Health Tech, Hospitals

AvaSure, Equum Medical partner to address nursing staff shortage

AvaSure brings to the table 24-7 virtual technology monitoring solutions used in hospital rooms across the country, and Equum Medical provides access to care via telehealth and clinical transformation teams to help with integrating the technology.

AvaSure’s TeleSitter, a virtual observation system, enables remote audio and video monitoring of patients at risk for falling.

Virtual monitoring company AvaSure and telehealth firm Equum Medical announced Tuesday that they’re partnering with the aim to help hospitals address a dire nurse shortage and improve safety for patients put in harm’s way by the ongoing staffing crisis.

Belmont, Michigan-based AvaSure and New York City-based Equum said each company is bringing different assets to the alliance. For AvaSure, that’s 24-7 virtual technology monitoring solutions that are used in hospital rooms across the country. The company’s TeleSitter, a virtual observation system, enables remote audio and video monitoring of patients at risk for falling. Equum Medical provides access to care via telehealth and clinical transformation teams to help with integrating the technology. It will host monitoring services from the company’s virtual care collaboration center in Nashville.

Even before Covid-19, research suggested the healthcare staffing crisis would only get worse. One frequently cited study, published in the American Journal of Medical Quality, predicts a shortage of 510,394 nurses by 2030. Short-staffing has been linked to an increase in costly, dangerous adverse events like falls in hospitals.

While hospitals are busy trying to hire more healthcare workers, they’re also looking to technological solutions to help shore up the human resources gap. That includes artificial intelligence-based solutions offered by companies like Jvion, and telehealth for everything from specialized care to round-the-clock patient monitoring. A range of companies, like AMC Health and Vivify Health, are offering remote patient monitoring.

But AvaSure and Equum said their partnership recognizes a need for a turnkey solution for virtual care delivery that’s affordable and easily adopted.

“This partnership of telehealth leaders responds to customer demand for cost-effective solutions that make the most of increasingly scarce nursing resources,” said Lisbeth Votruba, AvaSure’s chief innovation officer, in a statement. “We want to free nurses to practice at the top of their license, providing clinical care instead of worrying constantly about fall-risk patients or responding to routine patient requests.”

AvaSure and Equum are both portfolio companies of the healthcare-focused private equity firm Heritage Group. No money changed hands to create this partnership specifically, a Equum spokesperson said. But in August, Heritage provided growth funding to Equum Medical that it used to enhance its service model and broaden the reach of its team of clinicians, according to the company. That included supporting new telehealth care offerings like AvaSure’s TeleSitter.

“This is both a natural extension of our core telehealth services and a new way to address a worsening situation in patient safety,” said Dr. Corey Scurlock, Equum’s CEO, in a statement. “We look forward to broadening and deepening this offering to include specialist care and improve patient flow throughout the hospital.”

Photo: AvaSure