The digital transformation of disease management

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Better disease management can improve healthcare outcomes for people with chronic conditions, from diabetes and heart disease to rare chronic conditions such as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP).

Disease management typically involves coordinating treatments across multiple medical providers and communications for targeted patient populations where self-care efforts can be effective. Goals for disease management include reducing healthcare costs and improving patient quality of life by preventing or minimizing the effects of the disease, including delaying disease progression.

As most chronic disease management happens outside of the medical office, digital has a tremendous opportunity to assist care teams and patients with communication, education and monitoring key data points. Monitoring disease progression, offering patients reminders on when to take their medications and facilitating communication between medical providers and patients are a few examples of where regulated apps can assist.

The regulated digital health market is expected to reach $56 billion globally by 2025. In this article published on Forbes, Kal Patel, MD – CEO and cofounder of BrightInsight with an experience of 20 years in pharma, medtech and regulated digital health, examines a few ways digital can help enhance disease management initiatives.

Making sure patients get timely, personalized information is key to effective self-management of their condition.

Kal Patel, MD
CEO and cofounder of BrightInsight

Engaging Patients Through Digital Apps

A significant portion of disease management happens between healthcare visits, so making sure patients get timely, personalized information is key to effective self-management of their condition. Educating patients on their condition helps them become more active participants in their care, which can lead to better outcomes.

Delaying disease progression and reducing adverse health events lower healthcare costs and improve patients’ quality of life. By incorporating digital tools and wearables, people track symptoms and activities at home, as well as share information about medication adherence and condition-specific metrics, including A1c levels. These data points can fuel algorithms that drive personalized adherence reminders, dosing decisions and disease progression assessment—all with the goal of treating the individual instead of the condition.

Many patients have difficulty complying with their medication regimen, costing the healthcare system and the biopharma industry hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Patient education informs those impacted by specific conditions about their medications, necessary tests and appointments, lifestyle changes and why these recommendations are given. When people have more information on their conditions, they are able to make more informed healthcare decisions.

Continuity Of Care

People living with chronic conditions often see multiple medical providers, giving patients multiple care plans. Digital tools can enhance continuity of care by giving patients consistent guidance and keeping providers in the loop.

Further, care teams can access real-time patient data from connected devices to track them more closely, intervene as needed and potentially prevent costly trips to the emergency room. Digital allows information to be received and referred to conveniently by the patient and also enables care teams to have more visibility into the patient’s data in real time.

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash