Mobile App Alerts Could Help Address Meals on Wheels Clients' Health Needs

Samara Rosenfeld

The app sends an alert to a care coordinator who can help their client receive health or social services.

Meals on Wheels America is using a mobile app to alert care coordinators about changes in clients’ physical and mental health, social needs and home environment, according to an announcement today.

West Health Institute and the Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research tested the program at two Meals on Wheels site to prove the effectiveness of an app they developed called Mobile Meals.

Mobile Meals sends an alert to a care coordinator at the Meals on Wheels program when changes in health, safety or the well-being of clients are identified during a routine delivery. If the care coordinator receives an alert, they follow up with their client to address their needs and refer them to the necessary health or social services.

“This ability to respond in close to real time can ultimately contribute to more agile coordination across medical and community-based service providers, improving outcomes and reducing costs,” said Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels America.

The check-ins can help address three threats to successful aging: isolation, hunger and loss of independence.

After being tested at the two sites across 20 delivery routes serving nearly 900 clients, the program will expand to 30 locations and 40,000 senior citizens.

“When Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers are equipped with simple yet effective screening tools while on their delivers, they’re better able to react to changing conditions in seniors’ physical and mental state or environment before a particularly harmful health event occurs,” said Hollander.

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