Healthcare Anywhere’s empowering app helps patients to manage their long-term health conditions at home.
Healthcare is changing and Healthcare Anywhere believes it is able to shape the way chronic diseases are managed in the community through digital health technology; making it easier for patients to get the advice they need in the comfort of their own homes, or anywhere that suits them.
Imagine you are a long-term asthma patient required to take regular injections. You have a young family and lead a busy life, often missing appointments and struggling to get into a good routine of managing your asthma. You are not sleeping well, you are noticing more daytime symptoms, and it is impacting your physical and mental wellbeing.
Now picture an app that provides transparency and convenience, helping you to get back on track. It gives you a personalised countdown to your next injection and reminders that can be synced to your device’s calendar. There are step-by-step instructions and videos reminding you how to inject, and injection logs showing the time, date and site of recent injections. Engaging and accessible information allows you to check your understanding and answer questions you have.
You are able to stay on track with your treatment; all your information is stored in one place. You build confidence and start injecting at home more, consistently on time. You move to proactively managing your health and, as a result, are able to lead a more fulfilling life.
Healthcare Anywhere is an app that is designed to support and empower patients to manage their chronic disease at home, delivering light-touch support at the right level for each patient, to effortlessly drive adherence and condition control. The patient can record their personal assessment through clinically recognised tools and share that information with their hospital clinician before the next review session, allowing them to better understand where they are on their disease journey and to recognise improvements. These improvements as a direct correlation of using the app will mean the patient is more likely to regularly adhere mediation management and see that the disease assessment is increasingly positive.
This in turn means healthcare providers being able to administer the exact level and dosage of drugs needed, significantly reducing wastage – a hugely important issue for the NHS drugs budget.
An omnipresent problem pulling hard on healthcare resources
It is estimated that a staggering 15 million people in the UK are suffering from long-term conditions. The impact of this is multifaceted, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional challenges and strains it has brought about. Only 59% of people living with a long-term condition are in work, compared to 72% of the general population; and those living with long-term conditions, such as diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, have significantly raised rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
It is no surprise, therefore, that people living with a long-term condition are more likely to use healthcare services. They account for 50% of GP appointments, 64% of outpatient appointments, and 70% of inpatient bed days; yet only 64% of people living with a long-term condition report they feel supported. Provision for this accounts for 70% of total healthcare and social care spend, and it is safe to say the problem is not going away: the annual cost to the NHS of chronic disease is projected to reach £26bn by 2022. Continuing along this trend poses significant risks to the NHS’s resources, as well as a large proportion of the nation’s general health.
Changing the way chronic disease is managed in the community using digital health technology
This is what has motivated Healthcare Anywhere to bring its innovative proposition to market. Healthcare Anywhere is a comprehensive patient management platform which provides digitally connected healthcare for patients at home or wherever they may be. The service is centred around a configurable mobile app that uses four key pillars to effectively manage long-term complex conditions, in partnership with care providers:
- Monitor: data from connected devices, apps and clinical assessments provide a risk-based view of patient status, enabling personalised and timely interventions
- Motivate: motivational ‘chat bot’ messaging driven from patient data, as well as intelligent insights used to encourage and reinforce good behaviours
- Educate: a curated knowledge base comprising interactive tools, articles, and videos, including social communities connecting patients with other patients to share and learn
- Support: patients get swift access to care providers via message or video call, fostering emotional wellbeing by encouraging patients to support each other
Patients get bespoke information and tracking data, so their own movements are clear to them. Importantly, they get access to support outside the hospital setting, which means more answers sooner, and greater control over their treatment.
Empowering patients to take control of their own health
While some patients benefit greatly from the proactive approach of clinic and homecare nursing teams, there are considerable numbers of patients who thrive when given access to reliable information and support as and when they need it; empowering them to take control of their own disease. Ultimately, no one knows their health better than the patient themselves, and when a patient takes control and gets the support they need, they get better results. This requires a patient to learn about their condition and treatment, set and achieve personal healthcare goals, and get timely access to support and advice from health coaches and other patients. The result is freedom for patients to spend less time in clinic and more time leading a fulfilling life.
Healthcare Anywhere enables this through the aforementioned ‘monitor, motivate, educate, support’ structure, empowering patients while ensuring they can connect with a healthcare provider when they need additional support. Clinical teams can have necessary oversight of their patients, at arm’s length, with the ability to review regularly how patients are responding to treatment, using dashboards that monitor patients’ adherence, disease activity scores, photos, quality of life (QOL) scores, and more.
A unique and disruptive innovation
Accenture’s Digital Health Tech Vision 2016 notes: ‘Disruption can be a game-changer if a business can predict it. Healthcare organisations must link up with those outside of the industry to seize new disruptive opportunities.’
Sitting ‘over the top’ (OTT) of local nursing and healthcare service providers, Healthcare Anywhere enables immediate access to information and clinical support when patients actually need it, as well as providing the necessary tools to encourage and embed sustained behaviour change. It delivers patient-reported outcome and experience data to help care providers prioritise patients that need the most support.
Streamlined registration and rapid patient uptake
The app is easily accessible and no cumbersome enrolment forms are required; consent is managed inside the app at first login. Different access codes also enable the app to be personalised to each patient’s health or homecare provider, and outpatient versions can be tailored to accommodate unique requirements of individual trusts or hospitals.
Educating, engaging, motivating, and personalised
It is well recognised that everyone learns differently. Whilst some patients will value a traditional read and recall approach, many will value the app’s engaging features and quizzes. This action-driven learning approach can be a very effective tool in keeping patients activated and engaged, and recent studies show that patients’ active, committed engagement is directly linked to higher medication adherence in an array of disorders, including cancer, HIV, multimorbidity, and a range of chronic conditions*******1-4.
Additionally, motivational adherence reminders, treatment countdowns, and personalised goal setting allow patients to easily manage their own health. Patients can also configure treatment reminders linked to their device’s calendar and personalise the home screen with images of people they care about, or activities they enjoy doing, to motivate them and reinforce the benefits of treatment adherence.
Injection log and symptom tracker
As well as tracking adherence and persistence, the app can prompt patients to complete a disease/ symptom tracker to share with their healthcare team, and to enable earlier intervention and more informed treatment decisions.
Approved for the NHS, by the NHS
Developed in partnership with the NHS, and as the result of extensive work with NHS Improvement and the National Homecare Medicines Committee, Healthcare Anywhere has been approved by NHSX and meets the key regulatory, information and clinical governance requirements. This means clinicians and providers can signpost patients to it, a requirement for all pharma-sponsored patient apps and websites.
As an approved channel for distribution of disease education and product-specific treatment information, the Healthcare Anywhere app supports all kinds of engaging and informative patient materials inside an NHS-approved Healthcare Anywhere wrapper.
A more cost effective way to deliver meaningful support and patient insights
While the app is equally useful at a therapy or disease level, the concept was initially developed as a tool for working with pharmaceutical companies, more specifically in support of home healthcare programmes. In the same way as NHS services, homecare support programmes for long-term conditions are too often outbound, rigid and wasteful; and until now there has been no effective way to deliver light-touch support for the majority of patients who can self-manage. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of patients being able to take care of their own health challenges within the confines of their own homes. The pandemic has also put people with other health problems at a disadvantage as healthcare professionals are so focused on COVID-19. Hospitals continue to restrict general access to their facilities in fear of bringing COVID-19 onto the premises. More than ever, the NHS needs a viable way for patients to safely self-manage their conditions outside of a hospital setting.
Delivered through an existing platform for cost efficiency and rapid rollout, Healthcare Anywhere is in a great position to do this. It delivers real-world outcome and adherence data collated from patients engaging with their support programme and allows an understanding of disease activity and other patient-reported insights in a format that is meaningful to the NHS, unlocking cost reductions and efficiencies by focusing resources on patients who need care.
The future: connectivity and population disease management
In 2017, Quintiles IMS reported: ‘Healthcare systems globally are facing an unprecedented sustainability challenge; this is an opportunity for innovative life sciences companies to grow.’
Healthcare Anywhere is taking a considered, phased approach which uses live patient feedback to continually improve the platform. With four pharmaceutical clients already on board, the company has extensive growth ambitions with a goal to not only be used widely across the NHS to empower patients to manage their disease, but also as a platform for health economy system change and population disease management.
The future of the Healthcare Anywhere app is to establish it as a secure online platform (Class 1 Medical Device), which enables seamless integration of all data points and dashboard reporting; including adherence and patient-reported disease activity, homecare engagement data and clinical evaluation forms, plus integrated biometric data from wireless devices.
Its drive is to support a shift within healthcare from hospital-centric to patient-controlled; episodic and standard care to responsive and predictive care based on needs; data-poor to data-rich; all of which will drive much-needed change to how chronic disease is managed in the community.
About Healthcare Anywhere
Healthcare Anywhere is a team of nursing, homecare, and digital health specialists with over four decades of experience helping people manage treatment for chronic illnesses. It has a full-time clinical risk officer to ensure every project delivered meets existing and future NHS approval requirements, significantly reducing the potential time and cost to launch.
Department of Health, NICE, NIMH, The King’s Fund, NHS
1 Higgins T, Larson E, Schnall R. Unravelling the meaning of patient engagement: a concept analysis. Patient Educ Couns. 2017 Jan;100(1):30-36.
2 Hibbard J, Mahoney E, Sonet E. Does patient activation level affect the cancer patient journey? Patient Educ Couns. 2017 Jul;100(7):1276-1279.
3 Marshall R et al. Patient activation and improved outcomes in HIV-infected patients. J Gen Intern Med. 2013 May;28(5):668-74.
4 Skolasky R et al. Psychometric properties of the patient activation measure among multimorbid older adults. Health Services Research. 2011;46(2):457-478.
5 Mosen D et al. Is patient activation associated with outcomes of care for adults with chronic conditions? J Ambul Care Manage. 2007 Jan-Mar;30(1):21-9.
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