Development and implementation of a person-centered, technology-enhanced care model for managing chronic conditions: Cohort study

Curtis L. Petersen*, William B. Weeks, Olof Norin, James N. Weinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Caring for individuals with chronic conditions is labor intensive, requiring ongoing appointments, treatments, and support. The growing number of individuals with chronic conditions makes this support model unsustainably burdensome on health care systems globally. Mobile health technologies are increasingly being used throughout health care to facilitate communication, track disease, and provide educational support to patients. Such technologies show promise, yet they are not being used to their full extent within US health care systems. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the use of staff and costs of a remote monitoring care model in persons with and without a chronic condition. Methods: At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, 2894 employees volunteered to monitor their health, transmit data for analysis, and communicate digitally with a care team. Volunteers received Bluetooth-connected consumer-grade devices that were paired to a mobile phone app that facilitated digital communication with nursing and health behavior change staff. Health data were collected and automatically analyzed, and behavioral support communications were generated based on those analyses. Care support staff were automatically alerted according to purpose-developed algorithms. In a subgroup of participants and matched controls, we used difference-in-difference techniques to examine changes in per capita expenditures. Results: Participants averaged 41 years of age; 72.70% (2104/2894) were female and 12.99% (376/2894) had at least one chronic condition. On average each month, participants submitted 23 vital sign measurements, engaged in 1.96 conversations, and received 0.25 automated messages. Persons with chronic conditions accounted for 39.74% (8587/21,607) of all staff conversations, with higher per capita conversation rates for all shifts compared to those without chronic conditions (P<.001). Additionally, persons with chronic conditions engaged nursing staff more than those without chronic conditions (1.40 and 0.19 per capita conversations, respectively, P<.001). When compared to the same period in the prior year, per capita health care expenditures for persons with chronic conditions dropped by 15% (P=.06) more than did those for matched controls. for cost savings among participants with chronic conditions. While further studies are necessary, this model appears to be a promising solution to efficiently provide patients with personalized care, when and where they need it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere11082
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Chronic condition
  • Chronic disease
  • Digital biomarker
  • MHealth
  • Mobile health
  • Person-centered care
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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