Ho’ola Lahui is a Native Hawaiian health care system that serves the needs of Native Hawaiians and their families on the island of Kaua’i.  Many of the patients lack access to housing and transportation, which can make it difficult for them to travel to the clinic location to see a provider.  These patients also frequently lack devices, broadband or mobile connectivity, and the technological know-how to access their healthcare digitally. These impediments prevent these patients from receiving the health care they need.

Ho’ola Lahui turned to Sano Health for help. Together with the Ho’ola Lahui staff, the Sano implementation team designed an easy-to-use device with the best possible network coverage for Kaua’i (Sano devices are compatible with all the major wireless networks in the US).  The devices come preconfigured with curated applications and content to serve the clinic’s patients.  For example, patients can use Doximity and Zoom, Ho’ola’s two preferred telehealth solutions, without the need to download the apps or deal with device permissions, such as enabling the camera and microphone. The devices are also preconfigured with Clarity from Dexcom, and preconnected to Dexcom’s continuous glucose monitoring devices, providing ongoing diabetes self-management capability for patients who need CGM. The Sano devices have one-tap access to WebMD and to Ho’ola’s website. The phone contact list is also pre-configured to enable patients to call their providers and receive calls from their care team.  The Sano implementation team made sure the devices were ready to use by the patients upon receipt (no downloading, no configuring, etc.), making digital health accessible, even for patients who are not comfortable with technology.

The Sano devices have been nothing short of life changing for Ho’ola’s patients. Those in need of urgent behavioral health services no longer miss their appointments due to transportation challenges.  Cancer patients are able to keep up with their appointments via telehealth and can access valuable information about their conditions.  Care managers now more easily engage with their clients who have been difficult or even impossible to reach in the past.

The patient impact is best expressed by the patients themselves, some of whom have provided these heart-warming testimonials:

Patient 1

“I can’t believe how blessed I am to be able to get a free phone from Ho’ola Lahui. I have so many appointments that I have to deal with because of my cancer and I get so tired throughout the day when I have radiation treatments, but it makes things simpler with this telehealth phone now I can get my appointments done… via video and not have to jump on another bus to go all the way to Waimea clinic from Eleele. Thank you Ho’ola!”

Patient 2

“Mahalo Ho’ola! The thing about this phone is it made me so happy because I could not afford a phone and I don’t own a car; it was so easy to tele visit…. I had a lot going on in my life with health issues I didn’t even know I had an aneurism that put me in the hospital. I couldn’t see a doctor for my diabetes pills and blood pressure pills because I couldn’t always get a ride to the clinic, and I was living from place to place. When I got a way to the clinic, I finally got to get my medications and do my checkups via telehealth it became a lighter load off me and my struggles”.

Patient 3

“This phone program is the best! I currently am homeless and live on the beach… which is so far away from the Lihue clinic, and I would have to try and hitchhike just to get a ride there if not I would just not go because it was rough trying to get a ride to see … my behavioral health counselor which at times, I felt by not going it took a toll on me. I felt like I was not in my right state of mind, and I wasn’t getting the counseling attention that I needed which would often land me in jail for doing things that I feel were not that bad, but I am so grateful for this phone and now I can do telehealth visits…, and I feel comforted with our counseling sessions”.

David Peters, CEO of Ho’ola Lahui Hawaii, had this to say: “A big MAHALO to Sano Health and their expert team, who did an amazing job by creating a pathway for those patients who need basic access to modern communications”.