Monday, February 29, 2016

#mHealth and Patient Empowerment

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Good morning! I'm here live at the first day of the 2016 ePharma Summit. We're already hearing impressively innovative ideas and opportunities from a great group of attendees. You can see the official agenda here.

This morning's break-out session focused on #mHealth and disease management apps. The presentations included technology from CoHeroHealth, Curatio, ZipDrug, and AdhereTech. With chronic disease patients, management of treatment options, tracking, medication compliance, social support, and overall disease management are all essential to offering and implementing the highest quality of life. Chronic diseases need overarching support, as well as long-term goals, and syncing across the care team.

I am extremely impressed by the technology and innovative collaboration from each of these companies. The important part of mobile health apps and disease management technologies is covering all your bases: patient need, physician follow-up, B2B, B2C, data, tracking, social support, reminders, etc. Nevertheless, there's one part of these app opportunities missing, and I'm curious how we can overcome this and connect the missing link.

The question I have is how do patients find these apps and/or the opportunities to trial the technology and provide real-time patient feedback. I can honestly say that the only time I learn about disease management apps is at conferences that I attend, like ePharma Summit. Although I'm thrilled to hear firsthand from some of the founders of these companies, I want to hear how the average consumer can get involved.

As chronic disease patients, we don't learn about #mHealth from our care team or our physicians, and we also don't hear about these medication adherence opportunities from our pharmacies. My question is: are these companies reaching out on social media to find ePatients? ePatients are such an integral part of healthcare innovation. I've talked at great length about bringing the patient voice to the table, and this instance is no different.

So here's my plea! If your company is developing an app or implementing patient disease management, reach out to us. Both parties benefit from true patient feedback and collaboration.

Make sure to follow along live with this year's ePharma Summit. Read about sessions and experience on the ePharma blog here. Follow along on social media with @ePharma and #ePharma16. If you'd like to follow me specifically, use @KristinMCoppens.

About the author: 
Kristin Coppens is a social media and digital communications professional, a health activist, an ePatient, and a multiple chronic diseases fighter and blogger. You can read more about her chronic illness journey on her blog, Chronically Kristin, or follow her on Twitter. 
She will also be joining us this year at ePharma as an official guest blogger sharing insights from the event.
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