AbilTo and Aetna’s Cardiac Consultation Program

Health 2.0 Conference speakers, AbilTo and Aetna, recently announced their new web-based consultation program for cardiac patients who are at risk for developing depression after a major medical event. The AbilTo Cardiac Health Forum will bring professional assistance to Aetna patients through videoconferencing – helping them better manage care, improve adherence and learn effective new wellness skills. Selected Aetna members in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York are the first to be enrolled in the 8-week long program.

The AbilTo and Aetna study is focusing on the severity of a patient’s depression, medical outcome and health care costs compared with those not enrolled in the forum. As other industry trends have indicated, the market for such services might be larger than expected. A recent study by Euro RSCG found that 77 percent of Americans would like to visit with doctors online and Health 2.0 has seen no shortage of telemedical solutions in the pipeline.

 Aetna’s step toward making meetings between patients and professionals more convenient is an attempt to make sure that the threat of depression doesn’t go unaddressed. Up to 20 percent of people who have suffered a heart attack or had bypass surgery experience depression. Patients often become anxious after a cardiac event, fearing that it could happen again, and feel depressed when their condition prevents them from engaging in the activities they once enjoyed. Like many telemedicine interventions, the program targets the patients that might forgo treatment because they can’t leave their homes or because of the stigma involved with getting help. The program also addresses the ways depression can interfere with a patient’s recovery and willingness to make important lifestyle changes.

AbilTo’s programs involve a two-member team that helps patients effectively transition to new lifestyles after a medical event. Each week, patients attend private videoconference sessions with a clinical social worker and a behavioral coach. Coaches discuss ways patients can make changes that will promote recovery and improve adherence to prescribed wellness programs. They also work with patients on goal setting and mood tracking. Social workers, called transition specialists, discuss with patients how they can move forward after the event. The program hopes that patients will see more successful recovery periods and, if this proves to be true, AbilTo will likely be extend to other Aetna members.

Health 2.0 is proud to welcome AbilTo to our Health 2.0 Conference stage this September. Please join us to get the inside details on the study as it progresses and learn about the tele-medicine tactics that sets AbilTo’s  apart.

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