Ginger.io launches mental health initiative for low-income Utah populations

By Aditi Pai
08:33 am
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ginger.ioGinger.io, a health startup focused on passive data collection through smartphones, has partnered with the Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH) to launch Utah SmartCare, a care management program that aims to improve patient engagement and health outcomes in low-income Utah populations. Cambia Health Foundation awarded Ginger.io and AUCH a grant for the project.

Utah SmartCare will initially target 500 patients with co-morbid conditions or patients with a mental illness as well as a physical health condition, like hypertension. The program will focus on low-income patients living at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines who are either Medicaid beneficiaries or uninsured.

“Up until this point, we haven’t had the technology to effectively measure how patients are feeling outside of a care setting," Cofounder and CEO of Ginger.io Dr. Anmol Madan said in a statement. "Now that this remote data is more readily available, we are integrating it with the existing healthcare system and using it to deliver the sort of personalized outreach that improves care for patients and drives down costs, both of which substantially benefit the entire system.”

The program will help patients stay in contact with doctors between office visits. Doctors will use a smartphone app to gather data on patients through survey questions and insights into the patients' daily activity and socialization. Ginger.io's analytics engine will then take this data, analyze it, and display results on the patient dashboard, which is monitored by clinic staff. If the clinic staff notice any deviation from the patient's normal data, they then notify the doctor.

Utah SmartCare will be used at three Utah mental health clinics, Weber Human Services, Davis Behavioral Health, and Wasatch Mental Health as well as two health centers, Mountainlands Family Health Center and Midtown Community Health Center.

Each site will use the Ginger.io software differently. Wasatch Mental Health is using the technology in a crisis center capacity so that they can better manage patients in the acute phase of their behavioral health condition, while Health Connections at Weber Human Services is integrating the Ginger.io technology into existing care management programs so that they can support case managers on their staff.

Last month, Ginger.io announced a number of high profile clinical pilots that have been quietly employing its technology. Ginger.io is now working with UC San Francisco, Partners HealthCare (Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and McLean Hospital), Duke University, UC Davis and University of Nebraska Medical Center.