BioHealth & Life Sciences / Maryland Startups / IT and Cybersecurity
Columbia Health IT Company Empowers Patients with Mobile Tech, Lowers Healthcare Costs
By Julie Miller /
April 17, 2017

A Columbia-based healthcare technology company is making it easier than ever for chronically ill patients to monitor and improve their health. Vheda Health is a startup that works with Medicaid and Medicare health plans to decrease medical expenses and improve compliance with their mobile care management platform, enabling patients to manage chronic conditions in real-time.

Through their health plans, participating patients receive Vheda care packages, which are customized based on condition. The kit may include tools such as a scale, blood pressure monitor and oxygen monitor. Health data is collected from these devices in real-time.As real-time values from the biometric devices come in, the Vheda platform compares them to thresholds the patient's doctor has set in a care plan. If the data is higher or lower than the threshold, an alert is triggered so the health plan and physician can work with the patient to normalize the value prior to an escalating event, such as an emergency room visit or hospitalization.This data is also available to the patient's provider.

"We offer a new way—a better way—for patients to engage with their health plan and manage their conditions," said Vheda CEO Shameet Luhar.

Vheda's health programs were designed with the Medicaid and Medicare populations in mind with the goal of eliminating as many steps as possible, Luhar said. Traditionally, monitoring health stats meant carrying around a notebook, writing down information, and reporting that back to a doctor/health care plan. Vheda, through its mobile care management platform, automates the process into one step.

"Our focus is on making the experience as simple as possible for patients through technology. The result is decreasing hospitalizations and increasing care plan compliance," Luhar said.

Vheda Health is improving the health of people across the country, and as a result, decreasing hospitalizations and emergency room visits among its users.

The company reports an 87 percent engagement rate, 84 percent compliance rate, and a 71 percent annual hospitalization reduction among Medicaid and Medicare plan members. In turn, health insurance plans save money—approximately $17,175 annually per member—the company reports.

The nearly four year old company has 12 millionpopulation reachnationwide. Vheda is part of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE), and Luhar says mentorship and opportunities provided by MCE has been instrumental to the company's success.

Through its affiliation with the Howard Tech Council and SCORE Network, the MCE provides "instant, expert advice to entrepreneurs," said Howard Tech Council Director Tracy Turner. With Howard County's Executive Allan Kittleman recently outlining plans for an "innovation district" in Columbia, there's a clear alignment between the future plans for the area and what's happening with the MCE.

For Turner, there's a lot of pride for what the Howard Tech Council, MCE, and its member companies are doing for Howard County. "We're very proud of what we're doing for Howard County, and we're proud of what Vheda Health is doing," Turner said.

Vheda Health has been the recipient of numerous accolades during its rise, including: Health Technology Company of the Year in Howard County (2014), Best Startup in the State of Maryland by Startup Maryland (2015), and Best Health Technology Company in Maryland by the Maryland Incubator Association (2016).

For partnership or general business inquiries, please contact Shameet Luhar at443-364-8394.



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