Source: ThinkStock

– A digital therapeutic program designed to help people living with Hepatitis C has demonstrated long-term medication adherence, according to a recent study.

In an analysis of 288 patients being treated at 18 clinics in the US, a study team led by Mark S. Sulkowski, MD, a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, found that an mHealth platform that includes an ingestible sensor and wearable patch showed a 99 percent sustained virologic response rate after at least 10 weeks.

The overall median adherence rate was 95 percent, Sulkowski and his colleagues reported during a presentation at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases’ recent annual conference in Boston. That’s compared to other medication adherence programs that typically see less than 60 percent of participants follow doctor’s orders. And some 80 percent of those taking part in the program said the connected health platform – Proteus Digital Health’s DigiMeds – “helped them keep track of their medications, made them feel more connected to their care team and motivated them to achieve their treatment goals.”

“This data demonstrates that Proteus DigiMeds may be used to support adherence and optimize cure rates in difficult to treat HCV populations,” George Savage, the California-based company’s Chief Medical Officer, said in a press release. “This information adds to the evidence showing long-term, positive patient outcomes for underserved populations that without a DMP often do not get access to these curative treatments.”

Proteus, whose telemedicine platform consists of an ingestible sensor, a wearable patch that monitors physiologic signs and an mHealth app that captures that data and relays it to care providers, is one of several mHealth companies using innovative technologies to improve medication management and adherence.

The platform is particularly beneficial to those living with chronic care concerns like HCV, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and diabetes who struggle to maintain medication adherence, thus affecting clinical outcomes. Of the 4.29 million people in the US living with HCV, it’s estimated that only 37 percent have been cured, and about 80 percent of those eligible to be treated with direct acting antivirals aren’t doing so because of non-adherence, missed clinic visits, substance abuse or concurrent mental health issues.

The study conducted by Sulkowski and his colleagues took those concerns into account. Those included in the study had to have at least risk factor for non-adherence, including substance abuse, mental health issues requiring hospitalization, a history of missed appointments or patient-reported transportation barriers.

Among the health systems using Proteus is the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin regional health network, a five-hospital system based in Milwaukee. The health system has been using the platform to monitor selected patients living with diabetes, hypertension and HCV for roughly two years, and has been seeing adherence rates above 90 percent.

The program includes integration with the electronic health record, enabling care providers to include medication adherence in care management.

“The ability to include Proteus in a medical record not only improves care coordination but it individualizes and broadens our view of the person,” says Bradley Crotty MD, MPH, an internist with the Froedtert & MCW health network and an assistant professor of Medicine at MCW. “We can better partner with patients by understanding how they’re doing between appointments and increasingly help personalize and optimize their regimen more quickly.”

Source: Digital Therapeutic Study Proves Value of mHealth in Medication Adherence

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