Kenneth Thorlton

Along with instant access to health education and local resources, the smart phone could track asthma attacks, for example, helping physicians better understand the patient, environment, and possible triggers

Healthy Exchange Smart Phone

Providing health education and
health coaching to under-served communities everywhere

The Healthy Exchange program, along with Verizon's
technology platform, uses mobile technology to connect
and empower patients to take charge of their health

Nationwide Americans struggle with chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few. 58 million people are currently diagnosed, which is a 25% increase over the last 10 years. And many of these diseases have been considered preventable.

How does this affect our health care system? With over 6.5 million hospital visits per year that are avoidable and $280 million dollars in fines for preventable hospital readmissions, one can see the real need for a primary care model that works outside of emergency rooms. This issue tends to affect the poor, high risk patients who need health support but don't have the means or knowledge to access it.

With more and more mHealth initiatives being offered, it is easy to see how mobile technology can be instrumental is supplying health education and support to patients outside of their physical health care appointments.

The Healthy Exchange program, using the Verizon network, cloud, and mobile services, promises to tackle some of the largest health challenges we face in this country with patient access to community, education, and support.

The program relies on the donation of older smart phones that are refurbished and provided to qualified participants to improve access to care. Here's how it works:

 > Drop-off bins are located at hospitals, public libraries, malls, and other highly trafficked areas

 > Phones are sent to a refurbishing center and then shipped to hospitals, accountable care organizations (ACOs), and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) who enroll in the program

 > Health workers personalize phones via a program website portal – by adding apps and local community resources to help patients manage their conditions

 > Recipients can begin using phones immediately to keep track of their health needs and to access local community services

 > Local health services will maintain a profile on a centralized database in order to ensure their services can be found by the Healthy Exchange App

Along with instant access to tailored health education and local support resources for the participant, smart phones offer many more opportunities to further manage aspects of health care delivery. For a condition such as asthma, for example, attacks could be tracked, with the smart phone capturing date, time, and weather conditions through GPS to give doctors a view of patients, environment, and possible triggers. Or the use of a Healthy Exchange translation app could help mitigate the miscommunication between doctors and patients when no translator is available.

Hospitals, FQCHs, and insurers creating start-up ACOs are actively looking for technological offerings that streamline coordination, improve outcomes, and provide data. And, according to a Black Book Rankings survey, startup ACOs plan to spend $500 million in technological investment as their first year spend.

Mobile technology has become a part of our daily lives. What better way to use it then to live longer because of it? That's the true goal of this innovative program.

The Healthy Exchange program was part of a proposal chosen to advance into the final round of the Verizon Powerful Answers Awards Contest in 2013. Of more than 1,400 entries, the Healthy Exchange program was among 30 finalists and a Top 10 contender in the health care category.

Ken Thorlton is a senior level Creative Director with deep insight into health care design.

His strategic thinking and leadership skills have moved him beyond art direction and into areas where his passion and vision as a health educator have been recognized and valued by clients and colleagues alike.

Ken has 15 years' experience as a User Engagement designer, delivering creative solutions for health care, biotech companies, and more.

© Kenneth Thorlton Design 2015. All rights reserved. Products, company names, and logos mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective owners. All work contained herein, whether conceptual or real, is the intellectual property of Kenneth Thorlton Design.