Given the urgency of the opioid epidemic, the latest round of connected health pilot programs run by CHIBE in conjunction with Penn’s Clinical and Translational Research Award (CTSA) – which is based at Penn’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) – prioritized pilot projects focused on reducing harm from opioids. As Dr. Kevin Volpp noted, “If the ideas we test are sufficiently bold, some will likely be unsuccessful, but that’s okay if across projects we make progress.”
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association said the trackers — when paired with a little cold, hard cash — might just give people that push to start a regular exercise routine.
“Framing rewards as a loss — a technique from behavioral economics — led to a meaningful difference in behavior,” said Dr. Mitesh Patel, an assistant professor of medicine and health care management, and director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit. “During the six-month trial, the average patient in the intervention arm had step counts that totaled about 100 miles more than the average patient in control.”
Summary of NEJM article re smoking cessation. The new Penn study enrolled more than 6,000 people from 54 U.S.-based companies. Offering free pharmacological therapy or ecigs did not increase tobacco cessation; financial incentives tripled rates of cessation. Study was run on Way To Health
In a large study of company wellness programs (The Vitality Smoking Cessation Program run on Way To Health) released on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, e-cigarettes worked no better than traditional stop-smoking tools, and the only thing that really helped was paying folks to kick the habit.
David Asch, MD gave a keynote address at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International World Congress (OARSI) about how understanding the incentives that drive human behavior may be useful in helping patients with osteoarthritis improve health-related habits. “Once you accept that people are irrational, it gives you better opportunities to help them”.
“Fitbits and pedometers don’t make you walk more,” said Asch. “Weight loss apps don’t make you lose weight. They’re just facilitators. Unless they’re paired with some insight into human behavior, they’re the sound of one hand clapping.”
People don’t use activity trackers as much as prior surveys indicate. Incenting people to do the right thing has always been a challenge. David Asch and Mitesh Patel discuss ways in which personalization, behavioral economics and gamification can perhaps be used to nudge individuals to pay more attention to their health.
David Asch, MD keynoted the HIMSS ‘19 Digital and Personal Connected Health Conference. Key quotes included - “Innovation is like research. It’s hypothesis-driven, it’s falsifiable and it’s highly disciplined.” “Often we are solving for the wrong problem, and if we solved for the right problem we might be in a better position to address our customers’ needs”.
Medicare spending accounted for 15% of federal spending in 2016. It is projected to reach 17.5% of federal spending by 2027. If we are to slow the rate of growth in Medicare spending over the longer term, it will likely require some unpopular limits on beneficiary access, convenience, and generosity of coverage.
Highlights the importance of also sharing the losses along with the wins - “In large part, I am happy because it got published in a leading medical journal: JAMA Internal Medicine. Kudos to the editors for publishing a “failed” trial. Trust me, there’s no failure in doing good science. The real failure would have been to allow this important study to go unpublished because the intervention didn’t work”.