Reforming Self-Management: Discussing Chronic Care Management
We will examine the possible design opportunities and dangers of chronic care management, and close by sharing some of the driving forces that informed these opportunities
With the Boomer generation aging and multiple health concerns rising, such as obesity rates, increasing cases of diabetes, and global pandemics, a demand for better management for people diagnosed with chronic diseases has become a major topic of discussion. A recent healthcare trend has been the reformation of chronic disease management, which is an integrated care approach to managing illnesses that can include screenings, check-ups, monitoring and coordinating treatment, and patient education and engagement. Chronic disease management can improve patients’ quality of life while reducing their health care costs since the effects of the chronic disease can be prevented or minimized at a faster rate.
Near-Term (12 Months)
- Empowering Resources: Build tools to help empower patients to self-manage better through a mix of medication and other activities.
- Clear Picture: Patients should be able to receive an improved presentation of their condition to promote patient engagement and detection without a doctor’s validation and a faster response from physicians in more serious cases of a patient’s chronic condition
- Choice rather than a task: Integrate an effective design-led approach to ensure greater adherence to self-management techniques, such as the zero-effort self-management strategy, so that chronic care does not become a chore for the patient
- Unresolved problems: Patients are not engaging in chronic care management because they believe they are in perfect health and do not keep up with the physician’s recommendations
- Lack of accessibility: CDM is not reformed fully where all possible demographics, including low income families and rural areas, are not addressed and incapable of accessing the proper digital tools
- Mental health stigma: Different layers of engagement for certain medical streams, such as the often overlooked mental health, are not designed properly to encourage discussion between patients, physicians, hotel administrators, and caregivers
Long-Term (3+ Years)
- Immense Involvement: Patients become more aware of their health and are able to flag their symptoms earlier to nurses, doctors, and other medical personnel, which then creates a better collaborative relationship
- Reciprocating with engagement: A platform designed to find the right balance in which patients feel the support and care from the medical staff and reciprocate by becoming more involved in their treatments and overall medical journey
- Moving towards self-management: Patients need to believe that they are supported by their healthcare providers when in reality they are self-managing appropriately and in an informed manner
- Uneducated and unreformed: The problem that haunts current CDM models has not been solved, where patients are not educated enough to detect their symptoms early and coordinate with their doctors
- No communication: Lack of engagement and empowerment from physicians can cause the failure in patients minimizing and preventing effects of their chronic conditions
- Overwhelming data: Clinical teams become overwhelmed with patients’ lack of cooperation and large amount of data
Improving Health For All
Many companies have taken into account the importance of reforming chronic disease management, including Pack Health, a digital health coaching platform that integrates evidence-based content, metrics, and devices to deliver highly personalized human-to-human support. While addressing over 25 chronic conditions, Pack Health matches its members to a Health Advisor that provides social support, accountability, and education through chat, call, or text. With weekly lessons, coaching calls, and personalized follow-ups, Pack Health enables members with chronic conditions to take charge, access the right kind of care, and develop self-management skills to improve their health outcomes.
Pack Health has also been tackling an important issue prevalent in healthcare: social determinants of health (SDOH). The company has been providing accessible resources for all possible demographics, as well as partnering with SRG to deliver food and nutritional support for people who are at-risk of food insecurity.
“On a personal level, we’re improving access, reducing barriers, and helping members achieve clinically significant results. On an ecosystem level, we’re garnering insight on what individuals need across experiences to improve health outcomes.” ~ Mazi Rasulnia, Pack Health CEO and Founder
Zero Touch, All Connected
Medisante focuses on a different angle to reform CDM, as this company provides a zero-touch direct-to-cloud medical IoT infrastructure to leverage the IoT for care teams. As healthcare providers have access to a single interface to their IT system and the remote “zero-touch” configuration does not require patients to download or pair an additional app or other resources, Medisante is solving problems for all parties involved in the healthcare experience. The standout quality of Medisante is their capability to prevent cyber-threats with their IoT due to their direct-to-cloud IoT connectivity — a much more superior tactic to Bluetooth devices — and their “privacy by design” strategy that makes sure the patients’ identities never leave the clinical system.
The major component of chronic disease management is permitting people to expand their self-management skills through resources and education. Other industries have been integrating these strategies to provide a better customer experience. For example, Capital One released Eno, a virtual 24/7 assistant that assists customers to self-manage their bank accounts better. By providing insights and alerts about customers’ accounts when spotting suspicious spending, creating unique virtual card numbers to ensure safe and secure online shopping, and answering any question instantly, Eno assists customers on issues they have not even considered while also educates them about their banking habits and proper financial strategies.
Learning While Vacationing
The hospitality industry also expanded into helping its guests navigate through their experience, especially during this pandemic era. Four Seasons Hotel invested more into their chat app through their partnership with Johns Hopkins Medical International to provide on-going guidance during COVID-19. Lead with Care is responsible for implementing and showing the proper measures for protection and sanitation to its guests, as well as educating them and their employees about the pandemic. The chat app promotes the limitation of in-person contact during these pandemic times while also personalizing the hotel guest experience and providing education about the Four Seasons experience.