Loop Communications comes full circle

James Dodd oversees a pilot program that tracks patients’ vital signs, recording the information in real time, so doctors can monitor the results.

James Dodd oversees a pilot program that tracks patients’ vital signs, recording the information in real time, so doctors can monitor the results.

Loop Communications wants you there, in the loop.

That’s why Loop Communications developed a tool that requires a confidential answer when people talk about their health, said developer James Dodd.

Loop is the newest division of Delta Solutions & Strategies.

First, Delta’s platform

Delta contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense specializing in information technology, said Senior Partner Kelly Bain.

“We provide expertise as contractors on classified systems, mostly for the Air Force,” she said, “all systems that support military operations, particularly to the Air Force in the space arena.”

Managing federally sensitive and confidential information, Delta has the government clearances and knowledge of how to conduct business with the federal government. Delta has been through the federal acquisition process to become an approved seller.

Delta employees work directly with specialists in the military, gathering information.

“Our folks are experts at creating information, assimilating, managing and producing information in support of military missions,” Bain said.

All the work is classified.

The company provides support from basic help desk support to system configuration and network design.

Their services include program managers, acquisition experts and technology specialists, in support of defense systems across the globe.

“Most of the systems we support are space-based,” she said.

For example, if the military received a tip that a dirty bomb was in a shipping container headed to the U.S., Delta might deploy personnel to work directly with the government.

Those Delta employees would “not do the work for the government, but assist the government in how to manage a national threat,” Bain said.

Under the hypothetical situation, Delta would help the government amass information gathered from multiple sources and determine how the U.S. would prevent a bomb from being detonated.

Today, most information is collected with space-based systems, satellites, telecommunications and Internet communications.

Business changes

Delta experienced a significant shift during the recent economic downturn and when the government closed down in October. At one time, the company employed 150 workers.

“We grew significantly until the point that the government was hit with budgetary cuts and sequestration, in-sourcing,” she said. “All those political hot button issues hurt.

“Just like everybody else in our industry, federal budgetary cutbacks certainly affect programs that trickle down to affect employment of the people who support these programs.”

In the past three years, with the budget cut 50 percent, the company laid off nearly half its workforce. But business has been slowly climbing out of the slump, she said.

During that time, diversification of products has helped Delta.

Back in the Loop

Delta’s newest product is Loop Communications, the brainchild of James Dodd, CEO of Loop.

Product is currently being tested by Loop with Colorado Springs Health Partners, the largest physician group in Colorado Springs. Like other Delta operations, Loop involves sensitive, confidential information.

The product is called NOMIS, or Notification, Observation Monitoring Information Systems. It sends out a notification question, which then requires a task to be performed before notifications stop. Once that task is complete, Loop or the system administrator will gather and record the information.

The pilot program with CSHP works to measure patients’ blood pressure and check for their hypertension.

Using cell phones or landlines, patients with high blood pressure are sent notifications to take their blood pressure. Once the measurement is done, the patient must report back, via phone. The administrator — the physician’s office in this case — records the information in a patient’s file and compares new results with the patient’s file, Dodd said.

“The patients are recording their blood pressure every day,” Bain said. “So instead of just writing it on the back of a napkin and forgetting to bring it in to the next doctor’s visit, their blood pressure is now being texted back and it goes into our system.”

In addition, the system tracks information in real time, so patients, their family members and the doctor’s office may monitor results more closely than in the past, Dodd said.

Many applications exist for this program beyond helping the elderly. For example, like the elderly, the developmentally disabled want to live as independently as possible, Dodd said.

“Through the system, NOMIS can remind them to lock their door at night, to feed their animals, to take their medication,” Dodd said.

Currently, Loop sends notifications to patients in the CSHP pilot program. The message is “signed” by the doctor, so patients see or hear their doctor’s name attached to the message and respond with urgency.

The process will change people’s behavior, he said.

“It will make people more accountable,” Dodd said, especially “people who want to be compliant, healthier,” adding that the system will save money and help medical offices’ operations flow more efficiently.

Loop started in March 2012, with Dodd as 49 percent owner and Bain owning the balance. They have been friends many years, he said.

“I fall under the Delta infrastructure,” Dodd said.

By Marija B. Vader, Colorado Springs Business Journal