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App Screens for Early Vision Loss
GoCheckKids Screens Children Younger than 5 Years
Pediatricians now have a new way to screen for amblyopia, a leading cause of vision loss in children. Gobiquity Mobile Health’s GoCheck Kids is the first pediatric vision screener app designed to facilitate early detection of risk factors for children 6 months to 5 years, using a smartphone camera.
To use the app, the pediatrician takes a single photograph of the patient’s eyes, and the screening technology automatically detects amblyopia risk factors in seconds. The pediatrician can then determine whether to refer the patient to an eye care specialist for further testing and treatment. About 15% of children have risk factors for amblyopia and 3% have the disease. Yet fewer than 20% of children get their vision tested. Left untreated these risk factors lead to permanent vision loss, and treatment efficacy drops significantly starting at age 5 so it must be detected and treated very early.
Led by 2013 PharmaVOICE 100 recipient CEO Andrew Burns, Gobiquity Mobile Health plans to expand the application to the adult market with vision screens for the leading causes for adult blindness, retina disease, and glaucoma.
Ensuring Trial Enrollment Success
BBK’s Patient Enrollment App
Nearly 40% of sites fail to meet their enrollment targets and, as a result, study timelines often end up doubling.
BBK Worldwide’s My Protocol Pal, launched in June 2014, helps ensure that a study is top of mind for site staff.
The mobile app and cloud-based content management and engagement platform is a prescreening app that is customizable for site-specific, de-identified reporting to determine patient eligibility. It is designed to help sponsors keep sites on track by delivering key study information, tactics, and strategy so that enrollment goals can be met. The app can adapt for each protocol, making sure that eligibility requirements, schedules of activities, timing of procedures, laboratory guidelines, and study flowcharts are readily available when and where site staff need it — whether on a smartphone or tablet.
Additionally, through real-time reporting and analysis, sponsors know how each site is performing at all times and are alerted to issues such as high screen failure percentages, which if not addressed quickly will have a major impact on the study as a whole.
More than one-third of American adults are at or below basic levels of health literacy. The Health Journey Support website, from Nucleus Medical Media and supported by AstraZeneca US, aims to provide resources that can be used to raise health literacy among patients with chronic conditions. Popular sites such as Wikipedia and Dr. Oz are often unreliable. Sites with more reliable information such as the Mayo Clinic and the CDC are overly text-heavy, and pharmaceutical company sites can be difficult to navigate and cause frustration for patients.
Nucleus Medical Media and AstraZeneca wanted to do something different: provide reliable information all along the patient journey, information that is accessible to those at all levels of health literacy. The website features animated videos that deliver information that is engaging, easy to understand, and memorable. The retention rate for information presented in a video can be as high as 65% (versus 10% retention for text-based information), and animation allows the patient to see inside the body in a way that is normally impossible. Physicians can also share the website’s content with patients via email.
The website’s responsive design enables easy access to educational materials via desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. Portions of the content are now offered in Spanish and Polish, with additional language options in development.
Filling the Gap for 29 Million Diabetics
MicroMass’ Time2Focus App Puts Education in Patients’ Pockets
There are thousands of digital tools and resources to support patients with diabetes in managing their condition, but nearly half of all patients with type 2 diabetes still do not meet HbA1C targets of 7% or less. MicroMass addresses this problem by providing patients with a skill-building app that prepares them for the challenges and choices of living with diabetes. Patients get to practice decisions within the app and receive feedback, so that they are more prepared to overcome daily, real-world obstacles when they face them. Because the mobile app builds lasting skills in behavior, the potential health impact of the app is long term — it’s like that proverb: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Face-to-face education with diabetes educators is likely one of the most effective means of building patient skills. However, there are only 20,000 diabetes educators in the United States and more than 29 million patients with type 2 diabetes. The Time2Focus app fills that gap. The mobile app is currently being studied in a clinical trial to examine impact on HbA1C after 12 weeks.
App Guards Against Fake Drugs
CheckMyMeds Enhances Patient Safety
Counterfeit medicines are an increasing problem in the United States, affecting about 38 million prescriptions each year. EMD Serono’s Check My Meds is a smartphone app that puts the power to verify the authenticity of prescription medicines in the hands of patients. The app provides users the ability to scan a two dimensional barcode located on the packaging of EMD Serono’s major brands and instantly receive a message back verifying the authenticity of their medication.
From the app, patients can also link to EMD Serono’s patient support information, company website, submit feedback, and call the company directly.
The Check My Meds app was launched in late 2014 and EMD Serono is working with large and small specialty pharmacies at the point of sale to distribute information about the app.
Thirteen years ago, EMD Serono became one of the first pharmaceutical companies to apply a serial number to its packages in order to track them from the manufacturing site to the point of sale.
The company has upgraded its system over the years as technology has evolved, and the Check My Meds app is the latest of those advances.
Next-Generation Pharma Communications
UCBCares Streamlines Communications between Patients and Partners
UCB wanted to eliminate the company silos that have an impact on patient and customer relationships. Company leaders wanted to create a streamlined way that would increase customer satisfaction and improve UCB resource efficiency. The result: UCBCares, a new single source solution center for all UCB customers to get quick answers as well as resolutions to larger problems/issues that come up in the healthcare industry. UCBCares represents a merger of three internal divisions reorganized to better serve the needs of patients and partners: medical information, drug safety/quality assurance, and customer service.
The company developed several new channels to better connect with varied patient and partner audiences. In particular, the company developed a mobile app that is a one-touch connection directly to the company’s new solutions center. The company also developed an online response program (@UCB_Cares) to deliver value to patients who prefer social media and a Web presence where patients can easily find answers to questions.
The program delivers on the unmet need of a helpful hand to guide patients through the ever-confusing quagmire that is the healthcare landscape. With changing insurance programs and a myriad of patient assistance programs from multiple pharmaceutical manufacturers, patients often face confusion and frustration. In 2013 (prior to
UCBCares launch), average customer satisfaction on self-reported after-assistance surveys was around 74.5%; in 2014 (after implementation), customer satisfaction jumped to 92.25%. (PV)
Apps and Websites
Gobiquity Mobile Health
Nucleus Medical Media