Geneia podcast guest Dr. Kurt Tamaru discusses how technology helps seniors age in place.
Thought Leadership

Geneia Conversations: Aging in Place

April 7, 2021
Dr. Kurt Tamaru discusses how technology helps seniors age in place.
Vice President, Marketing

One can learn a lot about a company from its vision and mission statements. It’s one of the first pages I visit on a company’s website – 1) to see if they are there (and if they aren’t, well, that’s another blog) and 2) to see if they align with my own values and priorities, as well as the values and priorities of Geneia, if it’s a company with whom we are considering partnering.

A company’s vision statement is its guidepost, its moral compass, its ideal state for the world in which we all reside. Because they are by definition ‘visionary,’ great vision statements are often viewed as unattainable. But that is what makes them so powerful and so inspiring, which is exactly the point. And a company’s mission is the blueprint for how it contributes to achieving this ideal future state – the particular role it plays, presumably along with many others, because no great vision (if it is truly a great vision) is achievable by only one individual or entity.

We recently interviewed Kurt Tamaru, MD, MBA for the Geneia podcast. He’s the founder and CEO of Guardiant Health, a startup that’s combining clinical services and technology to help seniors age in place. In light of this, I took a peak at Guardiant’s vision and mission statements, which are:

  • Guardiant’s vision: “We envision a world where health is strengthened by innovative clinical care connected by virtual technology and personal insights that actively engage patients toward improved well-being and independence.”
  • Guardiant’s mission: to empower people with chronic conditions to take control of their health by providing the right monitoring tools and remote interventional care, resulting in a safer, happier, and more independent lifestyle.

I think we all want that for ourselves as we age and, more importantly, for our parents and grandparents. If you’re familiar with our healthcare system, you likely know the realities of healthcare for most seniors varies widely, often feels uncoordinated, and far too frequently results in avoidable emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

It was Dr. Tamaru’s mother that inspired him to create Guardiant. As a physician, he wanted to do better for her and others like her.

“My mother ended up in the hospital four times in five months for very avoidable problems. And as a physician, I thought that was terrible. Even as a doctor, I couldn’t avoid those issues for her. That's where the concept of Guardiant emerged. When we wrap virtual medical care around seniors every day, chronic diseases can be better addressed and many healthcare issues can be prevented.”

Addressing the Growing Burden of Chronic Disease

The risk and prevalence of chronic illness increases as people age and the proportion of people age 65 and older is expected to more than double by 2060. Among those 60 or older, at least 80 percent have one chronic illness and 50 percent have two. More than three-quarters of seniors have hypertension and 25 percent have type 2 diabetes.

To age in place, many seniors with chronic conditions need more time and attention to their health than their primary care physician can provide. Undoubtedly, there’s a role for physicians, nurses and clinical care managers combined with technology in the form of remote monitoring devices such as pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs and tablets to transmit data.

Listen now to learn how Dr. Tamaru and Guardiant are helping seniors better manage their health in their home.