They specialize in the heart and provide products to monitor your health from home. They offer a wide variety of products - from blood pressure cuffs, to electrotherapy TENS units, to fitness devices.
A little about Omron (taken directly from their site):
I invited one of my closest friends, who happens to work in the Cardiac Cath lab at our local hospital, because I thought she would find it interesting as well.
When they first contacted me, they said I would be involved in a small, round table discussion so in my head, I was thinking eight to twelve people. It ended up being myself, my friend, and Ranndy. That's it! Granted he had staff with him and a Dr. showed up late to the meeting, but I basically ran an interview with him. So cool!
Ranndy wanted to be a doctor when he first started out with school. Shortly after, he got married and had kids which put that dream on the back burner. He started in medical sales because it was more practical for his family at the time and then he never looked back. He joined forces with Omron and led the team as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for about eleven years before he was appointed the title of CEO, which he's led for the last nine months.
One of the biggest motto's he lives by is "We need to get people to think differently, have hope, and live differently."
He went on to tell us that in 2000, the American Heart Association wanted to cut down on heart attacks by 25% in eight years. They surpassed it so they set another goal to reduce it 20% by 2020.
Omron started out and still is today, the leader in pedometers. They are strong believers in the importance of trending and are making huge advancements on the processing aspect allowing patients to immediately send their report to their physician. They do this using Bluetooth technology. They have partnered with Apple interface which uses the Epic database system so if the patient's physician uses Epic, their results can automatically be transferred to their physician with the push of a button. Talk about convenience! I can see where it might be a slight learning curve for some of the elder population, but not having to write down your blood pressure, blood glucose levels, etc and sending them direct would be a huge plus.
They are currently in the process of developing standard protocols for the Doctor to be alerted if there is data that is out of the norm. This is obviously a bit more challenging as every patient is different.
This is one of their products. It's a blood pressure device for your upper arm. There are no cords or tubes, and it's the number one doctor recommended device. Why? Doctors have proven Omron to be efficient and effective based off the studies they've conducted.
It's much smarter than you'd imagine. You have to hold the device at heart level in order for it to take an accurate reading. It even notes if it was taken correctly or incorrectly, which helps provide better results, especially when paying attention to trending values.
Many insurance companies are starting to reimburse or pay for a portion of these monitors to reduce hospital visits. That's smart on their part. Pay x amount of dollars for a monitor or 3x as much for a hospital stay. No brainer.
The coolest thing we got to see was the wrist monitor. It's coming out in January 2017. It has the standard technology like any of their other cuffs but it can track sleep patterns, track steps, can be worn as a watch, and obviously take your blood pressure. It is extremely convenient and easily portable if you need to take it on vacation or travel for work.
After our interview, Ranndy went on to give a speech about "Going for Zero" with heart attacks and stroke in America. There was probably 100 people present for the speech.
He started off with some gut wrenching statistics. "Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. One third of people die from it and every 40 seconds, someone in the US has a stroke. Heart disease can be detected in children as young as ten years old."
Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Studies show 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2050. That's huge.
We need to get control of our health.
One patient said Omron products were a "God send" because it made their life easier to measure their blood pressure and heart condition and get those results to their doctor.
Devices are only one piece of the puzzle. It's a monitor. You have to be willing to make changes on your own to improve the quality of your life.
Ranndy made a few suggestions:
1. Exercise regularly. That's a no brainer. We hear it time and time again. The CDC recommends exercising for an hour and fifteen minutes every week. That's less than 11 minutes a day.
2. Maintain a healthy diet. Again, not something we haven't heard before. It's getting the tools and resources to know what is truly healthy that we struggle with.
3. Kick bad habits - mainly smoking. Three weeks after a person stops smoking, their lungs start to clear.
4. Manage stress. Ha! I had to laugh at this one, especially being in nursing school right now. (Holy stressful rollercoaster!) But it is true. You have to find an outlet to release stress and tension. It can lead to long term insomnia, headaches, etc.
5. Monitor your blood pressure.
As Ranndy put it: "These tips aren't earth shattering, but they aren't common practice either."
There was a study done on fitness devices which proved 78% of people are willing to wear a monitor for fitness progression. Could you imagine if that number equated to the people willing to monitor their blood pressure on a regular basis? Go for a walk a couple times a week? Eat fried foods one less time during the week?
Over a quarter of a million people connected to Omron apps last year. Doctors get way more information out of the stream of data then a single clinical visit. Our bodies radiate data. In the past we couldn't capture that. Now we can. It's going to change how we use the information. We can use it to educate, to treat, and to prevent.
If we'd take advantage of the things we have in today's world, we'd be in great shape.
Imagine if the next step is glucose monitoring that's non-invasive.
Stop for a minute and think about this:
Hypertension is called the silent killer for a reason - you don't pay attention to it until you have a problem.
Don't let it be a problem. Be empowered to protect your heart. Your health. Your life.
Thank you so much again to MATTER Chicago and Omron Healthcare for inviting me to the event!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!