One in four Americans has multiple chronic conditions according to the CDC[i]. Conditions such as poorly controlled diabetes is not only harmful to patients, but is also costly to payers and providers. Effective disease management keeps costs down and involves motivating people to take their medications as prescribed, to integrate healthy lifestyle behaviors (nutrition, exercise, weight management, etc.), to cope with ongoing emotional stresses of the disease, and to use and understand self-management tools in between doctor visits.
Tech solutions for Self-Management
One of the causes for poor health outcomes for chronic diseases is medication adherence, according to the World Health Organization, and it is estimated that 50% of patients are not adherent. In the last few years, there have been many technology solutions, such as mobile applications or emails, that try to solve for medication adherence by providing reminders and alerts
Further reading: Here's how to shut the backdoor on ransomware attacks for good
Technology alone is insufficient for motivating patients to take their medication as prescribed and follow a healthy lifestyle, because there is a need for comprehensive and ongoing disease management education. Healthcare providers are not accessible to patients around the clock to show them how to use the apps and tools. And often the patients that need the help the most are not the ones who are proactively downloading apps and using sensors and devices.
Popular online: How do physicians care for the digitally isolated?
Other types of programs that offer group classes and telephonic outreach via a call-center, supplemented with educational mailings, have been found to have a mixed impact, largely due to the fact that every person is on a unique journey and faces different hurdles and barriers and responds differently to messaging and tactics.