Archive for the ‘Digital Health’ Category

3 Crucial Factors to Consider before Designing an mHealth App

May 19th, 2021 by Rahul Varshneya

Mobile health (often referred to as mHealth) is all the rave in healthcare right now. According to one recent statistical data piece compiled by Health IT Outcomes, close to 93 percent of physicians believe that mobile health apps can improve patients’ health.

Therefore, healthcare organizations looking to formulate an mHealth strategy are likely to consider mobile apps the right place to start delivering improved patient experience and services. Rightly so, the adoption of these apps can be highly beneficial for both the provider as well as consumers.

However, with the amount of options available in the marketplace today, designing and developing an mHealth app that can attract customers for its uniqueness has become a huge challenge for healthcare providers. Having a carefully designed and well-functioning app simply isn’t enough. It also needs to sustain amid the rising competition.

There are a few crucial factors that providers should keep in mind before getting an mHealth app developed.

  1. Know the Pain Points and Needs of your Target Audience

    The key to successful mhealth app design lies in knowing how and why users will want to use the app, knowing customer pain points and then designing in a way that you can solve their problems.

    Therefore, before healthcare organizations develop an mHealth app should identify their customers’ pain points and how their problems can be solved, and then figure out why an mHealth app would be the best way to solve it.

    Once an assessment of the requirements are completed and an mHealth app would fulfill those requirements, the next step is to determine the target group (for example, General Health and Fitness Apps, Chronic Care Management, Diabetes Management Apps, Medication Management Apps, Personal Health Record (PHR) Apps, Professional Medical Applications, etc.) and then include features that truly meet the needs of that particular group.

    Dr Vinati Kamani, dentist turned healthcare author, in one of her recent articles explains how keeping end users in mind is the ultimate goal when it comes to developing mHealth apps: “It is extremely critical to collect all necessary data concerning usage, understand what all the stakeholders interested in the app might be looking for, and use the acquired information throughout the development lifecycle. One best practice is to involve practicing healthcare providers, specialized in the area your app will be servicing in, to assess the key issues the app will resolve for the users and to develop the functionality that will be most usable for your audience.”

    Healthcare providers can also develop a custom application rather than an off the shelf solution. In this way, features that aren’t absolutely required or don’t add value to the app can be left out; you get a solution that does both – meets the needs of your target audience and is cost-effective for you.

  2. Designing for Scalability, Simplicity and Sustainability

    The next crucial consideration deals with optimizing the app to be as simple, scalable, and easy to use as possible.

    To begin with, the registration/sign-in process should be hassle-free and shouldn’t demand much of the user’s time or effort. One best practice would be to avoid employing too many clicks and screens for performing these actions. You can provide the option of additional verifications when the app hasn’t been actively used for quite some time.

    Then again, it would be a useful add-on to make information on your app easily retrievable in the event of an emergency. For instance, quick access to useful information such as placing the doctor’s phone number and information about nearby clinics on the homepage of the app itself can help the patient retrieve such crucial data without having to log in during an emergency.

    Try balancing options out in a way that depicts that all scenarios have been taken into consideration.

    Another best practice would be to integrate the platform with a dedicated cloud server to make the platform more interoperable for both end users and care providers. Cloud platforms also provide the option to encrypt the confidential information within the mHealth app to ensure it isn’t accessed during data breaches or misused by a hacker.

    Ensure that the content on the various pages of the mHealth app is uniform, identical and easy to read, and the layout of these pages is equally appealing for the users. Also, try to keep the alignment and spacing uniform throughout. Users usually favor pages that have soothing themes and colors. Don’t go overboard with design.

    mHealth apps should keep in mind the app’s target audience at all times, especially when designing it for the end user. For instance, older people might need bigger icons and larger text, and people with certain health conditions might need an app that does not attract gawkers.

    Trying to make the app as scalable and sustainable as possible may seem like a lot of work in the beginning, but it will pay off by retaining users and keeping them coming back for more in the long run.

  3. Taking a Second Opinion from Compliance Experts

    When getting an mHealth app developed, it’s crucial to understand the different types of data and information that fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The first thing is to discern whether the mHealth app is going to collect, store, or transmit protected health information (PHI) at any given point in time. PHI comprises sensitive patient information regulated by HIPAA.

    An mHealth app that handles PHI needs to remain HIPAA compliant at all times. In addition, mHealth apps that exchange information with covered entities for medical reasons, also need to be HIPAA compliant.

    To make sure the mHealth app remains HIPAA compliant, adhere to these 4 rules:

    • Privacy Rule
    • Security Rule
    • Enforcement Rule
    • Breach notification Rule

    To create a secure app that’s fully HIPAA compliant, using reliable providers, a set of technical tools like libraries and third-party services isn’t enough. Not only does the data have to be encrypted in the mHealth app, but the data also can’t be accessed if the server or device is physically compromised.

    Remember to assess how much information the app actually needs to operate and bring value to the user. HIPAA compliant apps don’t collect any information that isn’t necessary; if yours does, you’ll be spending resources on protecting information you don’t actually need.

When the consumer is kept at the apex of every decision while developing an app, the app will truly contribute toward increasing the bottom line of healthcare organizations and fortify customer relationships.

About the Author:
Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder and president of Arkenea, a digital health consulting firm. Mr. Varshneya has been featured as a technology thought leader across Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

Infographic: Why a Mobile Strategy Is Key To Engaging Medicaid Members

February 17th, 2020 by Melanie Matthews

Despite some misconceptions, smartphones are among the most effective channels for delivering health support. Studies show that the Medicaid population is just as likely to own smartphones as the general population, according to a new infographic by Wellframe Inc.

The infographic examines how Medicaid members currently use technology to help manage their health.

Telephonic and Community-Based Care Coordination Model: An Early Engagement Approach for Medicaid Managed CareWhen the Wisconsin Medicaid managed care program was expanded to include members who had traditionally opted out of the program, the HMOs that were going to serve these members had to optimize their member engagement strategies. Independent Care Plan (iCare), one of the HMOs selected as a Medicaid plan, identified early member engagement after enrollment as a key to success for the program.

Telephonic and Community-Based Care Coordination Model: An Early Engagement Approach for Medicaid Managed Care outlines how iCare has structured its care coordination team, including both telephonic and boots on the ground staff to find, engage and assess Medicaid members.

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Infographic: Emerging Technologies Transforming Healthcare

December 2nd, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

Technology changes in the form of portals and apps have incrementally changed the patient experience over the past several years. Emerging technologies are about to accelerate the pace of change, according to a new infographic by Agiliti.

The infographic examines the emerging technologies that will transform healthcare and the patient experience.

A New Vision for Remote Patient Monitoring: Creating Sustainable Financial, Operational and Clinical OutcomesAs healthcare moves out of the brick-and-mortar traditional setting into patients’ homes and their workplaces, and becomes much more proactive, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has been expanding its remote patient monitoring program. The remote patient monitoring program at UPMC has its roots in the heart failure program but has since expanded to additional disease states across the integrated delivery system’s continuum of care.

A New Vision for Remote Patient Monitoring: Creating Sustainable Financial, Operational and Clinical Outcomes delves into the evolution of UPMC’s remote patient monitoring program from its initial focus on heart failure to how the program was scaled vertically and horizontally. Click here for more information.

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Infographic: Digital Health Reimbursement and ROI

November 27th, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

The emergence of digital healthcare and technology in the form of remote patient monitoring, telehealth and other virtual services are being embraced by patients and providers, according to a new infographic by Philips.

The infographic highlights where new reimbursements are emerging, the acceptance and use of digital delivery by health systems and market growth projections among other trends.

Remote Patient Monitoring for Chronic Condition Management: Leveraging Technology in a Value-Based System Encouraged by early success in coaching 23 patients to wellness at home via remote monitoring, CHRISTUS Health expanded its remote patient monitoring (RPM) enrollment to 170 high-risk, high-cost patients. At that scaling-up juncture, the challenge for CHRISTUS shifted to balancing its mission of keeping patients healthy and in their homes with maintaining revenue streams sufficient to keep its doors open in a largely fee-for-service environment.

Remote Patient Monitoring for Chronic Condition Management: Leveraging Technology in a Value-Based System chronicles the evolution of the CHRISTUS RPM pilot, which is framed around a Bluetooth®-enabled monitoring kit sent home with patients at hospital discharge.

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Infographic: The Correlation Between Patient Experience and Patient Payments

November 22nd, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

As more consumers prefer to use self-service tools to interact with businesses, they also expect the same level of convenience from their healthcare providers, according to a new infographic by MailMyStatements.

The infographic examines how digitalizing and automating the many manual processes involved in patient interactions can improve patient satisfaction and create an experience that increases return rates and lays the groundwork for prompt payments.

Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action PlanUnityPoint Health has moved from a siloed approach to improving the patient experience at each of its locations to a system-wide approach that encompasses a consistent, baseline experience while still allowing for each institution to address its specific needs. Armed with data from its Press Ganey and CAHPS ® Hospital Survey scores, UnityPoint’s patient experience team developed a front-line staff-driven improvement action plan.

During Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action Plan a 45-minute webinar, now available for replay, Paige Moore, director, patient experience at UnityPoint Health—Des Moines, shares how the organization switched from a top-down, leadership-driven patient experience improvement approach to one that engages front-line staff to own the process.

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Infographic: Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries Could Be More Connected to Electronic Medical Records

October 30th, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries are mostly unsure, or cannot digitally access, their electronic medical records, according to a survey by HealthMine, which is highlighted in a new infographic.

The infographic examines Medicare beneficiaries’ perceptions of patient portals.

Patient Portal Roll-Out Strategy: Activating and Engaging Patients in Self-Care and Population HealthIncreasing patient portal usage is one of several key attributes that contribute to better performing physician practices, according to new research from the Medical Group Management Association. Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN)’s patient portal launch in 2015 and its continued growth in portal users has earned it the distinction of being the fastest growing patient portal on the Epic platform. Since that time, LVHN continues to promote the portal through targeted communications and add new features to increase activation and engagement.

During Patient Portal Roll-Out Strategy: Activating and Engaging Patients in Self-Care and Population Health, a 45-minute webinar on November 15th, now available for replay, Lindsay Altimare, director of operations, Lehigh Valley Physician Group at LVHN and Dr. Michael Sheinberg, medical director, medical informatics, Epic transformation, LVHN, share the initial portal roll-out strategy as well as the key details on how portal engagement and functionality have evolved since its launch.

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Infographic: Digital Healthcare Solutions

October 28th, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare providers, payers, manufacturers and distributors are leveraging emerging technology solutions to transform healthcare experiences, according to a new infographic by Gateway Digital.

The infographic examines these technology trends in healthcare.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient MonitoringArtificial intelligence. Automation. Blockchain. Robotics.

Once the domain of science fiction, these telehealth technologies have begun to transform the fabric of healthcare delivery systems. As further proof of telehealth’s explosive growth, the use of wearable health-tracking devices and remote patient monitoring has proliferated, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added several new provider telehealth billing codes for calendar year 2018.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring delivers the latest actionable telehealth and remote patient monitoring metrics on tools, applications, challenges, successes and ROI from healthcare organizations across the care spectrum. This 60-page report, now in its fifth edition, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and remote patient monitoring initiatives as well as the use of emerging technologies in the healthcare space.

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Infographic: Healthcare Cybersecurity in 2019 and Beyond

October 23rd, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

A robust cybersecurity program can lead to increased business performance as well as a better security posture, according to a new infographic by Bitdefender.

The infographic explores the key threats to organizations in this sector—both external and internal, and explains the domino effect of attacks in the ecosystem.

Real-time remote management of high-risk populations curbed hospitalizations, hospital readmissions and ER visits for more than 80 percent of respondents and boosted self-management levels for nearly all remotely monitored patients, according to 2014 market data from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN).

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care Management profiles a successful eight-year initiative by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation’s (NYCHHC) House Calls Telehealth Program that significantly lowered patients’ A1C blood glucose levels.

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Infographic: The Use of Mobile Devices in Healthcare

October 16th, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

In recent years, more and more medical professionals make use of mobile devices and apps to help facilitate the delivery of top-quality care to their patients, according to a new infographic by Home Healthcare Adaptations.

The infographic looks at how mobile devices are used in healthcare, frequently used apps, benefits of mobile apps in healthcare and concerns over mobile healthcare use.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient MonitoringArtificial intelligence. Automation. Blockchain. Robotics.

Once the domain of science fiction, these telehealth technologies have begun to transform the fabric of healthcare delivery systems. As further proof of telehealth’s explosive growth, the use of wearable health-tracking devices and remote patient monitoring has proliferated, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added several new provider telehealth billing codes for calendar year 2018.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring delivers the latest actionable telehealth and remote patient monitoring metrics on tools, applications, challenges, successes and ROI from healthcare organizations across the care spectrum. This 60-page report, now in its fifth edition, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and remote patient monitoring initiatives as well as the use of emerging technologies in the healthcare space.

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Infographic: 2019 UnitedHealthcare Consumer Sentiment Survey

October 9th, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

Many Americans want technology—such as artificial intelligence—to help make healthcare decisions, and a record number say they have used the internet and mobile apps to comparison shop for care, according to a new infographic by UnitedHealthcare.

The infographic provides insights into Americans’ healthcare knowledge, opinions and preferences.

With health coach support on two fronts, PinnacleHealth Systems is changing the patient engagement conversation—both among its staff of clinicians and its most disengaged patient population.

Dual Approach to Patient Engagement: Activating High Utilizers and Coaching Clinicians describes PinnacleHealth System’s two-pronged strategy for prioritizing patient engagement within its culture, and elevating key quality and clinical metrics in the process.

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