AN ECONOMY OF ENGAGEMENT—WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GLOBAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS ALSO GOOD FOR PHARMACIES AND PATIENTS
In discussions of global health care, several themes are recurring and persistent. According to the World Health Organization, chronic diseases and conditions are on the rise worldwide. An aging population and changes in societal behavior are contributing to a steady increase in these common and costly long-term health problems. Sedentary lifestyles are on the rise and the prevalence of chronic diseases (such as diabetes) will continue to rise by 57% by 2020.(1) The increasing demand on the health care system is a growing concern around the globe. Not only is the system suffering, but so too are pharmacists and patients. Despite the challenging landscape, there are opportunities to move towards personalized, patient-centered care.(2) Carebook is actively researching and building solutions that consider improved prevention and adherence through engagement; our goal is to get better outcomes for patients, pharmacists—and the global health landscape.
PREVENTATIVE HEALTH — ENGAGING PATIENTS
Preventative health isn’t a new idea. But even in the most developed countries, information about prevention isn’t enough. Preventable, chronic conditions are on the rise. Carebook is bridging the gap between science and outcomes. In the middle is engagement.
One popular engagement strategy is the use of gamification. It combines research about motivation, proven methods of human engagement, and digital technology. Gamification can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing,(3) and has the ability to motivate to produce positive outcomes. One popular example in action is Nike+, a system of activity trackers that turn measured physical activity into “NikeFuel points.” It engages people through competitions, achievement unlocks, and social sharing. Another example is SuperBetter a web platform and mobile app that aims to build psychological resilience. It breaks goals into smaller tasks and wraps them into layers of narrative and social support. (4) Understanding humans and the way we engage with gamification and health can be a significant advantage to motivating change and improving health prevention.
MEDICATION ADHERENCE — LET’S GIVE INDIVIDUAL PATIENTS A FIGHTING CHANCE WITH INDIVIDUAL SOLUTIONS
Medication management is, perhaps, one of the most critical factors in improving the health care landscape. Half of the patients diagnosed with a chronic disease don’t take their medication according to their healthcare provider’s recommendations. However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution because the barriers to adherence are varied. There are system-level reasons. For example, health records are often scattered amongst health professionals and never reconciled. There are provider-level factors, such as the inability to effectively counsel patients due to issues with communication, lack of time, etc. And there are factors related to the patient. Everyone has their own day-to-day challenges including poverty, forgetfulness, and more. Although simply reminding patients to take medication via an SMS system has been proven to increase adherence by 15%, there are several other solutions to consider.(5)
AN INTEGRATED, DIGITAL APPROACH TO PREVENTION AND MEDICATION ADHERENCE
With a patient-centered approach focused on preventative health engagement and with medication adherence as a core pharmacist-friendly approach, Carebook is evolving its digital solution to improve education and action around preventative health and management of medical adherence.
- Baranowski T., Buday R., Thompson D.I., Baranowski J. Playing for real: video games and stories for health-related behavior change. Am. J. Prev. Med. 2008;34(1):74–82.
- Ahmed I, Ahmad NS, Ali S, et al. Medication adherence apps: review and content analysis. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2018; 6: e62.