August 02, 2019
A growing collaboration between the University of New England and Senscio Systems of Boxborough, Massachusetts, is opening the door to opportunities for research, education and training in digital health.
“Without question, this will be something our students will see in their professional careers,” explained Michael Sheldon, PT, Ph.D., associate provost for Academic Affairs. “It's already happening.”
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Senscio care teams map out strategies for patients to take care of themselves in their own homes. The AI learns a patient’s self-management habits and their baseline health. The system can recognize departures from either and alert the team when interventions are required.
“Changes in blood pressure, blood sugar and a whole host of other indicators can be looked at in real time,” said Tom Meuser Ph.D., director of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Aging and Health (CEAH). “Changes to a patients treatment plan can then be made without the patient having to wait to see a doctor. The patient is taking responsibility for their own health care.”
Meuser expects the partnership with Senscio will lead to research opportunities on aging and chronic health conditions for his students in the CEAH.
Piali De, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Senscio Systems, believes patient care must grow in tandem with changes in the health care workforce.
“Senscio leads the way with sophisticated AI platforms for virtual care in the home, while UNE is leading the nation in educating our next generation’s workforce who can leverage AI to effectively deliver care remotely,” she stated. “The partnership between Senscio and UNE will be at the forefront of this health care transformation.”
Meuser added, “De’s belief is that digital health can provide the support for providers and patients to manage their whole health package in a more efficient, more timely way, with better health outcomes.”
The partnership is already leading to internship opportunities for UNE students. Cody Kennedy (Business, ’21) is spending his summer at Senscio researching the company’s potential for growth.
“I’m trying to improve current processes that are in place, running reports to try to increase revenue and looking at how we can financially grow the company,” he said.
The focus moving forward will be getting more UNE students in health profession programs involved.
“There's great interest across all of UNE’s health profession programs of providing some level of training in digital health for our students,” said Sheldon. “Because we have the array of health professions programs that we do, if we can create some common curriculum across all these disciplines, I think we'll have something pretty unique.”