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2020 Health Solutions Joins Forces with CONFIDANT® to Pilot Diabetes Management Solution on BlackBerry Smartphones

Little Rock, AR and Research Triangle Park, NC (September 2, 2008) -- 2020 Health Solutions, a new division of BAPTIST HEALTH, Arkansas’ largest health care provider, and CONFIDANT are undertaking an innovative smartphone-based chronic disease management program for employees with diabetes and other chronic diseases.

In the six month pilot, 30 BAPTIST HEALTH employees with diabetes will be provided a BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8100 smartphone from Alltel Wireless loaded with the CONFIDANT® Diabetes Coach application, enabling the BlackBerry Pearl to wirelessly collect daily glucose readings from the patient’s glucose meter. The CONFIDANT® Diabetes Coach application automatically sends the readings to a centralized server over Alltel’s EVDO (evolution data optimized) network. The readings are automatically analyzed and motivational messages are generated and sent back within seconds to the individual’s BlackBerry smartphone. The messages can help the patients understand how well they are managing their blood sugars and provide positive feedback and coaching to the user to support better self-management. At the same time, 2020 Health Solutions staff clinicians will receive daily updates from each patient allowing for more timely and productive discussions to help the patient stay on target. The automated employee reminders and built-in SMS (text messaging) and email features of the Diabetes Coach application and BlackBerry® wireless solution further support self-management and enhance patient-clinician communications.

Diabetes is a public health problem of increasing magnitude. The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the United States has increased to 17.5 million people in 2007. Diabetes has become a national epidemic with the problem even more pronounced in Arkansas. According to the State of Diabetes in Arkansas (January 2005) the prevalence of diabetes in Arkansas has been above the national average for ten years, and has already increased by 29 % in the last 3 years. The number of hospital discharges in Arkansas for patients with a primary diagnosis of diabetes increased by 11 % from 2001 to 2005 and is continuing to climb. The mortality rate for diabetes in Arkansas rose form 24% to 27% between 2002 and 2005.

2020 Health Solutions has been created to better meet the needs of a working population struggling to manage chronic diseases. 2020 Health Solutions employs advanced practice nurses and nurse specialists who are intensively trained to meet the challenging needs of patients with diabetes, heart disease and lung problems. For example, a certified diabetes educator and RN telehealth nurse specialist, certified as a chronic care specialist by the Disease Management Association of America, will evaluate the patient’s data (blood sugar level, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) daily sent to them via the BlackBerry smartphone. This information is used to pick up medical problems quickly and intervene with the individual or his doctor as needed. These interventions are designed to prevent complications associated with chronic diseases and to keep the individual healthy as possible. 2020 Health Solutions nurse specialists will work very closely with each participant – acting as their personal health coach and health mentor. They will function as advocates for the individual to ensure he is getting the best possible health care and learning the most effective techniques for disease management. Along with the use of CONFIDANT’s monitoring system on the BlackBerry smartphones, qualifying employees will be able to meet individually with their nurse mentor, attend classes, or send emails requesting advice or guidance when needed.

“2020 Health Solutions is committed to designing innovative and superior care delivery models that inspire individuals with chronic diseases to manage their own health,” stated Beth Hennessey, Executive Director for 2020 Health Solutions. “This program will greatly improve the quality of life for BAPTIST HEALTH employees who participate. Our program has the potential to improve the health of employees of any organization, by providing a more cost effective solution for the provision of remote patient monitoring systems, paired with highly trained nurse specialist care.”

“Alltel is pleased to provide the wireless broadband network that supports this service,” said Joanna Miller, vice president of business solutions for Alltel. “Wireless networks can help improve healthcare delivery by providing caregivers with patient information in a way that’s timely, reliable and secure.”

CONFIDANT International provides a suite of applications that streamlines information flow in chronic disease management, empowering patients and enhancing communication with care providers. CONFIDANT is the first mobile phone-based chronic disease solution able to communicate with multiple devices to be cleared by the FDA. The solutions enable communication through mobile phones that wirelessly collect information from home medical devices. CONFIDANT’s solutions, initially targeting diabetes and obesity, utilize a flexible architecture that is being applied to a variety of chronic diseases. CONFIDANT enables caregivers to better help patients, resulting in more effective care and reduced costs. CONFIDANT is based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. For more information, please visit www.confidantinc.com.

“Applying innovative technology to improve chronic disease management is CONFIDANT’s top priority,” said Bjorn Nordwall, CONFIDANT’s president. “This is an opportunity to use the growing ubiquity of mobile phone technology and in particular the capabilities of the BlackBerry solution to empower patients to take control of their health while providing the caregiver better data to improve healthcare.”

Qualifying BAPTIST HEALTH employees will receive a letter about this new program which will provide more details about voluntary participation. If you would like to learn more about this innovative program, please call 501-202-6032.

BAPTIST HEALTH Contact

Cara Wade
Tel. 501-202-1402.
cara.wade@baptist-health.org

CONFIDANT Contact

Thomas E. Wall
Tel: 919-806-4334
thomas.wall@confidantinc.com

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