Stroke Clinician Journal: Kandu Principal Illness Navigation Services

Peer-Reviewed Paper in the Official Journal of the Association of Neurovascular Clinicians | May 9th, 2024

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




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.

Stroke Clinician Journal: Kandu Principal Illness Navigation Services


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.


This paper is one of three articles and an editorial
published in the Spring 2024 issue of Stroke Clinician journal detailing the role of navigation in stroke recovery in the US. Click below to read the full publication for free in Stroke Clinician