Comcast's Quil Health exploring how to use smart TVs and sensors to keep patients healthy at home

Digital health company Quil Health wants to leverage smart devices and motion sensors in the home to help patients safely recovery after surgery and enable elderly seniors to stay in their homes.

Launched in 2018 as a joint venture between Independence Blue Cross and telecom giant Comcast, Quil Health has both the healthcare expertise and technology capabilities to provide healthcare guidance through consumer's laptops, phones, and even their TVs.

Quil Health is a consumer-focused healthcare platform that provides actionable and personalized health itineraries for patients and caregivers during their care journey, according to CEO Carina Edwards.

The company's app can be prescribed to patients by their doctors or offered through their insurance companies and provides guidelines customized in episodes of care ranging from pregnancy to heart surgery.

"We offer turn-by-turn directions for what to do next. So whether you have had a hip replacement or have a pregnancy or have chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), we break down your care plans, guide you through any pre-surgical events, and after you get you discharged, we guide you through post-recovery for 30, 60, or even 90 days," Edwards told FierceHealthcare

The platform provides patients with educational content, including documents, surveys, and videos, to ensure they understand the demands of any necessary pre- and post-op care. Additional media, including videos, keeps patients informed on how to prepare for procedures and walks them through at-home physical therapy.

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Quil Health has a unique advantage in that it can provide this content to patients through their home TVs, Edwards said. Comcast subscribers can say "Quil Health" on their voice remotes to access content, which helps to meet patients where they are.

Edwards joined Quil Health in April 2019 and has an extensive background in healthcare technology including leadership roles at Imprivata, Nuance Communications, Zynx Health, and Philips Medical Systems.

The company is continuing to innovate with technology to help people monitor their health, she noted.

Comcast also offers a smart home security system that includes motion sensors and artificial intelligence that can detect people.

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"We’re consuming smart devices beyond just TVs, including fitness trackers and sensors in the home. The Comcast at-home security system has sensors that are less intrusive and more ambient to passively monitor people and allow people to recover at home safely. For seniors, this could allow them to live independently and age at home," she said.

Pivoting to support COVID-19 response

As COVID-19 continued to spread in the U.S., Quil Health saw an opportunity to leverage its platform as a digital resource for consumers with updated health information and best practices.

In just five days, Quil Health developed a COVID-19 Preparedness Tool. The tool provides up-to-date information on the coronavirus, a symptoms checklist, and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The digital content also includes tips on how to care for a loved one with COVID-19.

COVID Preparedness Tool (Quil Health)
The digital content focuses on overall wellness by providing instructions on self-care, stress-reduction and in-home exercise techniques and resources. To help people with the new work/life balance of staying home, there are also best practices for working from home, child care, and homeschooling.

"This an entire toolkit that people can use during the long tail of this journey," Edwards said.

The toolkit has been rolled out to employees at the parent organizationsComcast, NBCUniversal, and Independence Blue Crossas well as Quil Health's strategic partners and customers.

Independence Blue Cross is the first national health insurance company to offer the toolkit to its members.

Edwards said the goal is to change the digital content as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves and to provide useful information for patients who are navigating different health journeys.

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Patients with underlying health conditions, such as COPD, who have recovered from COVID and been discharged from the hospital will need additional monitoring. Quil Health can help provide discharge and recovery plans for those patients through its platform, Edwards noted.

"As we navigate the return to work and the world starts opening up again, it will be important for members, employees, and organizations to get updated information on topics such as when do we fly and when do we go to conferences," she said.

She added, "There’s a long tail that’s going to result from the coronavirus that we can see now. We're going to continue to evolve the content to provide patients the resources they need."