Feasibility of a Telemedicine-Based Principal Illness Navigation (PIN) Service for Complex Populations Following Hospital Discharge After Acute Stroke

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Lauren Sheehan, OTD, OTR/L
Tailar Johnson, OTD, CNP
Kirsten Carroll, MBA, MPH
Tudor Jovin, MD



Principal Illness Navigation (PIN) services may play an important role in helping patients through important transitions in care following acute hospitalization. We evaluated a novel PIN telemedicine approach to understand the feasibility of providing these services to diverse patient cohorts.


A single-arm, retrospective observational study of Kandu Health’s post-acute PIN service was conducted in patients experiencing ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke in California and New Jersey. The technology-enabled program offered remote healthcare support led by occupational therapists and licensed clinical social workers that was tailored to individual patient needs to facilitate transition to community settings post-discharge. Barriers to recovery were addressed through patient education, one-on-one guidance, and specialized referrals. Patient outcomes were assessed through in-app assessments and clinician-assessed modified Rankin Scores conducted via video consultation. Readmissions were monitored through both patient reporting and admission/discharge/transfer feeds from health information exchanges.


A total of 111 patients were enrolled between June 22, 2022 and January 11, 2024. Patients were onboarded an average of 29 ± 40 days (median 18, IQR 8-32) after acute care hospital discharge and spent an average of 81 ± 21 days (median 90, IQR 75-90) in the program. During that time, the average enrollee spent 333 ± 156 minutes (median 350, IQR 205-435) of 1:1 time interacting with their dedicated navigator, and navigators spent an additional 113 ± 87 minutes (median 95, IQR 61-140) per patient on care coordination and curriculum curation. Patients with 5 or more social determinants of health (SDOH) needs required over 50% more navigator time than those without any SDOH needs. Within 6 weeks of hospital discharge, 8.5% experienced an inpatient hospital all-cause readmission that was not associated with race, ethnicity, or SDOH.


High rates of enrollment and extensive patient engagement in both navigator-facilitated and self-directed program elements can be achieved using the Kandu program. Our findings indicate that telemedicine facilitated, app-supported PIN is feasible to deliver following acute stroke discharge across diverse ages, races, ethnicities, functional status (mRS), and social needs.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Lauren Sheehan, OTD, OTR/L, Kandu Health, Campbell, California USA

Senior Director of Clinical Services

Tailar Johnson, OTD, CNP, Kandu Health, Campbell, California USA

Researcher, Occupational Therapist

Kirsten Carroll, MBA, MPH, Kandu Health, Campbell, California USA

Chief Executive Officer

Tudor Jovin, MD, Kandu Health, Campbell, California USA, Cooper University Hospital, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Chief Medical Officer, Kandu Health, Campbell, California USA
Chairman and Chief of Neurology
Cooper University Hospital
Medical Director, Cooper Neurological Institute
Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University