Nation Valley News
WINCHESTER — New innovative technology was introduced at Winchester District Memorial Hospital last Thursday. Select area hospitals in the Arnprior Region & Ottawa West (AROW) and Upper Canada (UC) Health Links were also included in this launch by William Charnetski, the Chief Health Innovation Strategist for Ontario (OCHIS) and his team.
aTouchAway by Aetonix Systems was founded by CEO Michel Paquet three years ago while his aunt was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and struggling to communicate with her family and doctors, which only made things worse. He soon realized that she was not the only one dealing with these concerns.
According to Aetonix’s website, “The population is aging and North America is predicted to be home to more than 84 million people over the age of 65 by the year 2030. As such, the demands on our health care systems and our caregivers increase every year.”
Paquet, being an entrepreneur, decided to do something about it. He wanted people like his aunt and other complex care patients to have better options and better ways of communicating with their healthcare providers regardless of their address or condition. Ergo Aetonix!
Aetonix is now taking things one step farther. The company developed an accessible app called aTouchAway. The app allows patients to have “a face-to-face communication platform ready to revolutionize the way that families, healthcare professionals and caregivers, and those who are cared for complete the circle of care,” as their website states.
The company touts the program as a “platform has been deployed in palliative care group homes, residential care homes and private homes, allowing caregivers to perform remote check-ins with those who need care; providing fall, wandering and inactivity alerts; reminding people of medications; and enabling simple communication between clients, caregivers and/or emergency personnel with the touch of a button.”
Essentially the idea is that seniors, people with disabilities, and complex care patients can access care from their homes at the touch of a button. Patients can speak directly with their team of caregivers on through this new app and technology.
At this time however, there are a select few of patients with access to this remarkable innovation.
One of those select patients is Chesterville resident Michel Denier.
Denier called his doctor after finding himself homeless with no idea what to do next. His doctor then introduced him to social housing and through social housing he was given the opportunity to be part of this trial.
Denier says he’s taking things “one day at a time. No wait … minute by minute!”
According to a company press release, this project is one of 15 that received funding in the first round of Ontario’s $20-million Health Technologies Fund (HTF). Administered on behalf of OCHIS by Ontario Centres of Excellence, the HTF is part of the OCHIS mandate to strengthen Ontario’s health innovation ecosystem.
“The Health Technologies Fund is already having an impact in the health system because of the collaborations it has created between health service providers, health technology innovators and patients,” says William Charnetski, Ontario’s Chief Health Innovation Strategist. “We are finding new ways to solve our greatest challenges by harnessing the power of innovation to provide better care while creating jobs in Ontario.”
The AROW and UC Health Links are partnering with both private and public organizations to deploy the innovative telehealth technology developed by Aetonix. aTouchAway is a communication platform designed for seniors and others with complex healthcare needs. It connects all of their healthcare providers and caregivers, including family members, on one secure, easy-to-use digital platform. Members of a patient’s circle of care can see, speak with, assess and support the patient directly through a tablet or smartphone application. aTouchAway provides one-touch secure video conferencing and treatment / care plan information-sharing.
Ninety Health Links across Ontario are providing a new service delivery model focused on coordinated care planning. Care coordinators work with each patient to develop individualized care plans. When the hospital, family doctors, community organizations, informal caregivers and others work as a team, patients receive better, more coordinated care.
“Health Links have allowed me to create, and enjoy, a new life,” notes one AROW Health Link client. “Everyone has been fantastic and I now have someone who looks after me where it’s most comfortable – my home. My care coordinator is my ambassador.”
The AROW and Upper Canada Health Links connect patients with more than 50 agencies, including hospitals, primary care teams and community service agencies. “Enhanced connectivity will significantly improve the flexibility and capacity of our Care Coordinators. They can work with the care team to address each patient’s unique health care goals,” says Cholly Boland, CEO, Winchester District Memorial Hospital, which is the lead partner for the Upper Canada Health Link.
For more information visit the company’s website: http://aetonix.com/.
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