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With her view from the top floor of the tallest building in Las Cruces, Addison the Virtual Caregiver has a clear view all the way to the Organ Mountains and beyond – way beyond.
With $55 million invested and eight years of clinical research behind her, Addison will “blow the lid off patient engagement” in 2020, said Tony Dohrmann, founder and CEO of Electronic Caregiver (ECG), the Las Cruces-based medical-technology company that created Addison. “This is transforming the entire care continuum.”
Earlier this month, ECG showcased Addison for the second consecutive year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, Nev. It is “the largest tech show on the planet,” according to www.ces.tech, which reported that CES drew more than 175,000 people in 2019, including representative from more than 300 Fortune Global 500 companies.
“All the key players are there,” said ECG Chief Technology Officer Bryan Chasko. “It really is where companies come and show the goods.”
In March, ECG will take Addison on the road again, this time to the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, as health information and technology professionals gather for “education, innovation and collaboration” according to www.himssconference.org.
“It’s the biggest medical trade show in America,” Chasko said.
Chasko, who grew up in Alamogordo, has been with Dohrmann for 17 years, starting out in sales when Dohrmann was working in home security.
More recently, Chasko has been recognized by Amazon and AWS (Amazon Web Services) as “one of the leading innovators in the world,” Dohrmann said.
Not long ago, Chasko was in Dublin, Ireland where he presented technology created in Las Cruces to Europe, Dorhmann said.
“We’re pioneers in 3D interfaces,” Chasko said in an ECG news release. “We have as much say as any company in the world about what the future of 3D is going to look like.”
For both Dohrmann and Chasko, the goal is to make ECG the first Fortune 500 company based in New Mexico. The company doubled the size of its workforce in 2019, Dohrmann said, and now has about 120 employees. That should reach 150 by the end of the year, he said, and 1,000 within the next three to four years.
One of the special things about being part of ECG, Chasko said, is “being evaluated for what you create.” Company developers have “put together a lot of technology that has saved lives,” he said.
And no matter how big ECG grows or how technologically advanced it becomes, saving lives and improving the quality of life for its clients will always be the key, Dohrmann said.
“It’s got to be personal,” he said. “Our technology has got to come alive.”
Evolving from a mobile health management system, ECG expanded to include vitals monitoring and a health network. Addison’s newest features include voice-driven medication reminders, patient and caregiver tutorials and enhanced vitals-tracking technology that allow health providers to monitor patients remotely.
Her voice-prompt system allows Addison to connect with patients who can’t or don’t want to deal with a keyboard or a mouse.
“We use the technology to hide the technology,” Chasko said.
About half of treatment failures are because of patients’ failure to comply with their treatment plans, Dohrmann said, and that’s why Addison reminds clients to take their medications, watches for indications that they have been taken and monitors for any change in the patient’s condition, including slurred speech and a vitals reading that is too high or too low. That would prompt Addison to contact a caregiver and/or a provider.
Increased engagement with the patient, follow through and redundancy are critical, Dohrmann said, as Addison provides chronic care, rehabilitation, mental health support and caregiver support “unlike anything you've ever seen.”
Addison is already “100 times what I envisioned her to be in 2013-14,” Dohrmann said,adding that he believes Addison “is going to disrupt and transform the entire virtual assistant industry worldwide.” “Tomorrow’s Addison will be turning on your coffee pot, reminding you the pollen count is high and to take your inhaler and [reminding you about] your first appointment at work,” he said.
Despite the company’s global reach, Dohrmann said he never forgets that Las Cruces is home base, with 98 percent of his employees being New Mexico State University graduates (including Chasko). He said Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine and NMSU programs like the Creative Media Institute continue to be critical partners. After a nationwide search, ECG hired SinuateMedia of Mesilla to revamp the company website to help take its message to the world.
“Las Cruces has definitely served us very, very well,” Chasko said. “Our only intention is to stay in Las Cruces.”
“We’re not going anywhere,” Dohrmann said.
For more information, visit www.electroniccaregiver.com.