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The first in a series of posts on the LG-Independa Health Hub

Richard D. Della Penna, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Independa, Inc.

LG and Independa successfully partnered and pioneered the delivery of health care, physician visits, entertainment, social interaction, and more using the largest, most familiar screen in the home, the TV. The results of this innovation and collaboration were on display at CES 2022 and received rave reviews. People at home worldwide now can access the right care, at the right time, in the right place, on the right device using the Independa Health Hub® available on all new LG Smart TVs.

As Independa’s chief medical officer for the past decade, I ‘ve had a front row seat and saw the LG-Independa technology evolve and mature. Yet, when I saw the latest version of Independa’s cloud-based platform now built into LG’s Smart TVs, my reaction was “Wow!”. What I saw was a quantum leap from previous versions. One of my colleagues, a technology veteran, told me he got goosebumps.

Much of my career at Kaiser Permanente focused on bringing care to people in their homes. Nothing in my training and experience prepared me for care delivery outside the walls of richly staffed and resourced hospitals, medical offices, and other care settings which were in my comfort zone.

I remember the first time I walked into the home a patient, hoping my anxiety and uncertainty would not be obvious. This visit and the hundreds that followed changed my thinking about health care delivery. I realize that most of the action in health care occurs in the home, not in the health care settings where people go for care and where I received my clinical training.

The last mile between health care settings and the home is long. Hospital and office visits are short. During home visits I saw first-hand how my patients, their families and caregivers were struggling, away from doctors, other clinicians, and medical settings. Most of my patients were older, not very mobile, and often in the advanced stages of chronic conditions. They typically took eight or more medications and had a stack of papers containing instructions and information related to their health conditions. They felt confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of what they needed to do. There is little wonder why there is a need for the ongoing efforts to restructure the care of chronic conditions to achieve better outcomes.

The Independa Health Hub and LG, by removing longstanding barriers, have closed the last mile of health care delivery resulting in improve care and quality of life by addressing key social determinants of health. Now people at home have convenient access to health care, social support, and health information, regardless of their level of health literacy. The following lists some of the features and benefits available on through the Independa Health Hub on LG TVs.

WebMD, in partnership with Independa through their subsidiary The Wellness Network, is making its library of thousands of the award winning Healthclips available to people at home on the Independa Health Hub. Previously these trusted videos were available only in medical settings such as hospitals and care centers across the county. The Wellness Network recognizes people must make health choices every day and helps them make better decisions for managing their health, and is meeting them where they are most often, in their homes. Topics span from prenatal care to palliative care. The information in the video clips is evidenced based and has been reviewed by medical experts and is refreshed ongoingly. The videos influence, inform, engage, and inspire to achieve better health comes. There is no need for a doctor or other clinician referral. You can avoid the unvalidated, often outdated, and possibly harmful information found on search engines and get the most current information to help individuals better understand and manage their health.

Video visits allow convenient access to physicians as we all have learned during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now patients can see primary care physicians and specialists on a big screen, quite a dramatic improvement over the small screen of a mobile device or at a computer. Clinicians can evaluate many conditions and a patient’s appearance, mood, and mobility as they interact with them. They can order tests and medications and direct patients to appropriate specialists and sites of care. Patients stay at home and avoid crowds, long waits and lines of people seeking care. Families and others can be present at the visit. Patients may feel more comfortable discussing a difficult subject online as the encounter is on neutral territory.

Saltbox TV is partnering with Independa to provide the first-ever streaming service dedicated to connecting older adults with diverse, informative, and engaging programming. Saltbox TV welcomes even those with no technical experience. Saltbox TV hosts various programs from music, faith, classic film & television, lifelong learning, wellness, documentaries, arts and crafts, Saltbox Originals, and everything in between.

Video calls promote important socialization with family and friends near and far by warding off separation, loneliness, isolation, and depression. They provide motivation and encouragement to people with chronic conditions. According to psychologist Susan Pinker, social science columnist for the Wall Street Journal, “Face-to-face contact releases a whole cascade of neurotransmitters and, like a vaccine, they protect you now, in the present, and well into the future”. The large screen of the LG TV makes the experience of video calls more lifelike, especially important during Covid-19 and in the era of dispersed families. This large screen also enables easier engagement for those with eyesight challenges, including macular degeneration.

The features described in this post are only the beginning. Future posts will describe additional features and services available on the Independa Health Hub, including fitness and activity, dental consultations, pet care and more.

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