This past week, at ViVE 2022, Quil CEO, Carina Edwards, had the opportunity to sit down with Bill Russell of TWIHIT for an episode of This Week Health: Newsroom. The two discussed the changing face of healthcare as the senior population expands and more care is moved to the home. Supporting patients, especially seniors and care givers along this transition is where Quil has found a niche. Tune in to the podcast to hear Carina discuss the exciting launch of Quil Assure™, the connected home platform for seniors and caregivers, and highlight how flagship product, Quil Engage® is changing the patient and care team experience when it comes to engagement, activation, and education.
Bill Russel: All right, here we at Chime!
Carina Edwards: No, we’re not at CHIME, we’re at ViVE!
Bill: Here we are at ViVE 2022, and it is partially CHIME, partially the HLTH conference coming together, it’s pretty interesting! We’re with Carina Edwards with Quil, and it’s exciting times for you guys.
Carina: Very exciting times, we announced today our direct to consumer product offering, so very excited to be here.
We now have two offerings, Quil Engage the care engagement platform that integrates with all of our wonderful provider organizations and now direct to consumer in the home: Ambient sensors door sensors, door sensors, to really enable the Silver tsunami to age in place for as long as they would like, independently.
Bill: Age in place. Do I get any credit for this? Cause I talked about my father-in-law and caring for him?
Carina: No, no you don’t.
Bill: No? No credit at all?
Carina: It’s everyone, I mean I’m managing 4 elders, we all have this.
Bill: I mean, what’s the number?
Carina: 94 Million Americans will be over 65 in the next 20 years.
Bill: But caring for your parents as they get older and those kinds of things, this is that kind of solution?
Carina: It is!
Bill: That’s going to give me alerts, let them live on their own longer.
Bill: And give me the alerts I need. But you know, even when they were in my house, even when he was in my house, I was like, we need to, we went to go out for dinner. Like we needed alerts.
Carina: Yeah. So the way that works is basically we’re using ambient sensing, so no cameras, it’s motion, detectors, door, sensors, drawer sensors, and then the machine learning in the hub learns the patterns in the home. And that it’s almost the absence or the change of daily living that alerts you. So it’s, you know, mom normally goes to the kitchen three times a day, She’s not been there. Mom walked into the bathroom and has not, you know, it’s been longer than normal. So things that are, I know that, Hey, it’s healthcare.
Bill: No, here’s, here’s the problem. I, you know, I’m sitting there going, can I sit down with your product guy? Cause there’s, you know, here’s where we could go with this. And there is really a lot of directions that you can go with this.
Carina: It’s HUGE. So we’re starting direct to consumer because that’s the Comcast side of this, a lovely digital health venture, and then IBC, great blue cross blue shield, blue cross payer. That is the great opportunity for Medicare advantage going to their book. And then you think about our foundational customer on Quil Engage, Penn medicine. We’re going to really connect PA 5 in a new way. And that’s been the fun of this R and D offshoot of Quill. We have the longevity, we have the time to really innovate and get these signals right. And make sure they’re actionable by every single person in the value chain.
Bill: You know what, somebody did ask me and I have to ask you, is this only available where Comcast is?
Carina: No, it’s not.
Carina: So there’ll be a differentiator. Quil Assure today is available nationwide. It’s a self-install kit of motion sectors in the hub, that hub has a cellular backup plus broadband connectivity. And soon coming, that lovely Comcast gateway and we can reduce a lot of the footprint and the pain of set up uf we integrate to the gateway. Everything in Quil Assure today is ZigBee compatible and that gateway is they be compatible. So in a future version, there will be a Comcast connected offering as well. That will be unique to them.
Bill: So is this a, I mean, your team had to be, busy during the pandemic. Did you get pulled in a lot of different directions or was this this a focus for a while now?
Carina: So this was part of the thesis, right, so when we were started in 2019 it was all about how do we think about the evolution to the connected home and the home as the hub of health. We started as prescribed by a provider because that was the point of activation. Getting 82% of our patients to actually come on to the platform and engage.
Bill: So your solution is prescribed by a provider, they see the provider, they look at you and they go, this solution will really help you?
Carina: Correct. So that’s helping them through their hip replacements, their joint replacements, their ENT surgeries, their oncology diagnosis. So now that was also getting signals from the home right. Patient monitoring, thinking about like, how are you feeling today? Pain scale is zero to 10.
Now we’re doing the second play, connecting the home. The convergence happens when you think about these ambient signals. If we can think through the right clinical use cases, where is that opportunity to bridge the two worlds to now have new insights for care managers that are managing populations that they don’t have access to before, in a consumer friendly way.
Bill: Alright. Direct to consumer. That’s awesome.
Carina: It’s fun and different.
Bill: Okay. So everyone who listens to this is going to be consumer, but most people who listen to this show are going to be providers. So what’s the message to providers?
Carina: This is enabling your care at home opportunities. So this is the beginning of us explorin the hospital at home, the connected home in a new way for new clinical insights and empowering new service lines. With the reimbursement changes, the ability to actually get reimbursed for telehealth and remote monitoring. These are new things to bring new services to bear, for providers, to follow patients from discharge to home.
We don’t want to be the coach. You’re the provider. We want to be the technology enablement to give you insights and ears when you can’t be there in person. And you have patients that are just well enough to be home, but not sick enough to be in the hospital. So these transitions home care critical
Bill: All right. So I think about that transition home. So you’re monitoring things like activity outside of the norm. But I think of things like med adherence immediately, I think a med adherence.
Carina: Yeah, that’s part of the monitoring. So the way we’re doing that is when you get Quil Assure today, direct to consumer, it’s an app and an ecosystem. And in the app side of it, we, mom, dad can enable you the caregiver, family member to bring in their meds, give reminders… it connects to Apple and Alexa voice, set reminders, being able to give them notifications and text messages when it’s time to take things, have them acknowledge on the app that they’ve taken it. So now your conversations are around life, not like, did you take your meds? How are you doing today?
So it’s really helping improve the relationship of mom and the caregiver because you lived through this with your family.
Bill: Yeah. You know, what’s interesting is, we look at that, that generation and we say, well, not tech savvy. Butgosh, we used, Siri and we used Amazon echo extensively with her father because it was such a natural conversation for him. It was like, the same thing he would say, Hey, play my Johnny Cash. Eventually we’d say, Hey Dale, did you take your med today? You go … my med, whatever. I’m sure it would be more specific than that though?
Carina: It is more specific than that, but the other fun thing too, it’s also, we’ve seen the pandemic, the literacy and in the senior population that was connected has gone up through the roof.
We saw it a lot in the last 18 months; even patients on Quil Engage, the provider side, our demographics are growing older, people are adopting more. They’re used to Facebook now ,they’re used to FaceTime now. Like with my Aunt and Uncle, if I’m not on FaceTime, it’s like a crime, it’s like, wait a second. Where are you? Why can’t I see you?
Bill: Yeah. And most have done a telehealth visit, most have done this while interacting with their kids that way, yeah.
Carina: It’s become second nature. And so I think now with the connectivity and they’re receptive enough as the way we put it.
Bill: Plus the technology is getting more, it’s being designed by people who are more empathetic and understanding of what’s going on and saying, all right, this isn’t easy enough for my grandfather to use yet. I like how we’re interacting.
So, you were providing through the set top box, a bunch of ways for health systems to drive content down, right to the end user. One of the things we talked about is, we had an initiative where we were actually, with the discharge notes and whatnot, we were actually videoing the doctor saying some things. Is that a part of that platform?
Carina: So right now, the two platforms will merge together on things that are provider prescribed care plans, because anyone that has Comcast and a Quil engage application, they can pair their experience. So now on the TV you can get that app, but we’re also doing caregiver journeys for those in the connected, direct direct-to-consumer world.
We’ll invite the caregiver on a journey to how to have those conversations that are hard to start with your independent parents. Because they want to be independent, and so it’s almost training the care family members: How do you bring up advanced directives? How do you bring up transitions of care? What are the thoughts starters, you don’t want to wait until the adverse event happens. And then she broke her hip and she was in the hospital so now she has to come live with you. You want to have those conversations sooner, as they’re living independently.
Bill: You know it’s interesting, actually my wife’s father.. I get to tell these stories to you, so I appreciate you hearing me.. He said OK when I die this is what we’re going to do – He’s that, he’s that guy. And then we were going through his papers after he died. And he had like notes in there to her. Like, I’m probably gone if you’re reading this and my parents won’t talk about it. No, they won’t talk about it at all. It’s like the complete opposite – I’m like, and you know, we don’t know how
None of us – a lot of us weren’t trained caregivers. And so to the extent that these health systems could come in, partner with us and help us to do these things, I’m almost making a plea here. It’s like we, we need your help.
Carina: Oh. The power of storytelling here is huge. That that’s where I love some of our video content, because even you think about some of the TV shows everybody binge watches, right. Sometimes that opens up. Like what you just saw if you’re with your family member and they saw somebody, “Oh I would never do that”. It opens up these thoughts, starters, so we’re bringing a lot of personal experience, personal testimonials, seniors telling them I wish I would have in their own voice. And that’s a trusted peer group.
Bill: That’s really interesting. Is there anything else about the company? Cause I, I, I love just talking to it so?
Carina: Yeah so the company is doing great. We’re we are thrilled to be here at this event and we just always want to thank our provider customers cause they gave us our start, they were foundational and now I’m really excited for phase two.
Bill: Phase two, fantastic. What are you binge-watching?
Carina: Oh my goodness. What am I binge watching right now? Oh, it’s really bad. Really bad. Sweet Magnolia’s on Netflix. It’s it’s so bad it’s actually good.
Bill: We, we made it through the first season of Yellowstone. I just couldn’t take it anymore, but my wife’s name is Beth. And so Beth is this character or Yellowstone that everyone’s just like enamored with and she made it through, I think two seasons. I’m like these people make bad decisions. Yeah.
Carina: Yeah. This is all about Southern Southern Belles and they’re living their best lives and they’re having another family it’s bad and they make bad decisions
Bill: Bad decisions. What was the other one? Oh, well obviously we all did the Ted Lasso.
Carina: Oh, I loved Ted Lasso. That was a favorite. My other favorite was I did. And Just Like That, the Sex and The City remake. Oh yeah. HBO and Just Like That. And it’s their 20 years later and they’re back together.
Bill: Wow. Did you watch any of the reunions? Did you watch the Friends reunion on HBO?
Bill: I did watch the French. I had to apologize. I mean, I feel like I shouldn’t have watched it, but, , but my gosh, their so funny.
Carina: They’re great! If it’s just magic, this gave us the break that we needed, the mental break in the pandemic. I feel like everyone in a way I’m done with screen time a little bit, In a way I’m trying to get more outdoor experiences now that we can be outside and it’s no longer 20 degrees and all that fun stuff.
Bill: I live in Naples.
Carina: Well, then when it’s 120
Bill: When it’s 120 degrees. Absolutely. Has your organization come back to the office?
Carina: No. So we actually, during the pandemic we scaled so quickly. The race for talent, we hired in 20 states. So we literally have, you know, employees, Quillian’s as we call them, so Quillian’s in 20 states and it’s been great.
We have a virtual first mentality, and now we’re starting to do quarterly planning in the office and you’re bringing key groups together when they need to be. But when they don’t need to be, we’ve been doing phenomenal virtual.
Bill: Any challenge, finding a certain positions?
Carina: Oh my goodness. Yep.
Bill: Alright so, who are you trying to find?
Carina: We are trying to find SREs, backend engineers. We’re trying to find great UX, UI people. We’re trying to find, I’m trying to think through, we’ve got marketing done. We’re scaling. Thank you, offscreen, but it’s really engineering.
It’s been the hardest question and I’ll give a shout out, right? We have 27% of our engineering capacities is in Ukraine. And so we are working closely with that vendor to make sure everyone’s okay. And making sure that like, you know, they’re, they’re able to get paid and they’re able to really focus on their families. Yeah. It’s, yeah, I mean, it’s devastating.
Bill: It was somebody said, you know, it’s a conflict. I’m like, it’s a conflict. If you live in the United States, it’s a war,
Carina: It’s a war if you live there. And these are people that are literally showing up to work with such pride in job, having dropped their kids and wives off at the border. We tell them you don’t need to work. It’s okay. We got this and they just, they want to work. They’re amazing. Amazing.
Bill: They need to work yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it is devastating… Carina it is always a fantastic catch up with you and we didn’t talk New York giants.
Carina: We didn’t! It’s a rebuilding year, so I can say it’s another rebuilding year.
Bill: Another rebuilding year. Here we go. And I need to go follow the. Well, actually, I don’t know if we have a baseball contract yet. You do you follow the Phillies?
Bill: You don’t care.
Carina: I don’t do baseball. I don’t do baseball as far as like a team that I have a huge allegiance to like, I’ll go to a game and enjoy it, but it’s not my sport.
Bill: The last time I interviewed you, we started the conversation like this. We spent five minutes on sports and, and somebody sent me an email. It’s like, when you talk to Carina, I don’t want to hear about the giants first. Do that at the end of the interview. So that’s, that’s what we’re doing here. So thank you.
Carina: Thank you