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Firm working with Mayo Clinic offers high-tech recovery

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Michael Emerson
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A new health care firm working with Mayo Clinic wants to tap into something its founder calls "social wellness" to "supercharge" a patient's personal support team of family, friends and other caregivers during recovery.

Minneapolis-based Hunhu Healthcare (pronounced "who-knew") is licensing help from Mayo Clinic experts to create a cloud-based database to pair with a social networking platform and an interactive "pendant" device. When worn, the pendant will monitor falls, track movement and provide communication

"The goal is to use social wellness to bridge the gap between what patients can do for themselves and what they need to pay medical professionals to do for them," explains co-founder Michael Emerson.

Hunhu is aimed at patients roughly ranging from 55 to 75 who have health care needs lasting 6 months or more due to recovery from surgery or a medical crisis. While people will be able to subscribe to the service directly, Emerson also is looking to insurers and senior living complexes to offer Hunhu to their clients. Self-insured companies also may sign up for the service to give employees another tool to efficiently care for their parents and/or other family members.

"Rochester is kind of ground zero for that kind of care. The goal is to keep residents safe. This a product that they (senior facilities) can offer to help them stand out," said Emerson.

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He expects to open a "development" facility in Rochester within the next few months. While the company will be based in the Twin Cities, he anticipates at least half of Hunhu's staff will be based in Rochester. The goal is to be able to hit the market with a product by April or May of 2015, he said.

"We're just kind of ramping up. We have three employees right now, but we should have about 10 by the first part of 2015," Emerson said.

This mobile health care is an area that Emerson is familiar with as a former executive with Preventice, a remote monitoring business that works with Mayo Clinic and also has a large Rochester office.

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