By Justin Huddy, Founder & CEO, Radius Care, Inc.
It’s no surprise that health concerns facing seniors has grown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. From safety restrictions like staying home to lack of in-person human interaction leading to isolation, seniors and their families have struggled to navigate the ever-changing pandemic protocols. At the same time, the U.S. has seen a shortage of workers in the caregiving industry as aging populations increase. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day. Within the aging population about 35% of these individuals need and use long-term services and support. A report by AARP also found that 77% of adults age 50 and older have a desire to stay in their homes as they age resulting in more at-home services needed.
As population numbers increase and caregiving workers decrease, many healthcare duties are falling to adult children and family members, or to an individual senior. Whether it’s a family member or an individual themselves managing the patient’s healthcare with personal limitations; the reality is that they need help from a trusted source outside of searching the internet for answers. According to the CDC, 61 percent of US adults turn to the internet for health and medical information. What begins as a quick online search often turns into hours of time wasted sifting through information, hidden ads, and provider ratings that are based on personal interaction, and not patient outcomes. The challenge increases when the patient is also relying on an adult child collaborator who has limited access due to distance care or public health guidelines and may not have all of the patient’s health history.
Not surprisingly, the pandemic has added a slew of new challenges. According to the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), there are four care challenges caregivers are now battling due to COVID-19 restrictions. Difficulty accessing crucial medical resources for their care patient was reported as the most significant challenge, followed by confusion on recommended public health guidelines, providing less care to reduce risk of COVID-19 spread, and a decrease in support from family and friends.
Medicare members now have a trusted and reliable resource to turn to—Radius Care, a website and free app that provides Medicare members and their family members access to their medical records as well as personalized guidance on healthcare needs. It is the only software approved by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that actively monitors a Medicare patient’s health data and, using AI/ML, reviews historical healthcare data points and transaction details to deliver customized recommendations based on patients’ unique needs and locations. Instead of jumping from platform to platform—or, worse relying on internet searching—information is securely stored in one place.
The platform connects to a patient’s care records through Medicare.gov and reviews de-identified data, providing an accurate understanding of the patient’s health concerns. Radius Care then delivers diagnosis-specific information, like healthcare providers who have successfully treated patients with similar health profiles that can be easily comprehended and mobilized into a proactive and cohesive healthcare plan.
Medicare members utilizing Radius Care can grant access to their family care collaborators through the platform, enabling them to receive alerts anytime a change in the patient’s health occurs. Once access is granted, the family members can sign up for their own account and, through a two-factor authentication process, gain access to the care patient’s health information. Allowing the family care collaborator to stay ahead of the patient’s health changes, treatment options and necessary appointments puts them in a more proactive state and streamlines communication, minimizing their burden.
While caring for a patient can be difficult, especially during pandemic restrictions and changing public health guidelines, resources like Radius Care can make it manageable. By providing Medicare patients the tools they need to get up-to-date health information, healthcare recommendations, and the ability to collaborate with family members through a secure platform, we can begin to lift some of the weight off their shoulders.