More on Population Health

BayCare Health installs first TechDeck technology store at HealthHub location

Consumers can use the TechDeck to measure blood pressure, weight and other metrics, then send those to doctors at BayCare.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Clearwater, Florida-based BayCare Health System has unveiled a new "genius bar" like healthcare technology store called TechDeck at one of its HealthHub locations. TechDeck is a technology store located inside a health and wellness facility called BayCare HealthHub in Largo, a large medical facility which offers various health care services.

TechDecks will provide high-tech products like weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, wearable technology and a range of apps that can be connected to personal digital devices so patients can monitor health information including blood pressure, pulse, weight and body mass index -- and then send results directly to doctors.

The facilities are also staffed by certified health technology coaches that can assist patients with the technology and in efforting a healthier lifestyle.

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BayCare Health includes 15 hospitals and hundreds of other sites throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. The system offers inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. HealthHubs are located in numerous locations inside Publix grocery stores and are part of a multi-faceted partnership with the grocery store chain.

The efforts of BayCare, in its partnership with Publix, will help patients take a more frontline, proactive role in managing their own health and wellness, something that many patents are looking to do. This is especially true for younger generations. The Tech Decks and HealthHubs also enable better communication with primary care physicians, who may now receive a more steady stream of input from the patients who utilize BayCare's offerings, painting a clearer and more consistent picture of a patient's health than the usual inquiries would at their occasional appointments.

Investing in tools that enable better communication can enhance the relationship between doctor and patient, and boost patient engagement and trust. Since primary care is generally considered the foundation of patient health, more frequent interaction and more information could have a positive effect on outcomes and population health as well.

The system has also implemented HealthHubs that are self-service biometric screening stations providing blood pressure, weight, pulse and body mass index. BayCare patients can then send that information directly to their physician from HealthHub. BayCare's partnership with Publix grocery stores not only includes the HealthHub screening station offering, but the grocery store chain has also opened in-hospital pharmacy locations within BayCare medical facilities over the last two years.

Additionally, the partnership is yet another example of the growing force of disruption resonating throughout the healthcare landscape. Retail outlets are delving into the healthcare space like Walmart and Amazon, to name some of the most prominent examples.

Other examples like the CVS Health and Aetna merger show how payers are also exploring new relationships in the interest of increasing scale and staking a new claim in healthcare.

"BayCare TechDeck is designed to help patients engage in their own health through wearable and consumer technology," said Craig Anderson, director of Innovation at BayCare. "This innovative service, which is new to healthcare, provides cutting-edge technology that is recommended by our physicians."

Dr. Jeffrey Held, vice president and chief medical officer for Ambulatory Services at BayCare added: "This service provides additional opportunities for physicians and patients to become even better partners in their own health care. It also allows patients to use technology to increase physical activity and monitor their health outside the doctor's office, encouraging them to be more proactive about their health."

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
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