Virtual Care, Artificial Intelligence Can Dramatically Reduce Health Costs

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AlayaCare, CBI Health Group, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Southlake Regional Health Centre partner for groundbreaking research

Heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease remain the most burdensome chronic diseases to Ontario's health care system. However, results from a new health care remote patient monitoring trial suggest innovative use of cloud-based technologies can reduce costly heart-related hospital readmissions and emergency department visits.

An Ontario Centres of Excellence program dubbed "SmartCoach" reveals specific benefits of remote patient monitoring (RPM) to improve the delivery of care while reducing health care expenses.

SmartCoach unites the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Southlake Regional Health Centre, CBI Health Group, and AlayaCare, a disruptive software company using artificial intelligence and other advances to improve system outcomes for hospitals, health networks and home care providers.

The three-month study included patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic heart failure, remotely monitored via AlayaCare software and machine learning algorithm-based clinical support tools. Clinicians were alerted when a patient's vitals indicated high risk for an adverse event, enabling proactive intervention prior to a hospital readmission.

SmartCoach's four key findings:

  • RPM of chronically ill patients led to a 73% reduction in Emergency Department (ED) utilization and 64% reduction in the number of hospitalizations.
  • The number of patients requiring at least one hospitalization dropped 35%.
  • Estimated savings generated in the three-month trial involving 74 patients was more than $150,000.
  • As patients better self-managed their chronic disease with the RPM program, there appears a 65% drop in their health system utilization compared to pre-intervention levels.

SmartCoach is unique to other RPM programs in specific ways:

  • The software enables both traditional home care delivery for scheduling, clinical documentation (Electronic Medical Records) along with a virtual care delivery experience, including remote vital monitoring, mobile health and video conferencing.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning technology are used to predict and alert clinicians remotely of potential risk for adverse events such as falls and hospital visits.
  • Communication within an interdisciplinary team flowed through a single platform for all members of a patient's health-care team.

"The resulting financial and clinical benefits from this study are very promising," says Pat Clifford, Director of Research and Innovation at Southlake. "Innovation is key to the efficient, effective delivery of care, yet it needs scalability to achieve savings for the entire system."

"The combination of chronic illness and the aging baby boomers demographic shift creates strain on health care systems," says Dr. Carolyn McGregor, Canada Research Chair (Alumni) in Health Informatics, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. "Technology, interdisciplinary care and communication are key tools to combat these challenges, but we are not stopping there. This study applies new computing techniques to every piece of data collected. The knowledge we gain will uncover new ways to improve general health care and day-to-day living for people with chronic conditions. "

"Health systems have challenged providers and their partners to use innovations to meet the increasing demands on our health systems. Artificial intelligence, virtual care and modern home care software are answering this call," says Adrian Schauer, CEO of AlayaCare. "With today's technology, virtual and home care visits should work in concert and the health data from those visits must be harmonious to achieve optimal patient management."

"At CBI Health Group, we've long recognized the enormous benefits of remote monitoring," says Anthony Milonas, COO at CBI Health Group. "Our clients learn to quickly recognize cause-and-effect lifestyle decisions that could directly affect their symptom management and health care needs."

Read the full case study here:

About AlayaCare
AlayaCare is a provider of award-winning, cloud-based home health care software. With an end-to-end solution spanning clinical documentation, back office functionality, client and family portals, remote patient monitoring, and mobile care worker functionality, we offer a platform for agencies to propel towards innovation and home care of the future. To learn more, visit:

About CBI Health
Founded in 1974, CBI employs almost 10,000 clinical and support staff that deliver comprehensive healthcare services through more than 250 facilities. Our services include: community and hospital based rehabilitation centres, home health, neurodevelopmental treatment, assessments and medical services on behalf of individuals, third party funders and governments. Our purpose is to improve the health of Canadians by shaping standards and driving innovation in community care. For more information, visit

About Southlake Hospital
Southlake Regional Health Centre is a state-of-the-art regional hospital offering advanced levels of care to more than one million people who live in northern York Region and south Simcoe County.

Southlake offers 408 patient beds and accommodates more than 110,000 visits to the Emergency Department, 30,000 inpatient admissions, and 530,000 outpatient visits each year. As a regionally designated site, Southlake is responsible for developing and providing advanced levels of care to the more than 1 million people who reside in York Region, Simcoe County, and in some cases, as far north as Muskoka.

Advanced, specialty services include arthritis care, cancer care, cardiac care, cataract surgery, child and adolescent eating disorders, mental health services for children, paediatrics and perinatal care, and thoracic surgery.

About the University of Ontario Institute of Technology
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology advances the discovery and application of knowledge through a technology-enriched learning environment and the delivery of innovative market-driven programs responsive to the needs of students and industry. With more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in more than 75 programs, the university promotes social engagement, fosters critical thinking and integrates outcomes-based learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. The university's commitment to accelerating economic growth and social innovation is realized through faculty research collaborations with leading organizations such as Ontario Power Generation, IBM, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Durham Regional Police Service. To find out more, visit

Media Contacts:
Randi Baxter
Marketing Manager
855.858.5214 ext. 201

Bryan Oliver
Communications Officer - Communications and Marketing
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
905.721.8668 ext. 6709
289.928.3653 (cell)

Matt Haggerty
Strategic Communications Consultant
Southlake Regional Health Centre

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