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Technology and specialty pharmacy: 3 positive results


At the AMCP Annual Meeting, three panelists shared real-world examples of technology that is improving patient engagement, adherence, and outcomes

Three panelists addressed “Technology-supported Medicine and its Impact on Specialty Pharmacy” at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s (AMCP’s) Special Pharmacy Connect program, Tuesday, April 19, at the AMCP Annual Meeting 2016.

The panelists, Mike Fung, associate director, interactive portfolio services, Genentech Inc.; Josh Lemieux, general manager, consumer health, Health and Life Science Group, Intel Corporation; and Scott Honken, vice president, market access and payer relations, Omada Health, focused on how technology can support patient engagement and effectively manage outcomes.

Tech that increases engagement


“Our goal at Genentech is to help improve medication adherence, improve the patient experience and ensure affordability,” Fung said.

As Genentech focuses on patient-centered decision making, it gains insights into barriers to care, expectations about outcomes and satisfaction, behaviors to maximize outcomes and needs, attitudes and beliefs that influence their continuum of care, he said. The result is a patient journey map.

For example, the drug company designed an app called 4HER for HER2-positive patients that provides nutrition advice, connection with other breast cancer patients and support groups, and games ideal for long visits at infusion centers.

During the first quarter of 2016, the company developed the Gather platform providing patient navigation from symptoms to diagnosis and beyond for breast cancer. On gathertogether.com, patients are able to connect with local community providers, financial services and other resources.

Fung said the platform boasts an 80% adoption rate compared to an average for mobile products of 50%.

Tech that increases adherence

Although there is an abundance of data shared when a patient establishes a relationship with a new doctor, Lemieux noted that unfortunately, it doesn’t include whether a patient has taken a drug as prescribed, what other drugs he or she is taking and a drug’s impact on a patient. “There is a real gap,” he said.

“Our objective is to use trackers to support healthcare systems in helping patients.”

Intel implemented a trial merging clinical and personal data-sleep, exercise and blood pressure and biometrics, among other measures-that could be recorded by a tracker, input into a phone and sent via the cloud.

Using an app from Intel, smartwatches are fitted with patients to determine if they have periods of muscle stiffness, or freezing, and how long they last. Not only does Intel’s solution include an analytics tool, but it also has an alert to remind patients to take medications.

Next:Tech that prevents conditions from escalating



Tech that prevents conditions from escalating


Honken said difficulty in changing behaviors is a strong contributor to barriers that affect health. He attributes the majority of non-adherence to behavioral reasons and said that only 20.6% of consumers undertake the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week and that 95% of people who adopt a program to eat nutritiously fail within a month.

“Add digital and online programs to therapies to improve care,” he said.

Similar to Genentech’s solution, Omada offers Prevent, a 16-week, online digital health program that addresses people at risk for chronic disease.

It delivers smart technology already synched to users, full-time health coaches, online support groups and interactive curriculum that focus on physical, social and psychological elements, games and follow-up after the program ends.

Results indicate that there have been 19 interactions per week per patient, 75% of participants have provided positive feedback about the program and 3.2 million weighed in.

“We insist on outcomes,” Honken said, “and publish peer-reviewed evidence. The program works because we layered design elements to empower people, and they are able to detect problems earlier.”

Mari Edlin is a frequent contributor to Managed Healthcare Executive. She is based in Sonoma, California.


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