New Application Offers PTs/OTs Remote Access to Patients

Mobile platform can get patients to actually complete home exercises

Call it compliance, follow-through, whatever you like. The fact remains it’s a problem for PTs and OTs in working with patients.

That’s why more than a dozen rehab professionals are already utilizing a new digital application hosted in AWS to ease the process of communicating with their patients. The groundbreaking SaRA Health Simplifying Recovery Assistant (SaRA) application enables the patient to receive home exercise plans, notifications and reminders from their therapist on their phone, tablet or laptop.

Thanks to this platform, physical and occupational therapists have a way to monitor the patient’s progress remotely and adjust recovery plans from their laptop, tablet or mobile device.

“More than half of physical therapy patients do not follow through on their treatment programs. Our company’s overall goal is to reduce patient recovery times and provide personalized patient care in a safe and secure manner,” said SaRA Health CEO Steven Coen.

SaRA Health has also partnered with leading cloud security solutions provider Armor® to utilize Armor’s managed security-as-a-service (SECaaS) platform, Armor Anywhere, to protect its patients’ data stored in the AWS cloud.

“Many emerging companies establish themselves without thinking about security, and it becomes a significant issue that can stall growth,” Coen added. “We knew that we wanted to build a secure business from the outset, so our patients’ data is protected regardless of what size we are.”

When SaRA Health was founded last year, it was with a single mission in mind: reducing patient recovery times through creative utilization of their own technology and providing personalized patient care.

The growing issue of limited compliance with adherence to prescribed home exercise programs offered the founders a natural starting point. In physical therapy patients specifically, research demonstrated that at least 65 percent of patients fail to adhere to their prescribed treatment. As a result, SaRA Health targeted self-insured employers within industries that observed high rates of worker compensation claims.

“Our goal is to help patients recover faster by optimizing the time they spend outside of the clinic,” says Steven Coen, CEO of SaRA Health. “Success for us is quantified by improving patient outcomes, and everything else follows from there.”

When it came time to find a hosting solution, SaRA Health joined a growing number of companies by turning to cloud-based computing. In becoming an AWS customer, they received significant and invaluable advice as to remaining HIPAA compliant within the cloud. Yet something more was needed, in Coen’s eyes. That led to the partnership with Armor.

“Our biggest concern was what we didn’t know,” he admitted. “How do we know we are doing the right things and taking the right actions to best protect our patient’s data within the public cloud? For a startup, our existence depends on [protecting the data].”

Cybersecurity and identity theft are huge concerns for any individual in the modern age. For a business, that worry is compounded by the need to protect the valuable information of their customers. And at the top of that list sits healthcare-related business, who arguably incur the greatest risk of all, what with HIPAA concerns and the extremely sensitive nature of the information within health records.

The company cited a 2018 study from the Ponemon Institute claiming that each stolen record costs healthcare organizations a whopping $408—nearly three times the cross-industry average of $148. One benefit of SaRA Health’s partnership with Armor is increased visibility within their environment, including an ability to view analytics, track various security measures and run reports through the Armor Management Portal (AMP).

“When we looked at the market, we saw there were a lot of different tools out there,” admitted Coen. “But what we really liked about Armor was transparency and simplicity of deploying the agents in our cloud. Armor gives us a lot of visibility into our infrastructure and our technology and allows us to make our own decisions and repairs when necessary.”

Coen was especially proud to note that Armor increased his organization’s “speed to market” by 15 percent to 20 percent—the equivalent of at least one month of dedicated development time.

One thing SaRA approached differently was building a secure business from the start, rather than running into the trap that befalls so many companies, who only address security concerns when they grow and subsequently run into problems as a result. Regardless of how big the company ultimately grows, SaRA’s leadership—and clients—have the peace of mind that their data is secure.

Upon utilizing Armor, SaRA representatives were receiving alerts and notifications via AMP within 24 hours, allowing them to address shortcomings in real time.

With a third-party administrator handling cybersecurity concerns, SaRA executives are free to focus their efforts on core business concerns without having to divide their time or hire additional employees to address HIPAA compliance. As a result, the company enjoys added efficiency on both the customer and sales side.

“With Armor and AWS combined, we now have protection in key portions of our tech stack and visibility into potential areas for improvement in the areas that AWS is not responsible for,” Coen concluded. “In combination, they help us achieve our goal doing more than just the minimum but making security a priority to ensure that patients and providers can trust us with their sensitive information as we continue to grow through the years.”

SaRA Health is currently accepting requests for clinicians to partner for research opportunities related to home exercise program adherence, and can be reached at [email protected]

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