One in three Americans is now 50 or older, and by 2030, one in five will be 65 or older. In Canada, seniors currently make up a bigger share of the country’s population other than children. Many of these adults wish to remain in their homes and communities as they age but will require a higher level of care from their doctors and family members.
Countless people face the challenge of determining how to best care for aging individuals, especially when daily activities, such as preparing food and remembering to take medication, become a struggle. This challenge is exacerbated when family members are unable to offer around-the-clock support for their loved ones.
JEMS Technology and SimpleC believe there is a better way to manage chronic conditions, such as dementia, through personalized therapy and doctor’s appointments delivered through smart devices. We talked with the chief executive officer and founder of JEMS Technology, Kevin Lasser, to learn more about his company’s joint venture with SimpleC and how MedHealth helped his company’s expansion into Canada.
Company mission: To offer best-in-class healthcare solutions in artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and telehealth.
chief executive officer and founder
Questions and Answers
What was the impetus for creating JEMS Technology?
Nearly a decade ago, at a New Year’s Eve party, I had a conversation with an executive from AT&T Healthcare about their need to more efficiently diagnose strokes at rural hospitals where a neurologist may not be present. I was the cofounder of a data encryption company at the time, and we had a deep understanding of mobile device security. As a result, we developed a real-time, encrypted video solution that gave healthcare providers the ability to interact with patients remotely. And that’s how JEMS Technology was born—one of the first companies in the world to develop a HIPAA-compliant telehealth application for smart devices.
Tell me about your joint venture with SimpleC.
SimpleC, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia, uses artificial intelligence to deliver personalized media-based therapies to people who are aging and have memory loss. For example, SimpleC’s application, Companion, enables caregivers and family members alike to send important health information and reminders to their aging loved ones on a large touchscreen display. Companion also provides a communication interface for care providers to understand how someone is responding to certain therapies and family members can use the app to send photos, videos, and songs to improve an individual’s memory and mood.
SimpleC reached out to JEMS needing a telehealth component that would allow Companion users to access healthcare appointments and providers through smart devices. Doctor’s appointments, especially for people with memory loss, can be stressful, confusing events. Through this joint venture, JEMS and SimpleC are able to provide users with a way to securely connect through video chats and other notifications, like medication reminders. The application also uses artificial intelligence to proactively prompt a telehealth visit when a person needs extra support to follow their care plan.
How did MedHealth help you?
I first connected with a MedHealth steering committee member on LinkedIn and met with him in person to discuss our technology. He found it very compelling and thought that it could be used by the Canadian Ministry of Health. I also connected with a representative from TransForm Shared Service Organization at the MedHealth Summit. As a result of these conversations, we are now piloting our technology in Ontario, Canada to enable elderly people to age in the place of their choice–our first exploration in a market outside of the United States!
Where else is this technology currently being used?
We have more than 2,000 active customers in 15 states and pilot programs at Henry Ford Village and McLaren Home Healthcare. Additionally, SimpleC has 28 ongoing university studies and is working on several projects with the National Institutes of Health. This technology is steeped in research, and thousands of people are experiencing the benefits of improved access to more personalized care.
What’s next for the SimpleC and JEMS Technology joint venture?
We are currently establishing an e-commerce site to sell our application directly to consumers and are exploring how our technology could benefit people managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, mental health conditions, and autism. We are always in search of new partners that can utilize our technology to help people live more fulfilling lives. We ultimately hope to impact population health in communities where our technology is used by driving down emergency department visits through more proactively managed care.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Buy clothes four sizes bigger because you will be stress eating! On a more encouraging note, I do believe that being an entrepreneur gets easier every day as you learn from your mistakes. I would tell an aspiring entrepreneur to get comfortable failing, learning, and changing directions.
Entrepreneurship has a way of becoming part of your identity. It’s like that classic line in the Eagles’ song, “Hotel California”: “You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!” There is truly nothing else that I would rather do.