Landmark Health and its affiliated medical groups (Landmark) in 46 U.S. communities announced today the launch of its proprietary telemedicine app. The Landmark Health app was developed to securely connect patients with their Landmark medical providers via smartphone. The app is available to Android users as of April 27th and will soon be available to iOS users.
“Seeing patients in their homes will always be our preferred method of care delivery,” says Michael Le, MD, Landmark’s Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer. “Our patients are elderly and living with chronic conditions, so high-touch, hands-on care is required. But telemedicine allows us to stay connected with patients for a variety of less urgent needs and enhanced follow-up.”
Landmark is one of the nation’s leading providers of value-based, in-home geriatric care
Telemedicine has become a buzzword in health care due to a pandemic that’s normalized the idea of ‘social distancing’ and stay-at-home guidelines. Yet, well before COVID-19, Landmark saw the value in telemedicine as a means of complementing its in-home medical delivery, and began development of their app in early 2019.
Multiple touchpoints are necessary to monitor some polychronic and homebound patients, but not every interaction needs to be in person. Telemedicine helps extend Landmark providers and clinical teams into the homes of patients with higher frequency, especially those living in more rural areas.
Purpose-built app for simplicity and patient care
Landmark’s typical patient is in their mid-80’s with six or more chronic conditions. As such, the company opted to build a telemedicine app to fully customize the user experience for simplicity, while being HIPAA-compliant.
“Landmark developed the telemedicine app to give our providers the ability to utilize real-time, interactive video consultations as a means of improving care access, patient satisfaction and overall clinical outcomes,” said Rod Jardine, Landmark’s Chief Information Officer. “At the same time, telemedicine is proving promising to improve clinical staff efficiency and reduce costs.”
Instant, face-to-face conversations between doctor and patient
Patients can download the Landmark Health app and go through a one-time-password (OTP) authentication registration. From there, they are brought to a home screen where they can:
- call their local 24/7 Landmark clinical line, and
- view their upcoming Landmark appointments.
During a video call, the patient sees their provider on-screen, with a small corner video of themselves. They can flip the camera front/back if they need to show the provider a rash, swollen ankle, medication bottle, etc.
The Landmark provider can call a patient directly through the app as well. The patient sees the Landmark logo and words “Incoming Call” and taps “Accept” to connect to their provider. This simplicity is critical for an older adult – it removes the need for them to remember the appointment time, or find the dedicated link to connect with the provider. They simply answer a call.
Long-term blend of telemedicine with doctors’ house calls
In response to the novel coronavirus, the company scaled up telemedicine to conduct more than 1,000 telemedicine visits daily, with a 260% increase in video visits from mid-March to mid-April. Of late, thanks to PPE procurement efforts, the company is steadily growing in-home visits beyond urgent visits. The long-term impact of COVID-19 on care delivery is yet to be determined, but Landmark expects to blend telemedicine with doctors’ house calls going forward.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from our patients who’ve appreciated video visits during the pandemic,” says Le. “When you’re living in isolation, seeing a trusted face – even virtually – is comforting. And our providers can better assess a patient when they are able to see non-verbal expressions and breathing patterns, as well as conditions like a rash, wound, or lower extremity swelling.”
The company is rolling the telemedicine app out on a market-by-market basis to allow for provider training, and consumer feedback. It expects the app to be in use nationally by the end of the year.
“The entire healthcare industry is preparing for a future now altered by COVID-19,” says Le. “Delivering health care via in-person house calls and video visits are some of the tools we anticipate proliferating in a post-pandemic world.”
About Landmark Health
Since 2014, Landmark Health and its affiliated medical groups (Landmark) have delivered comprehensive in-home medical care to older adults, 24/7 – 365 days a year. Specialized in complex chronic care, Landmark’s physician-led multidisciplinary teams work with patients’ existing healthcare networks to bring medical, behavioral, and palliative care, along with social services, to individuals where they reside. As one of the nation’s largest value-based healthcare companies, more than 100,000 people across 14 states and 46 metropolitan communities can access Landmark’s care at no cost. Most critically, Landmark is bending the cost curve in health care by reducing avoidable ER visits and hospital admissions while extending lives of patients. www.landmarkhealth.org.