and Ryan Howard, Founder & CEO of Practice Fusion, will be talking about the state of the healthtech space, and where they think it is going. (Get your tickets here).

VN: What is the problem that you are trying to solve and how you are trying to solve it? 

A.R. Weiler: Senior citizens who are chronically ill often become sick and require a trip to the hospital or an emergency room, often via ambulance. This is a very expensive and uncomfortable process –for the 
senior, their family and for the healthcare system trying to take care of them.

In terms of cost, the impact is significant. In 2011, $357 billion was spent on long-term care services and 
support. Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance paid 68% of the total bill, putting substantial burden 
on taxpayers and risk-bearing entities such as healthcare insurers and at-risk providers. 
Consider the additional challenges of caring for older, higher acuity resident: decreased funding and the 
growing caregiver shortage. In this environment, senior healthcare providers are left with the challenge 
of continuing to provide high-quality care at a lower cost.

The Solution: Healthsense is an innovative healthcare services company that helps solve these growing 
challenges for seniors and the chronically ill. Specifically, Healthsense’s intelligent remote monitoring 
system provides timely health and safety trending information to support care delivery. Our health and 
safety monitoring solutions use wireless sensors placed in an individuals’ home to monitor activities of 
daily living (ADLs).

Healthsense proprietary algorithms evaluate sensor and other data to provide relevant, timely health and safety information to caregivers, helping to detect emergency situations as well as emergent health and/or chronic conditions. Healthsense services allow caregivers to simultaneously improve quality and reduce costs, and promote independence.

VN: Who is your average customer and what is a typical use case for Healthsense?

ARW: The Healthsense solution is best-suited for senior citizens and/or the chronically ill (seniors or not) with three or more chronic conditions. Often these folks are Dual Eligible: they qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, and are also certified to live in long-term care facilities.

To healthcare insurers, these individuals represent a significant risk of becoming ill and requiring a visit 
to the hospital or emergency room, costing tens of thousands of dollars per episode. Insurers and any 
organization responsible for the cost of providing healthcare would like to find a way to remotely 
monitor people before they become seriously ill, and having them seen by their primary care physician 
rather than a doctor in a hospital or emergency room. Healthsense provides this capability.

For senior citizens who choose to live in senior living facilities, the challenges are similar. However, the communities themselves have several goals, mainly around:

  • Reducing move-outs that create vacancies and cost the facility money to refurbish the room; ·
  • The cost of care, hiring hard-to-find caregivers
  • Being paid for care services, which the senior living facility will provide for the well-being of their residents, but often for which they are not being adequately reimbursed.

Healthsense is an ideal platform to provide information to help senior living community operators best 
take care of seniors in these environments.

VN: How do you want to change the healthcare space? What is your vision for what it will look like in 
five to ten years thanks to what Healthsense is doing?

ARW: Today, the cycle for many senior citizens and the chronically ill encompasses trying to age-in-place in their homes -- 90%+ desire to stay in their homes -- and when they get ill: taking an ambulance to the hospital, treating the illness, rehabilitating in a private community, and then returning home. This home-to-hospital-to-home cycle is very expensive – not just for the senior, but also for the healthcare system as a whole. What if there was a way to automatically monitor these people and identify changes in their activities of daily living (ADLs) that indicate early onset of a chronic disease episode of care-- hours or even days before they realize they are sick?

This is what the Healthsense platform delivers: a healthcare information solution using passive remote
monitoring of seniors, delivered in a dignified way (no cameras, no microphones), that provides a 
“trigger” to their caregivers that they are showing signs of illness. This allows the caregiver to direct the 
senior to the lowest-level of care possible – typically their doctor’s office – and back home with a 
minimum amount of cost and the highest quality of care. In this way, Healthsense’s solution helps to 
‘break’ the cycle by detecting problems early, treating them before they get out-of-control, and before 
they cause expensive, inconvenient, and lower-quality care.

VN: How many users do you currently have? 

ARW: The Healthsense solution is currently installed in over 300 senior living communities in 33 states 
throughout the U.S., with over 20,000 lives monitored today 24/7/365.

In addition, Healthsense has developed and deployed an in-home remote monitoring healthcare 
capability currently with a half-dozen partners including Fallon Healthcare’s Summit ElderCare and 
NaviCare plans, Fairview Partner’s in cooperation with Medica and UCare, Arcadia Home Services, and 
several others. Healthsense is providing interventional recommendations, called HealthNotes™, to 
caregivers in these organizations to both indicate a “triggering event” as well as a suggested course of 
action. In 82% of the cases where we issue a HealthNote, there is a resolution of care issue identified or 
a stabilization of the chronic condition exacerbation, a very low false-positive rate for a system of this 

VN: Have you been able to calculate any health benefits to those who use Healthsense?

ARW: Yes, in two areas: Senior Living and Managed Care.

With Senior Living, strong positive results were discovered when an independent study was conducted in 2013 by Halleland Habicht Consulting, LLC. The study, entitled “An Economic Analysis of Technology Enabled Care in Assisted and Independent Living Communities from an Owner or Operator Perspective”, was funded by Healthsense but independently compiled and developed by a nationally-known healthcare economist from a major U.S. research university. 

The study evaluated six Independent and Assisted Living communities to ascertain the benefits of 
Healthsense technology, and the results show that those senior living communities utilizing Healthsense 
were experiencing: 

  • Three-times greater revenue generation per senior via service packages; generating on average 
  • $700 to $900 per month of incremental revenue;
  • Staff efficiency improvements of 40 hours per week for every 42 residents; and,
  • 27% fewer move-outs, lowering turnover and vacancy rates for senior care providers, which translates into higher rental income and lower renovation cost to refresh the apartment when a senior leaves 

With Managed Care, in January 2015, Healthsense received results from a third-party, independently-developed and supervised pilot study with Fallon Health Plan. This study measured the impact of using Healthsense’s in-home remote monitoring platform for the elderly and chronically ill. Looking at the first eight months of data:

  • There were 38% fewer ER visits per 1,000 members with the group that used Healthsense vs. the control population
  • There were 14% fewer days in long-term care per 1,000 members for those using Healthsense
  • Healthsense clients had 7% fewer inpatient admissions per 1,000 members

Reflecting these results, Fallon members using Healthsense had healthcare claims costs that were 
$759.29 per month lower than those without Healthsense. This result yields a return on 
investment (ROI) of more than 6-to-1. 

VN: Have you raised any money yet and, if so, from which investors?

ARW: Yes, Healthsense just raised a Series C round of $10.8 million in August, 2014, anchored by Mansa Capital. Ruben King-Shaw, Jason Torres and Jim Renna of Mansa join our existing investor syndicate.consisting of Radius Ventures, Merck’s Global Healthcare Innovation fund and .406 Ventures.

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