As healthcare organizations strive to keep up with changes in the medical world, Penn Medicine in Philadelphia is taking its own approach to innovation with the help of a homegrown platforms that seek to help improve patient care such as Way To Health. The platform, Way to Health, can collect data from various sources, including scales, Fitbits, connected pill bottles and patient texting. Through it, Penn Medicine can stay connected to patients after they leave the premises. The name of the tool — Way to Health — is actually a nod to the history of Philadelphia, as Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay called “The Way to Wealth.”
Another success of the Heart Safe Motherhood program powered by Way To Health. The text messaging system increased the compliance rate to 93%, compared with just 30% of those asked to return to the office after hospital discharge. Just as importantly, it completely erased racial disparity in compliance rates, compared with white women, with more than 90% of both groups complying.
A texting-based intervention, where women texted in their blood pressure measurements versus coming in for a postpartum office visit, virtually eliminated racial disparities in postpartum care further highlighting the need to design interventions that are easily accessible by everyone.
As opioid addiction has reached crisis proportions, surgeons in a variety of fields have worked to reduce the need for opioids after procedures, in the hope that fewer patients would become dependent on or addicted to pain pills.. A comprehensive program designed to improve the quality of care for spine and peripheral nerve surgery patients reduced patients’ opioid use at one month after surgery without increasing pain.
Most research has shown that wearable devices and activity monitors are not that accurate for measuring energy expenditure
Only five percent of American adults actually use wearable and further, half of people who purchase wearables quickly stop using them.
Wellness programs are increasing in popularity as companies grow more determined to curb the soaring costs of providing health insurance for employees. To encourage healthy behaviors, firms are offering everything from free yoga classes to weight-loss support groups. While there have been some positive results from these programs, smoking cessation remains a particular challenge. A recent study by Dr. Kevin Volpp and Dr. Scott Halpern - Vitality Smoking shows significant promise and was discussed in this Knowledge @ Wharton podcast.
Combining financial incentives, personalized goal setting and wearable devices might be an effective way of encouraging heart disease patients to engage in more physical activity. During the 9 to 16-week period, patients in the intervention increased their steps by 1,368 more steps per day than patients in the control group. After financial incentives were stopped at 16 weeks, participants in the intervention still had an increase of 1,154 steps per day more than the control group over the ensuing eight weeks.
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.”