1:30 - 1:50 pmSunday, September 7
LK 120
Using evidence to develop content and patient engagement for mHealth apps
LK 120
Using evidence to develop content and patient engagement for mHealth apps
Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine
There are more than 50,000 health apps in existence today with further development continuing at an exponential pace. Despite an abundance of available apps only 100 have FDA approval and less than... Read more

Description

There are more than 50,000 health apps in existence today with further development continuing at an exponential pace. Despite an abundance of available apps only 100 have FDA approval and less than 3% of healthcare providers recommend recommend them to patients. One fourth of apps are used only once with two thirds abandoned within 10 uses. The lack of widespread adoption and minimal clinical efficacy may be due to most apps being developed without evidence-based clinical content and little attention to patient engagement.

Surgical care is becoming more complex and specialized, yet the majority of the surgical episode occurs outside of the hospital setting, without direct, immediate access to a provider.  Prior to surgery, patients are sent home with vague instructions and little support on what they can do to prepare.  After surgery, patients are sent home with instructions for tasks they need to perform to ensure proper recovery yet minimal teaching. We have identified these episodes as critical “surgical black holes”.  During these vacuum periods the healthcare system does not incentivize communication between provider and patient.  The importance of these surgical black holes is illustrated by the finding that over 50% of surgical complications are recognized outside of the hospital.

We have developed rigorous methodology to curate patient-centered content for integration into mHealth apps.  Our process delineates how digital communications interventions produce ongoing, sustained patient engagement.  Our content development process begins with systematic review and meta-analysis of the healthcare literature to identify the leading causes of complications of specific surgeries.  This is followed by electronic, accelerated expert panel consensus on the warning signs and symptoms of complications, health literacy analysis to determine patient centric language, human factors design and engineering assessment of the mHealth app and finally feedback on the complete tool with user testing by patients.  We optimize patient behavior using behavioral psychology assessments targeted to trigger mHealth app use and engagement.

For colon surgery we have developed an app that guides the patient through all phases of their surgery.  Using medical evidence and behavioral theory, patients are able to reduce their preoperative risk factors. During their surgery stay the app delivers daily goals of therapy to the patient on their mobile device for the duration of the hospital course and displays this information to any member of the healthcare team or family member caring for the patient. After surgery, the patient completes a daily symptoms tracker formulated from our methodology. Data is integrated and mobile technology communicates actionable information to patients and healthcare providers who receive notification of patients’ conditions to facilitate workflow and improve health outcomes.

We have developed rapidly scalable methodology for creating mHealth app media/content production.  This approach builds on a sound evidence-based framework that is the cornerstone of patient engagement and clinical efficacy. By synchronizing care using evidence and readily available patient-centered mobile technology we can reduce cost, waste, error and improve health outcomes for surgical patients. 

Dr. James Suliburk joined the Baylor College of Medicine Department as faculty member in 2009. Prior to joining BCM he completed fellowship training as the prestigious TS Reeve international Fellow in Endocrine Surgery at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia.  He conducts research on the clinical outcomes in endocrine surgery in underserved and minority populations, outcomes in acute care and trauma surgery, and in the application of mobile technology to improve peri-operative surgical care and communication with patients to detect of impending complications. His research program at Ben Taub Hospital and Baylor St Lukes CHI Medical Center offers opportunities in translational science, clinical outcomes, and technology development and innovation. The research comes from the establishment of a comprehensive and multidisciplinary treatment of endocrine surgical program at Ben Taub Hospital and Baylor Clinic in addition to the creation and standardization of shock resuscitation pathways for severely injured trauma patients. 

Dr. Suliburk is currently focussed on leveraging mobile technology to better surgical outcomes through rigorous health services research and behavioral psychology interventions to improve patient engagement and self care.  He collaborates with national surgical quality and safety expert Dr. David Berger and also with nationally recognized health services research Dr. Aanand Naik.  

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