Cleveland Clinic to expand reach

Teams up with Cox Communications to take care wherever patients are
By Bernie Monegain
10:16 AM
Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic has partnered with cable TV giant Cox Communications to form Vivre Health. It's an alliance that aims to expand the reach of healthcare beyond the hospital into a mall kiosk, a mobile phone on the go or a patient's home.

The idea is to find innovative ways to take care to patients.

"Cleveland Clinic has nearly a 100-year history of contributing advancement to techniques and technology in healthcare," Thomas Graham, MD, chief innovation officer at Cleveland Clinic, told Healthcare IT News. "We're the pioneers of vision-driven innovation and kind of the recognized leader in functions like that in the last two decades."

Cox Communications, Graham said, emerged as an organization that is culturally aligned with Cleveland Clinic and one that has recently turned its attention to the healthcare sector.

"When we find a group like that that has complementary resources and strengths, we tend to want to seek platforms where we can work together," he said.

And, so a partnership was formed.

"We are thrilled to be working with such a respected leader in the healthcare space," said Asheesh Saksena, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Cox Communications, in a press statement announcing the initiative. "Fueled by access to broadband, we believe the home will be an increasingly important node within the healthcare delivery architecture and Vivre Health is uniquely positioned to help drive this transformation."

Cox, the third largest U.S. cable company, recently committed to deliver residential Gigabit Internet speeds to all markets it serves by the end of 2016. Cox serves approximately six million residences and businesses.

Cox Communications has invested in HealthSpot, a company it views as a pioneer in patient- and provider-driven telehealth technology. HealthSpot has built a healthcare delivery platform that combines cloud-based software with its HealthSpot station, digital medical devices and mobile applications. The solution is being piloted across several states by healthcare, pharmacy and retail services providers.

[See also: Teladoc, HealthSpot team on telehealth.]

To the Cleveland Clinic, HealthSpot's kiosk-based care presents both a strategic and financial opportunity.

"Now, we are at the starting line of a journey that we would like to take together and explore other ways that we can affect more healthcare, specifically in quality, access and cost," Graham said. "We believe it could go further in exploring all the different places that care can be delivered.

"We fully embrace the concept that the center of the medical universe is where doctors and patients get together, but we also understand the power of technology to enable different venues for that, whether it be in a kiosk like HealthSpot, whether it be through a computer screen with camera, whether it be on mobile device or even through television, we feel that we have an opportunity – and maybe a responsibility – to explore those."

Watch CIO C. Martin Harris discuss Cleveland Clinic's approach to patient care in this video: