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Patient Communities Improve Adherence

TrendWatch: Two recent studies show that online patient communities not only provide ­support for patients that lead to better health outcomes, but they are also great resources for ­tracking and collecting health data and can be used for public health research, surveillance, and other health-related activities.

PatientsLikeMe Site Increases Epilepsy Treatment Adherence by 27%

Epilepsy patients sharing their health data and experiences on the PatientsLikeMe site say they have learned more about their disease and are better at adhering to treatments after joining the community. More than half of the 221 respondents (55%) to a survey, sponsored by the site, indicated a better understanding of their seizures, while one in four (27%) reported improved adherence to treatment as a result of joining the PatientsLikeMe epilepsy community. More than 3,600 members share their experiences with seizure symptoms and treatments on the site. The epilepsy community was launched through a partnership with PatientsLikeMe and global biopharmaceutical company UCB. UCB receives annonymous, aggregated data from the PatientsLikeMe epilepsy community. Hospital and Patient Community Partner for Diabetes Data Drive Using a combination of Facebook-like tools and personally controlled health records, researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have engaged members of an online diabetes social network as participants in public health surveillance. The Children’s Hospital Informatics Program (CHIP) invited members of TuDiabetes.org to participate in a rapid data donation drive and share information about their hemoglobin A1c status, a health metric used to measure diabetes control over a prolonged period of time. Through an application called TuAnalyze, based on CHIP’s Indivo personally controlled health record, TuDiabetes members were able to share their health data anonymously or publicly. All of the submitted data were aggregated and displayed on state- or country-level maps in near real time. According to Manny Hernandez, founder of TuDiabetes and president of the Diabetes Hands, 17% of total active TuDiabetes members and 21% of active users in the United States had signed on to TuAnalyze within three months from the start of the program. Among all TuAnalyze users, 81.4% chose to share their A1c data in aggregate, while 34.1% also chose to display their personal A1c data on their TuDiabetes profile. Mr. Hernandez reports in his blog that those who signed on to TuAnalyze within the first two weeks of launch reported lower average A1c values than those signing onto the application later, as did members who shared their A1c data openly on their TuDiabetes profiles versus those who only shared their data in aggregate, and members who shared multiple A1c values versus those who only shared one. { For more information, visit patientslikeme.com, tudiabetes.org, or chip.org/projects/tuanalyze. Merck Moves Internal Database to iPhones and iPads To help his new department get up to speed on the many acronyms the company uses, an industrious member of Merck’s internal communications department, Mike Heck, built an extensive database on Filemaker Pro. The database proved to be valuable to the rest of the company, as well, so the company made the move to take the system on the go. Using FileMaker Go, employees can view and update the database from their iPads and iPhones. Mr. Heck says there are many more applications for Filemaker Go at Merck, such as by the HR department during interviews, or in the research lab to log data. “FileMaker Go on the iPad or iPhone could be a real asset for the company,” he says. { For more information, visit http://www.filemaker. com/solutions/customers/ stories/337. Mobile Devices Gain New Role in Training Future Workplace has published the results from its online research with almost 200 human resource executives on the increased role of mobile devices for learning, performance support, and ongoing employee communications. By the end of 2011, almost 40% of executives plan to incorporate media tablets into learning and development initiatives and three-quarters of these learning executives plan to incorporate smartphones by the end of this year. By 2015, human resource executives plan to leverage mobile devices not only for learning and performance support but also for coaching and mentoring employees (37%), micro-blogging (27%), augmented reality (14%), and mobile gaming (12%). { For more information, visit http://2020workplace.com/blog/. Facebook… Facebook’s Like Button Gets a Friend The Facebook Like button turned 1 year old in April, and it has grown up a lot in just 12 months. The Like button has been integrated on more than 2.5 million websites, with 10,000 new websites adding the button daily. And now it has a buddy, the Send button, which enables users to share online content to specific friends by email, Facebook, or as a post to a group’s wall. As the post on the Facebook developer’s blog reports, the Send button is designed to accompany the Like button, and its function is only slightly different. If a company chooses to use both buttons on a corporate or product website, consumers can use the send button to share information just to specific people, or the like button to send to all of their Facebook friends. { For more information, visit http:// developers.facebook.com/blog/post/494/. Apps… VA Develops PTSD Phone App The VA’s National Center for PTSD and the DoD’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology (NCTT) have developed an iPhone app to help inform veterans and others about PTSD. PTSD Coach offers information on PTSD and treatments, as well as tools to screen and track symptoms and direct links to more resources. The app also provides tips and easy-to-use exercises to handle stress symptoms in real time. The app is intended for use in conjunction with professional care. The department plans to offer a PTSD Family Coach app in the future. The current app is free to download from the iTunes store and an Android release is slated for June. { For more information, visit ptsd.va.gov. CHIC Survey: Med Apps in Demand The results of a Consumer Health Information (CHIC) online survey showed that among individuals interested in using health-related smartphone applications, 91.1% say they would want an app that allows them to gain information about healthcare. The survey found that about 58% of respondents would like to manage a health issue using an app and that about 49% wanted to track their own health with an app. The study also found that the majority of consumers preferred receiving reminders on health-related tasks through their mobile devices, rather than through phone calls, drug vials, or email messages. The survey also found that about 42% of respondents wanted to use an app to find information on drugs; 40% of respondents were willing to use a health app several times a day; and about 27% of respondents wanted to use an app to find information on a disease. { For more information, visit consumer-health.com/press/2008/NewsReleaseSmartPhoneApps.php. Mytality App Suite ­Connects Patients and Hospitals Smartphone application developer DoApps, which collaborated with the Mayo Clinic on some of its medical apps, has created mytality, a suite of custom apps for clinics and hospitals and their patients that include medical trackers, medical directories, medical reference guides, and more. Mytality is available for both Android and Apple iOS devices. The first hospital to offer mytality to its patients is Lexington, Ky.-based Central Baptist Hospital. This app, along with a series of other stand-alone apps, such as myWeight, myPressure, and myGlucose, offer individuals tools to easily track, analyze, and share a variety of health indicators, as well as how to locate physicians. Through an integrated diary, users can compare how their activities affect the health indicators that they track. { For more information, visit http://www.mremedy.com/. Twitter… Emory Healthcare ­Responds to ­Medical Emergency Tweet On April 25th at 11:06 am, Emory Healthcare received a tweet from Matthew Browning that read: @emoryhealthcare NEED HELP NOW!! Grandma w/ RUPTURED AORTA needs Card Surgeon/OR ASAP, STAT! can you accept LifeFlight NOW!!?” The hospital responded by tweeting back:“@MatthewBrowning Matthew, please either call 911 or have your grandma’s doctor call our transfer service to get immediate help: 404-686-8334.” Four minutes later, at 11:21 am, Matthew responded, “@emoryhealthcare We are doing that! She is in small South Georgia hosp right now- but needs MAJOR help- We are calling, thanks!” The hospital responded “@MatthewBrowning keep us posted & please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help. We’re keeping you both in our thoughts.” Matthew sent a tweet one minute later, “@hospitalpolicygrp @emoryhealthcare Thank you for your help!” Followed by “@emoryhealthcare Look for STAT Transfer from South Georgia, accept her if able and we’ll see you soon Thanks!” A recent tweeting healthcare exchange, available in more detail at the hospital’s blog, shows how social media has the power to truly change the landscape of healthcare. { For more information, visit http:// advancingyourhealth.org/highlights/ 2011/04/27/can-twitter-help-save-lives-a-health-care-social-media-case-study-part-i/. Video…. Pharma Thought Leaders Speak on Digital Cultural Change In a series of videos produced by Creation Healthcare, several life-sciences thought leaders contribute insights about cultural change in a digital age. Creation Healthcare interviewed attendees at key digital events around the world earlier this year. The first video features Figen Samdanci, corporate communications manager, Pfizer Turkey; Marc Monseau, former director, corporate communications and social media, J&J; and Alex Butler, former digital strategy and social media, Janssen, who share their thoughts around cultural change, executive buy-in, clear overall strategy definition, return on investment, and more. { To download video, http://www.youtube.com/user/ creationhealthcare. Send us your favorite industry apps, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos, and Facebook links to feedback@pharmavoice.com.

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