John Bettencourt used to sell trucks for a living in Brooklyn. Sidelined and hospitalized by a combination of ailments from diabetes and hypertension to congestive heart failure, John was finally able to return to his home in Brooklyn.
Coming home with him was a new life routine and a new bit of Telehealth technology that John affectionately dubbed “Big Brother.” Far from the intrusive connotation usually associated with the term, this big brother monitors his condition on a daily basis and communicates it to his professional healthcare providers.
“After I was discharged from the hospital, CNR suggested I use Telehealth equipment from my home each day to make sure my blood pressure, blood sugar and weight are where they should be,” explains Bettencourt.
“So, after my morning alarm goes off, I check in with Big Brother so that the CNR technician can let my nurse know if anything is out of synch. I answer about a dozen questions; get on a digital scale that is hooked to a monitor; do a finger stick to check my blood sugar level, and slip on the blood pressure cuff. Then all the information is transmitted over the phone lines automatically."
For John, the connection to CNR and its Long-Term Home Healthcare program is far more than electronic.
“I feel very well cared for. I’m being checked every day, and if there’s a problem, my nurse calls immediately and then shows up at my apartment.”
“Still,” says John, “You gotta love the electronics.”