SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

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PatientPartner Improves Adherence in First Independent IRB-Approved Clinical Trial of a Mobile Game Application in Diabetes Patients

Breakthrough clinical trial results for "PatientPartner," a new mobile game application designed by scientists and researchers at CyberDoctor, document for the first time the effectiveness of a story-driven game in changing health behavior and biomarkers. Results of the clinical trial demonstrating increased adherence among patients with diabetes were announced at the Health 2.0 Conference, October 2nd, in Santa Clara, CA. The unique, universal, non-disease specific approach allows PatientPartner to be effective in improving adherence in all patient populations.

PatientPartner was tested with a population of 100 non-adherent patients with diabetes at Pinnacle Health Systems located in Hershey, PA. Diabetic patients were chosen because results could be measured by blood glucose levels, a reliable biomarker that allowed researchers to obtain both qualitative and quantitative findings.

Patients with diabetes who used PatientPartner showed significant improvement in three key areas - medication, diet, and exercise:

  • Medication adherence increased by 37%, from 58% to 95% - equivalent to three additional days of medication adherence per week.
  • Diet adherence increased by 24% - equivalent to two days of additional adherence a week.
  • Exercise adherence increased by 14% - equivalent to one additional day of adherence per week.
  • HbA1c (a blood sugar measure) decreased from 10.7% to 9.7%.

PatientPartner is a short, fun, narrative game in which patients choose a character and make decisions as the character, and then as themselves. PatientPartner analyzes how they make these choices and offers patients targeted feedback. Patients then can play sophisticated training modules to learn how to make better choices. The methodology of PatientPartner is based on validated theories of behavioral change and decision-making derived from science wide complexity theory applicable to all people and diseases.

As an additional reward for playing the game, patients will receive discounts of up to 45% on their medications and co-pays and can earn points to redeem for gift cards and other prizes.

The benefits of improving patient adherence are tremendous. In the U.S. alone, non-adherence leads to 125,000 needless deaths1 and 300 billion wasted dollars2 each year.

“The findings are significant because this is an independent, IRB-approved clinical trial proving that PatientPartner can dramatically improve patient health,” said Akhila Satish, M.S., CyberDoctor founder and CEO. “While there are many health apps available today, this clinical trial proves that a single 15 minute use of our app actually impacts patient behavior and biological measures, and at a consistently higher level than previous adherence interventions.”

Mantosh Dewan, M.D., on the board of directors of CyberDoctor, commented, “As a physician who has seen the terrible effects of non-adherence on patients in my own practice, I am tremendously encouraged by the clinical trial results for PatientPartner. Because PatientPartner is not connected to a doctor or electronic medical record, this easy-to-use, scalable application can reach more patients in a fast, inexpensive way and create longer lasting results than most other methods.”

PatientPartner is available in the iTunes store and works on the iPhone and iPod Touch. For information on PatientPartner, visit www.mypatientpartner.com.

About CyberDoctor

Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, CyberDoctor is dedicated to making healthcare communication more easy, effective and efficient. The company focuses on quality of care principles to guide patient-physician interactions in today’s new age of technology. The scientists, researchers and clinicians at CyberDoctor strongly believe that efficient and effective healthcare interaction tools will make a tremendous impact on the quality, cost and delivery of care. For more information visit our website www.mycyberdoctor.com.

CyberDoctor CEO and founder Akhila Satish, M.S., who was named one of the top five women CEOs to watch at this year's Health 2.0 conference, previously worked in life sciences research at the University of Michigan and the National Institutes of Health. She holds a graduate degree in biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Satish drives CyberDoctor’s academic approach to healthcare technology and its focus on the final, measurable clinical outcome of the patient experience.

1 Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 2005: 1:189-199, Martin et al, 2.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1661624/
2 New England HealthCare Institute, “Thinking Outside the Pillbox,” August 12, 2009.
http://www.nehi.net/publications/44/thinking_outside_the_pillbox_a_systemwide_approach_to_improving_patient_medication_adherence_for_chronic_disease

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