03 May AAHIVM and the Institute for Technology in Health Care Names CAN Connect as its 2021 Award Winner
The American Academy of HIV Medicine and the Institute for Technology in Health Care have awarded the 2021 Cesar Augusto Caceres Award for Technology in HIV Practice to Dr. Laura Armas-Kolostroubis of CAN Community Health in Sarasota, Florida. Dr. Armas-Kolostroubis is being recognized for CAN Connect, alongside Mark Baksh, Director of IT, for conceptualizing a program that leverages existing technology by configuring old laptops that are then delivered to community partner organizations representing marginalized populations often reluctant to come into a clinic setting.
CAN Connect automatically launches as the machine is turned on, allowing for a telehealth visit to occur with very little machine interaction or proficiency. It also provides an easy interface with the clinic’s telehealth electronic medical records (EMR).
Patients are also able to conduct an audio-visual meeting to access prevention specialists, patient care coordinators or case managers and browse for other needed assistance (jobs/housing/coverage). After the visit(s), the machine is rebooted and ready for its next use. The technology combats the marginalization due to stigma which prevents people with or at risk for HIV from coming into a specialty clinic. The mobility and ease of this technology aims to remove barriers to care.
“The benefits of this program are extensive, with minimal start-up costs depending on the machine being used,” says Dr. Armas-Kolostroubis. “CAN Connect improves persistence in care and adherence to ARV and PrEP, resulting in improved viral suppression and decreased new infections. All without burdening the clinical setting already strained by COVID-19 precautions.”
For more information on CAN Connect, please visit cancommunityhealth.org.
In its tenth year, the Cesar Augusto Caceres Award for Technology in HIV Practice seeks to acknowledge those who have created, adapted and/or used innovative technology in their HIV practice and to share that technological knowledge with others in the practice of HIV medicine to improve patient care. The award honors the legacy of Dr. Cesar Caceres, founder of the Institute for Technology in Health Care.
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About the American Academy of HIV Medicine: The American Academy of HIV Medicine is the nation’s leading independent organization of healthcare professionals dedicated to providing excellence in HIV care and prevention. Our membership of practitioners and credentialed providers manage the health of the majority of people with and at risk for HIV in the United States. The Academy’s mission is to ensure healthcare professionals have the resources needed to provide prevention, treatment and care for those living with or at risk for HIV and related conditions to achieve optimal health.
The Institute for Technology in Health Care (ITHC) encourages the use of technology in various fields to benefit health care. ITHC wishes to stimulate users, researchers, and students to present papers to groups of their peers, or write articles that demonstrate how they have used technology from any field to benefit the practices of medicine to improve health in any community. It is also interested in stimulating innovative projects that use technology from any field to benefit health.