Hope and help for Veterans

with PTSD and mTBI

 

 

Hope may seem elusive for Veterans struggling with PTSD and mTBI. Building confidence, independence, and pride is essential for reintegration into daily life. Innovative, connected care solutions for rehabilitation can help.

 

For Veterans, transition to civilian life can be difficult. Those that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or the effects of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) find reintegration particularly challenging. For these wounded warriors, the simplest daily routines can become a barrier to normalcy.

 

The health of our nation’s Veterans has a profound impact on the health of our society as a whole. That’s why the Department of Veteran Affairs and those who partner with them are so committed to the rehabilitation and successful reintegration of our Veterans.

 

We must step-up assistance through innovative healthcare solutions. And through unity, comes progress.

VA Brain Trust

 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is excited to announce an inaugural public-private partnership brain health event that focuses on mild TBI and PTSD. The event is designed to promote forward-thinking dialogue among industry, national sports organizations, the DoD and other Federal Agencies, innovators, scientists, clinicians - and the Veterans and caregivers they serve.

 

VA Brain Trust event

My VA

 

At the VA, the ‘MyVA’ initiative is transforming the way Veterans receive service by putting the needs, expectations and interests of Veterans and their families first –giving them a choice of how, when, and where they find care. As part of this fundamental shift in culture, the VA is working to facilitate new solutions to manage the effects of PTSD and mTBI.

A renewed effort for compassionate PTSD/mTBI support

 

Sleep disturbances, emotional outbursts, confusion, and depression are examples of symptoms shared by both PTSD and mTBI sufferers.

 

While mTBI symptoms can last for a year or more1, they eventually dissipate. Effects of PTSD, however, can remain with a Veteran for life.

 

Withdrawn into themselves, many vets find it difficult to seek assistance. Support programs for PTSD recovery must assure the dignity of each individual. Only by building confidence and independence, and restoring pride can we bring all Veterans back into the community as healthy citizens.

 

Connecting Veterans to needed care

 

Delivered as part of both VA and DoD programs, a growing list of connected care solutions offer great promise when it comes to monitoring and regulating critical daily health routines for Veterans.

 

New solutions integrate easy-to-use, low impact devices and services into an outpatient therapy regime and provide direct connectivity to caregivers.

 

Those vets who crave independence – but need medical support – can now ease their way back into society, while staying in touch with their VA physicians.

 

Philips technologies have a positive impact

 

Veteran healthcare-related challenges require new ideas, new solutions, and a renewed focus on rehabilitation and reintegration. We’re taking up that banner by changing the way people experience healthcare.

 

Here are three ways we’re putting the concept of ‘connected care’ to the test.

1. Improving sleep habits

Accruing evidence suggests that Veterans with PTSD are at higher risk for sleep disordered breathing than non-Veterans2. For those with PTSD and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), CPAP therapy reduces PTSD-associated nightmares and improves overall PTSD symptoms3. However, it also appears there is a higher rate of CPAP non-compliance for Veterans with PTSD when compared with the general population2. This is where Philips DreamMapper can help. DreamMapper is a mobile application and website solution that helps sleep therapy users take an active role in their therapy with the goal to improve adherence. By showing results of therapy usage, mask fit, and apnea hyposthenia index, DreamMapper helps keep CPAP users motivated. 

 

In a retrospective review conducted by Philips Respironics of approximately 15,000 patients using System One, those patients who used DreamMapper demonstrated 22% greater adherance to the therapy than patients who did not use DreamMapper4. To see a list of compatible DreamMapper devices, go to www.sleepmapper.com/compatible.

 

Today, over 1000 Veterans are using the DreamMapper app.

 

DreamMapper pairs nicely with our DreamWear sleep apnea mask designed to be the closest thing to wearing no mask at all. DreamMapper is connected directly to healthcare professionals through the DreamStation device and EncoreAnywhere patient management system.

 

Request more information

DreamMapper

 

Self-management tool offers feedback on daily progress, enabling users to take an active role in their sleep therapy.

2. Connecting with and assessing Veterans at-risk

There are more than 20 million Veterans in the US. Many have complex medical conditions such as mTBI and PTSD, but do not have access to direct healthcare monitoring in their homes. Philips CareSage can monitor, qualify, and assess patient risk remotely by collecting and analyzing data from multiple sources. It then proactively identifies patients most likely to need emergency transport so clinicians can prioritize care and intervene.

 

Combining critical data with the Philips wearable PERS (Personal Emergency Response Service), CareSage may potentially help Veterans with mTBI and PTSD live more independent, active lives in their own homes.

 

For a more immediate response to health emergencies, Veterans can enroll in the Lifeline Medical Alert Service (it’s not just for the elderly) for fast access to personalized help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

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CareSage

 

A predictive analytics engine identifies when a remote patient needs assistance, or is at risk for emergency transport in any upcoming 30-day period.

3. Managing medication

Veterans recovering from PTSD may need to manage new, potentially complex medication regimens as part of their treatments.

 

The Congressional Budget Office found that Veterans with PTSD, treated by the VA, take more than 20 prescriptions in the first year of treatment –and more than 15 prescriptions in the fourth year5.

 

When reminded by the Philips Medication dispensing service, users dispense their medication on time 98.26% of the time6. The unit is locked to prevent inappropriate access, continuously monitored, and capable of notifying caregivers automatically in the event of a missed dose.

 

For vets, this service offers to ‘remind and guide’ them for proper dispensing of medication.

 

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Managing medication

 

A secure and simple medication dispensing service to manage even the most complex medication regimens

Each of these solutions support the Veteran in a ‘non-invasive’ manner, which may enable restoration of positive self-image / self-worth and potentially assist with reintegration into society. And each provides an important link to caregivers to assure rehabilitation is progressing well.

 

 

Hope for normalcy is rekindled

 

Veterans (and others in our society) who suffer from PTSD and mTBI want nothing more than to be successful at life. Resources that move them out of the shadows and into the mainstream are being introduced daily. Technology, innovation, and individual engagement are the tools that drive us toward the promise of a healthier society.

 

No single organization can develop the solutions and services needed to protect the independence and health of Veterans. At Philips, we believe that co-creation and open innovation facilitates the development of meaningful solutions for brain injury recovery. We collaborate with the VA and the communities it serves—in every VISN nationwide—to tackle this new reality head-on, by testing, learning, sharing, and collaborating.

 

The message to Veterans must be clear, “You are not alone. There is hope. We are here to help.

 

 

 

1TraumaticBrainInjury.com, http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/symptoms-of-tbi/mild-tbi-symptoms/

 

2El-Solh, Ali A., M.D., M.P.H., et. al., Positive Airway Pressure Adherence in Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sleep Journal, National Institutes of Health, Volume: 33, Number: 11, November 1, 2010, online issue, accessed 3/25/16, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2954699/

 

3Tamanna, SadekaM.D., M.P.H., et. al., The Effect of Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) on Nightmares in Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Volume: 10, Number: 06, 2014, online issue, accessed 3/25/16, http://www.aasmnet.org/jcsm/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=29506

 

4Hardy, William, RRT, et. al., SleepMapper–A mobile application and website to engage sleep apnea patients in PAP therapy and improve adherence to treatment, ©2014 KoninklijkePhilips N.V., edocSB 04/21/14 MCI 4106144

 

5The Veterans Health Administration’s Treatment of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Among Recent Combat Veterans; The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), February 2012, page #27, accessed online 04/14/16, https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/02-09-PTSD.pdf

 

6Buckwalter, Kathleen Coen, PhD, RN, FAAN, et. al., New technology for medication adherence: Electronically managed medication dispensing system, Journal of Gerontological Nursing, July 2004, Volume 30, Issue 7, accessed online 04/12/2016 at http://www.healio.com/nursing/journals/jgn/2004-7-30-7

VA makes mTBI and PTSD a high priority

 

The VA’s ‘Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion’ initiative brings together Veterans, clinicians, and industry thought leaders to promote forward thinking dialogue and facilitate solutions that address the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration of patients with mTBI and/or PTSD. From an initial two-day event held in April (2016), will come a united effort toward tangible results.

 

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