Noncompliant patients cost the healthcare system $300 billion in healthcare utilization and contribute to 125,000 needless deaths. What if there was an inexpensive tool that could improve patient adherence to treatment plans and medication regimens?
PatientPartner has created a mobile game for iOS that aims to boost adherence. The game is a designed like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, allowing users to direct a fictional patient through a health story. The users choose from one of the four characters and make health choices for him or her. The user gets to see how their choices affect the character’s health, which causes them to reflect on their own health choices.
Studies have shown that the game is effective in increasing patient adherence. A clinical trial using 100 non-adherent patients with diabetes at Pinnacle Health Systems in Hershey, PA showed PatientPartner increased medication adherence 37%, diet adherence 24%, and exercise adherence 14%. The patients’ HgbA1C also decreased from 10.7% to 9.7%.
In an interview with iMedicalApps, PatientPartner creators Akhila Satish and Mantosh Dewan said many providers struggle with patient adherence, sometimes investing thousands of dollars in patient reminder programs. However, they argue that simply reminding patients isn’t enough to drive adherence.
“Just asking [patients] if they’ve done x or y doesn’t teach them anything about why they haven’t or have done it. It doesn’t help drive a meaningful, lasting change. And we wanted to get to that level of cognition,” Satish said.
Although the clinical trials tested the app on diabetes patients, it is not specifically designed for diabetes patients. In fact, Satish says the principles contained in the application scale out to all patients.
PatientPartner costs $3.99 in the App Store. A far cry from the thousands providers can pay for other adherence programs. Are you willing to give it a shot with your patients?