Thanks to an on-site telehealth kiosk combined with weekly nurse consultations, fewer residents are being hospitalized and fewer are moving to higher levels of care at nine affordable housing properties run by LeadingAge Provider Member Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) in metro St. Louis, MO.
 
In Project Wellness, a free program, participants can visit telehealth wellness kiosks and immediately find their blood pressure, weight, blood glucose levels, and other biometric readings. A parish or faith community nurse is paired to monitor participants' vital signs and feelings of isolation and depression once a week. Project Wellness tracks health data, and residents can share their records with their doctors. The data also points to trends that help LSS structure its wellness program accordingly.
 
Among the 750 low-income residents who joined Project Wellness, hospitalizations have dropped by one-third, 11% fewer residents moved to higher levels of care, and 6% fewer residents moved out. In addition, 49% of program participants say they are exercising more and know more about their vital signs and the importance of healthy blood pressure, weight, and heart rate.
 
In late September, Project Wellness was named the Affordable Housing Innovative Program of the Year by the American Association of Service Coordinators.
 
The project stemmed from grant funding provided by the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis in 2012. The pilot now reaches all of LSS’s affordable housing communities—eight in Missouri and one in Illinois—and more than 200 older adults who live adjacent to these communities.
 
“The innovation of this program is the pairing of technology with the human touch, which is making a real and sustainable difference in the lives of low-income older adults,” Susan Hutchinson, LSS executive director of affordable housing, told McKnight’s Senior Living. “Project Wellness underscores the benefit of proactive and personal wellness offerings to older adults,” she was quoted as saying.

“This is a great example showing the value of multi-user telehealth kiosks in congregate housing,” said CAST Executive Director and LeadingAge’s Senior Vice President of Technology Majd Alwan. “I commend LSS on this project, and I encourage all LeadingAge members serving older adults in senior housing, senior living, and retirement communities to consider deploying these types of kiosks along with the appropriate supportive services,” he added. 

Interested in exploring telehealth kiosk technologies? Check out CAST’s Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) portfolio of tools.