Q&A with Sharon Bearor, RN, BSN, Chronic Care Specialist, Ibis Health Program For the roughly 4 in...
The importance of taking control of chronic health conditions
Senscio's Ibis Health Program is helping thousands of members learn how to take control of their day-to-day health
“I can now tell when my blood sugar is getting low, because I start to get shaky. I can tell when it’s starting to get high because I get a different sort of headache. When I get a headache, I automatically check my blood sugar.” Sharon Shane, 81 years old from Maine.
Not that Shane has ever been one to sit still for long. The lifelong Mainer raised seven children and is twice retired, first at age 65 from her job with an insurance company and again at age 74 from a series of part-time positions that included waiting tables and working in a grocery store.
But as she has grown older, she has sometimes been sidelined by several health problems, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and struggles with weight and depression. Doctors prescribed medications to help, but Shane, who lives alone, would often forget to take them, sometimes waking up in the middle of the night and wondering why she didn’t quite feel right.
Three years into the program, Shane says Ibis Health has done that and so much more.
Through Ibis Health, Shane received a continuously connected telehealth tablet that prompts her to track her blood pressure and weight and cues her to eat at various points through the day, helping her to keep her blood sugar under control. It reminds her to take her medications and notifies her of upcoming doctor appointments. It also helps her to track her daily movement and exercise. Covered by Medicare Part B, Ibis Health’s proprietary AI-powered platform flags risks for health decline before they happen, allowing Shane to make in-the-moment changes to keep herself feeling her best.
Each month, Shane receives a phone call from an Ibis Health member advocate, who checks in to see how she is doing. Often her member advocate will make suggestions or send information to help, such as a food diary to help figure out which foods might be contributing to acid reflux. “We go over everything I’ve accomplished, and we go over things that I want to accomplish and haven’t been able to,” Shane says.
Shane also receives a monthly report with a summary of her blood pressure and other health indicators she has tracked so she can see her progress. She can take the report to show her doctor.
The program has given her a better understanding and awareness of her own health, Shane says. “I can now tell when my blood sugar is getting low, because I start to get shaky. I can tell when it’s starting to get high because I get a different sort of headache. When I get a headache, I automatically check my blood sugar.”
“That’s all with Ibis’ help and them just cheering me on. It’s made me realize that I can accomplish more than I thought I could,” Shane says. “I never thought I would venture to learn how to paint, and I’m having such a wonderful time with it. But it’s the member advocates talking to me and saying, ‘You need to find something to occupy your time, let’s talk about what you want to do.’”
“I just think it’s a wonderful program,” Shane says. “On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s been a 10.”