Sunday, April 12, 2015

Reaching more people, more effectively through health technology

In a previous post from September 2014 I summarised the key innovation hotspots identified in a Price Waterhouse Coopers health industry report HealthCast: Global Best Practices in Bending the Cost Curve.  Hotspot 4, was:
  1. Care anywhere through technology development 
As an example, in 2009-10 I was involved as a provider and course facilitator with 'The Life Program' a diabetes prevention program established and operated by Diabetes Australia Victoria for people diagnosed with 'pre-diabetes' that made use of technology to enhance program reach and effectiveness.  The program was established to be run through a network of statewide providers in Victoria, with a population of over 5 million people spread throughout lots of cities, towns and regions.

The program is still running and has evolved from when I was involved, but at that time innovative solutions were employed to support program management.  An online portal was built and utilized to provide value in a number of ways.
  • The program was actively promoted through the portal.
  • Program administration was centralised through the portal with client details and medical records were securely stored, accessed and updated through it, both by a centrally located administration team and course facilitators located throughout the state.
  • The portal was also linked to a database management tool which provided ability to analyse records, compare results and identify trends which was a powerful tool for evaluating program effectiveness.
 The program also employed tele-health innovation with an telephone coaching service.  This element was in its infancy at the time I was involved with the program, but it has developed into a significant offering in its own right.  This program provides a real life example of the use of technology to provide better access to healthcare.

Having worked in occupational health over the last few years I have had the opportunity to be involved in a number of different programs that have utilized technology solutions to administer programs remotely or via networks of providers, manage cases with multiple providers and more effectively manage data and reporting.

A recent Pilot study conducted by Partners Connected Health and published in the April issue of Journal of Medical Internet Research, shows another example of technology innovation improving healthcare for cardiac patients by facilitating better remote care (Thank you to Jennifer Priester for the link).  They names their system iGetBetter, and explained how their system included: 
  • a web platform
  • interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system 
  • wireless personal connected health devices that measure and collect key vital signs. 
They further explained how patients received a Bluetooth weight scale and self-inflating blood pressure cuff to measure their weight, blood pressure and heart rate each morning. 

With the iGetBetter system participants were provided an iPad Mini tablet computer equipped with cellular connectivity to view their measurements via the Internet. The IVR system provided patients with an alternative way to manually record their measurement and care activities. 

The iGetBetter system includes a web platform, interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system and wireless personal connected health devices that measure and collect key vital signs. Patients received a Bluetooth weight scale and self-inflating blood pressure cuff to measure their weight, blood pressure and heart rate each morning. Participants were also provided an iPad Mini tablet computer equipped with cellular connectivity to view their measurements via the Internet. The IVR system provided patients with an alternative way to manually record their measurement and care activities. - See more at: http://connectedhealth.partners.org/news-and-events/media-center/announcements/mobile-web-based-remote-monitoring-study-igetbetter.aspx#sthash.KqLBooCE.dpuf
The iGetBetter system includes a web platform, interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system and wireless personal connected health devices that measure and collect key vital signs. Patients received a Bluetooth weight scale and self-inflating blood pressure cuff to measure their weight, blood pressure and heart rate each morning. Participants were also provided an iPad Mini tablet computer equipped with cellular connectivity to view their measurements via the Internet. The IVR system provided patients with an alternative way to manually record their measurement and care activities. - See more at: http://connectedhealth.partners.org/news-and-events/media-center/announcements/mobile-web-based-remote-monitoring-study-igetbetter.aspx#sthash.KqLBooCE.dpuf
The iGetBetter system includes a web platform, interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system and wireless personal connected health devices that measure and collect key vital signs. Patients received a Bluetooth weight scale and self-inflating blood pressure cuff to measure their weight, blood pressure and heart rate each morning. Participants were also provided an iPad Mini tablet computer equipped with cellular connectivity to view their measurements via the Internet. The IVR system provided patients with an alternative way to manually record their measurement and care activities. - See more at: http://connectedhealth.partners.org/news-and-events/media-center/announcements/mobile-web-based-remote-monitoring-study-igetbetter.aspx#sthash.KqLBooCE.dpuf
For more details you can Visit their website here.

Its important to acknowledge that this is a only a pilot study and too small to have statistical significance and also that there are elements of this type of program that would be difficult to replicate on a big scale (i.e. providing people with iPads).  Furthermore its important to implement technology solutions that are more appropriate for your organisation and ojectives and budget.  That said, it is useful to have awareness of the successes organisations are having with technology initiatives.


Mobile Web-Based Remote Monitoring Study Demonstrates Improved Patient Engagement - See more at: http://connectedhealth.partners.org/news-and-events/media-center/announcements/mobile-web-based-remote-monitoring-study-igetbetter.aspx#sthash.KqLBooCE.dpuf
Mobile Web-Based Remote Monitoring Study Demonstrates Improved Patient Engagement - See more at: http://connectedhealth.partners.org/news-and-events/media-center/announcements/mobile-web-based-remote-monitoring-study-igetbetter.aspx#sthash.KqLBooCE.dpuf
Study Conducted by Partners Connected Health Demonstrates Improved Patient Engagement and Self-Management in Patients with Heart Failure - See more at: http://connectedhealth.partners.org/news-and-events/media-center/announcements/mobile-web-based-remote-monitoring-study-igetbetter.aspx#sthash.KqLBooCE.dpuf
Study Conducted by Partners Connected Health Demonstrates Improved Patient Engagement and Self-Management in Patients with Heart Failure - See more at: http://connectedhealth.partners.org/news-and-events/media-center/announcements/mobile-web-based-remote-monitoring-study-igetbetter.aspx#sthash.KqLBooCE.dpufMore specifically it identifies how mobile web-based remote monitoring demonstrates improved patient engagement and self management in patients with heart failure. 
April issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research mHealth and uHealth - See more at: http://connectedhealth.partners.org/news-and-events/media-center/announcements/mobile-web-based-remote-monitoring-study-igetbetter.aspx#sthash.KqLBooCE.dpuf
April issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research mHealth and uHealth - See more at: http://connectedhealth.partners.org/news-and-events/media-center/announcements/mobile-web-based-remote-monitoring-study-igetbetter.aspx#sthash.KqLBooCE.dpuf

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