McLaren pilots AI-powered MyCare for remote patient care management, plans expansion

McLaren High Performance Network, an accountable care organization (ACO) and subsidiary of Grand Blanc-based McLaren Health Care, recently launched MyCare for remote patient care management. The technologically enhanced, device-free pilot program remotely engages patients living with chronic conditions and intervenes when symptoms begin to show signs of worsening.

Launched in March, and administered and overseen by registered nurses, MyCare employs automated text messaging or phone calls to patients, asking questions to detect early symptoms and determine risk factors of impending complications. The platform, utilizing artificial intelligence, reviews responses, flagging those that may indicate a complication (or risk of complication), initializing a review by a McLaren nurse. Based on clinical review and patient contact, the nurse and the primary care physician will advise the patient on next steps.

“The main goal is to keep our patients healthy and avoid unnecessary care and expenses,” said Andrea Phillips, Director of Care Coordination for McLaren High Performance Network. “This program bridges the patient care between physician visits. It benefits the entire clinical team, allowing us to maximize our clinical resources and expand patient access to care.”

In the first few months, more than 1,700 patients had been enrolled in the pilot program. For the trial period, MyCare is focused on monitoring patients who have been diagnosed with heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and those who have recently been discharged from the hospital.

While the service’s goal is to help keep patients out of the hospital and emergency department, MyCare is not a replacement for emergency services.

The process begins with automated regular text/phone messages, with questions and frequency determined by the patients’ conditions. Questions can range from requesting certain vital signs, such as heart rate or blood pressure, to how the patient is sleeping and generally feeling. The program will flag certain responses for real-time review by a care coordination registered nurse to personally follow up and gather additional information while also directing the patient to next steps on a case-by-case basis.

Phillips says the program has earned very favorable reviews from physicians, patients and patients’ families, and that the program has led to a demonstrable reduction in hospital readmissions and avoidable emergency department visits. The success of the program has led to plans for its growth and expansion into other service lines and the monitoring of additional patient conditions.