A real member's account of how virtual care for chronic disease keeps her safe.
When Dianna Marino first heard about the Ibis Health program, she thought it might help her keep track of her medications and stay on top of her health issues, including COPD, anemia and chronic pancreatitis.
Little did she know then that the first-of-its-kind virtual chronic care management program from Senscio Systems would help save her life — twice.
Offering round-the-clock AI-powered monitoring combined with on-call clinical team support, Ibis Health works to empower retirees like Marino to live well on their own terms, from the comfort of their homes.
Ibis Health members receive a continuously connected tablet that helps track weight, medications, exercise and other health indicators, flagging risks for decline before it happens. Member advocates work one-on-one with individuals to help personalize the program to their specific needs. Ibis Health users have reported a 37 percent decline in hospitalizations.
Marino received a blood pressure cuff and a pulse oximeter to help track her oxygen saturation levels. Prompted by the tablet, she began taking her blood pressure each day. Less than three weeks into the program, the 65-year-old former hospice home health aide realized she had a problem: Her numbers were consistently in the 180s — a potentially dangerous level — and she had started getting nosebleeds.
She brought the results to her doctor, who confirmed the high readings and immediately started Marino on medication to better regulate her blood pressure. The nosebleeds stopped, and Marino felt better.
“It saved my life,” Marino said. “If it wasn’t for the [Ibis Health tablet], I may not be alive today.”
Marino says the Ibis Health program came to her rescue again a few months later, when she experienced a bad COPD attack after attempting some gardening in her yard in Ellsworth, Maine. Struggling to breathe, she went to her tablet and indicated she was experiencing symptoms. The Ibis Health system responded by leading her through some self-recovery steps, including taking a nitroglycerin and accessing oxygen, and alerted the program’s on-call clinical staff to check in.
“It was bad, one of the worst ones I’ve had,” Marino said. “The tablet said you are having a COPD attack and this is what your doctor recommends to do. … [Now] I don’t question myself, when that machine tells me it’s yes, I go right into action.”
Marino continues to track her vitals, medications and diet daily through the Ibis Health program. She also looks forward to monthly check-in calls with her member advocate.
“They make it a happy thing and a happy place to go to. It’s not an effort for me to do this because I know it’s for my own well-being. And if I need help, they’re right there calling me immediately, a nurse is right there on the phone with me,” Marino said. “It’s the most wonderful thing that anybody’s ever come out with.”
Largely housebound and living far away from her sons and grandchildren, Marino says she feels more secure knowing she has the entire Ibis Health team watching out for her quality of life. That knowledge frees her up to enjoy other activities and hobbies, such as building an extensive fairy garden in her kitchen, complete with a moat with crocodiles and even a drawbridge.
“My goal is to stay alive at this point. My goal is to live, and with this Ibis tablet, it’s helping me to live, longer than I may have if I didn’t discover that high blood pressure,” Marino said. “All the support I get, they are amazing, amazing people, and they deserve to have something up on their wall saying ‘We saved Dianna Marino’s life,’ because they did.”