Product Manager Field Research

Posted by Lisa Bond

Jun 25, 2015 1:09:25 PM

Hi!  I am a product manager at CareSync, and I love using it for my family.  We’re quite healthy, so aside from well visits and an ongoing ear infection the dog can’t shake, I haven’t had to use it for anything major.

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Topics: chronic conditions, share your health stories, diabetes

Here's How CareSync Changes Lives for the Better

Posted by The CareSync Team

Apr 24, 2015 10:34:00 AM

For 17 years, Betsy Walling Furler and her husband, Eric, have been frantically gathering paperwork. They don't have OCD and they do have jobs.

But this paper chase isn't optional: ever since their oldest son, Henry, was a baby, the Furlers have been on a life-or-death mission to make sure the medical records they have on Henry, who has several serious congenital diseases, are absolutely accurate and up-to-date.

"He was three weeks old," recalls Betsy, "when a doctor nearly killed him [because of misinformation on Henry's health]. That's when I realized that we needed to be captain of the ship."

Thus began a life of escalating stacks of papers and DVDs, and enormous binders to try to organize it all (but how do you organize it? by disease? by date? both? does it need an index? having done that, will any doctor really look at it all and find the right bits of information?). And constant anxiety: was there something they missed? A fact doctors ought to know, but might not?

"Collecting medical records over the years has been extremely frustrating and extremely overwhelming," says Betsy. "I'm a healthcare professional - a speech pathologist - and I still wasn't able to get complete medical records on Henry."

So it was a relief, and an accident, this March when the Furlers found CareSync and finally acquired a first mate on their ship of medical records. Betsy, who works with BridgingApps.org on apps to help disabled and non-verbal children and adults communicate, was working on a new project focused on frequently hospitalized individuals when a co-worker suggested they try CareSync for the new venture.

"I know the CEO," said the co-worker, offering to connect Betsy with CareSync's Travis Bond to learn more about CareSync's medical records retrieval and care coordination app and services.

Betsy didn't wait for the introduction and went straight to CareSync.com, where she signed up for CareSync Plus, the service where the customer supplies the name of the doctors, hospitals and labs - all of them, at least 27 in Henry's case - and CareSync does the rest, generating a digital record and summary accessible 24/7 via web or any mobile device, ready to share with any doctor or anyone else the patient designates.

A few weeks later, Betsy and Travis wound up unexpectedly face-to-face in a White House executive office meeting room with other apps developers in D.C. to discuss issues including patent law reform, data security, privacy, and safety for children online.

"I'm a CareSync user, and I love it," proclaimed Betsy, surprising Travis and White House officials as she pulled out her iPhone and demonstrated how she had all of her family's medical records literally in the palm of her hand, including Henry's, ready to use and share.

That's especially valuable when on the road, because Henry's multiple conditions have him in the hospital about twice a month, and medical decisions could be imminent at any time. Meanwhile Henry - an ambitious teen looking forward to college and more - has no intention of allowing biology to hold him back from the future he's planning. He's using the app to prepare to manage his health when living on his own.

Henry's challenges include medically intractable epilepsy - that is, epilepsy that is very difficult to treat: so far 20 drugs have failed, but an implanted device has brought some relief, shortening seizure duration from about six minutes to a minute and a half.

He's on a special diet to help rein in the epilepsy, and a mistake on that, Betsy notes, cannot be allowed to happen. "If he were given an IV with dextrose," she explains, "he could go into status epilepticus [clusters of seizures or continuous seizure]."

Henry also copes with two other chronic conditions, a neuro-metabolic disorder and dysautonomia, which can cause problems including tachycardia, when the heart beats too fast.

Then there are the allergies: at least 13 that are vital for doctors and others to be aware of. Many of these, Betsy notes, surfaced when Henry was very young, so his parents remember, but he doesn't. But even though he's a frequent patient at the hospital, every time they check in they get the same old questions, including: What are the allergies? What happens if he's exposed to any of those substances? What medications is he taking?

"Now," says Betsy, "I just show them my iPad, everything is spelled correctly, it's got the exact dosages - they love it."

The Furlers also give high marks to another CareSync feature: the summary we create describing the patient's overall situation at a glance (also very popular with the doctors, medical practices, patients and caregivers served by our Chronic Care Management program).

"I love the summary," says Betsy, who like many patients and caregivers has written a few of her own in the past. The difference with CareSync, she notes, is the objectivity. "When you're looking at things through your own lens, you can forget to mention things that are familiar to you but might be important for others to know."

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Topics: share your health stories, CareSync Care Plans, mHealth, care coordination, patients, caregivers, CareSync company updates

Sharing medical history...in the nick of time

Posted by Courtney Larned

Feb 18, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to have hand surgery, in attempts to rebuild one of the fingers I broke from my January running fall. I've mentioned it briefly on here in the past, but I have a small neuro condition that, controlled with daily meds, rarely bothers me, so I don't really think about it much.

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Topics: share your health stories, mHealth

"I Am a Patient–and I Need to Be Heard!"

Posted by Courtney Larned

Jan 22, 2014 2:00:00 PM

This 15 year old (and I've known her since she was six) opens up about what it's like to be a patient.  I am most impressed that she recognizes that she wants to be engaged and wants to participate in her care, but feels like the majority of her clinical team doesnt respect her needs.  This takes guts!

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Topics: patient engagement, share your health stories, juvenile dermatomyositis, videos, family health, mHealth, patients

Free Webinar: The Importance of Sharing Your Health Story

Posted by Courtney Larned

Jan 16, 2014 5:04:00 PM

Did you know that 80% of medical visits can be diagnosed with the patient's story?

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Topics: webinars, share your health stories, caregivers

Access to ALL of the Information: Empowered Caregiver

Posted by Amy Gleason

Nov 25, 2013 5:52:00 PM

My 15 year old daughter Morgan has been fighting a battle against a life-threatning autoimmune disease for over 3 years now. This year has brought quite a few challenges, including symptoms that have been difficult to get under control, side effects like meningitis from treatment, and the other typical struggles that come with managing a complex, systemic disease.

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Topics: share your health stories, patient advocacy, family health, mHealth, patients, caregivers

CareSync hits the road. Well, the sea.

Posted by Courtney Larned

Oct 7, 2013 10:00:00 AM

It's no secret that I am a believer in owning and controlling your family's medical records.  Whether it's searching through the past visit notes and finding inaccuracies, or using and sharing the concise summaries with care teams, there are dozens of compelling reasons to take control of your health.

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Topics: share your health stories, family health

Making the best health decisions for my child. Or so I thought.

Posted by Courtney Larned

Aug 2, 2013 1:10:00 PM

I have been blessed with a, for the most part, healthy and happy little boy.  We struggled for the first year of his life with ear infections, but other than too many antibiotics and a quick surgery for placing tubes, we've had a relatively easy time with Benjamin's health.  Nothing more than the seasonal colds that get passed around the elementary school crowd.

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Topics: share your health stories, medical records, family health, mHealth

My Night in the ER as an Engaged CareSync Patient

Posted by Courtney Larned

Jul 3, 2013 9:30:00 AM

I've been a tad under the weather for the last few months.  While I like to think it's a bad case of "work-too-much-itis," it's actually something that requires some attention, more rest than I get, and figuring out the right combination of treatments.

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Topics: share your health stories, family health, mHealth

3 Years After Diagnosis: Lessons I've Learned

Posted by Amy Gleason

Jun 25, 2013 8:12:00 AM

Three years ago today, we first heard the word Dermatomyositis.
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Topics: share your health stories, rare diseases, juvenile dermatomyositis, family health, mHealth, patients, health tips

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