Wednesday, February 18, 2015
mHealth and Pharma: Improving Adherence and Preventive Care
A recent study by analytics firm FICO found that four out of five U.S. smartphone users are interested in mobile healthcare interactions. To meet this demand and increase engagement with patients, providers are embracing mobile technologies. Nearly 79% of physicians believe the use of mobile devices can help them better coordinate care. This trend in provider and patient behavior opens a door for pharma. Mobile tools that engage patients and integrate with a physician’s EHR offer an opportunity for pharma to help improve medication adherence and patient outcomes while promoting their brand.
Improving Medication Adherence
Strengthening medication adherence is one of pharma’s biggest digital health opportunities. Nearly 75 percent of adults are nonadherent to a treatment plan in one or more ways, such as not filling a prescription or failing to take a medication on a regular basis. Nonadherence directly relates to poor clinical outcomes and has been estimated to result in annual health care costs of $100 billion to $300 billion.
Patients today want more control over their healthcare and are comfortable sharing health information across devices if it will result in better care. Mobile apps can empower patients by making it easier to track dosages, organize medication schedules, refill prescriptions and schedule physician appointments. Gamification apps that educate users about a condition and prescription drug through an interactive, rewards-based model can also influence adherence.
From a physician perspective, apps that sync with electronic health records to help track patient treatment compliance and health are of significant value. These tools allow physicians to be more efficient and help them to provide patients with better care.
Increasing Preventive Care
Mobile solutions can motivate patients to take control of their own wellness and disease prevention. Applications are capable of helping to improve daily health habits as well as manage chronic illnesses. Mobile apps that aid in weight loss by recording caloric intake and exercise habits are among the most popular health apps. Diabetes management also leads the way allowing patients to monitor diet habits and track blood glucose levels in conjunction with their healthcare providers.
Remote monitoring solutions that send reminders can help patients control or prevent diseases. This is particularly important given that preventable and chronic illnesses account for 70 percent of U.S. healthcare spending. Mobile technology can also bridge the gap between the exam room and what happens after a patient interaction. Collecting data on daily habits and activities will help physicians to deliver better patient-centric care and improve outcomes.
By engaging with providers and patients in mobile apps that help improve adherence and preventive care, pharma can gain insight into the behaviors and interactions of these audiences. This valuable data can be used in marketing as well as research and development strategies. As more apps that integrate with EHRs become available, physician use of this technology will become an integral part of their daily workflow, creating an opportunity pharma can’t afford to miss.
Apps and the data gathered using them can do more than help in mobile marketing. Using this vital information to create a balanced marketing program that utilizes digital and traditional elements can prove to create a strong voice for a pharma company and its brands.
About the author: Robert Bedford is the Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing of MediScripts. His career spans a wide breadth of prominent positions at leading direct to pharmaceutical marketing services companies. Robert is supporting MediScripts’ growing suite of clinical management solutions designed to help marketers reach physicians at the point of care.
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