CompleteCare turns to texting to assist diabetic, hypertensive patients

A New Jersey healthcare provider is deploying a mobile coaching platform to enhance and improve high-needs Medicaid patient care and boost cervical cancer screening rates at its 20 medical centers.

CompleteCare, a federally funded qualified health center, is launching the Sense Health system to help diabetic and hypertensive patients by providing a customized coaching plan. The system taps text messaging to help caregivers and patients communicate about treatment and health status. It also allows for the creation of personalized support care programs. The goal, according to an announcement on the Sense Health blog, is to improve patient support and drive better care plan adherence by patients.

"We see this added technology as a new and impactful way to communicate with patients in a way that is convenient, helping them to stay more compliant with appointments and motivate them to adhere to their care plans and have better health outcomes," Jazmine Harris, clinical director of pediatrics and interim CMO at CompleteCare, says in the announcement. CompleteCare manages healthcare treatment for more than 60,000 Medicaid patients in South Jersey.

The Nicholson Foundation is funding the CompleteCare mHealth effort; its mission is focused on driving improved care for vulnerable consumer populations.

"There are growing numbers of healthcare technology solutions in the market place to help improve clinical outcome, but very few that focus on vulnerable populations. We were immediately impressed with Sense Health's platform as it specifically addresses the needs of this population, which can be very complex," Barbara Kang, senior program healthcare officer at the foundation, says in the announcement.

Foundation-supported mobile projects are increasing. Partners HealthCare is looking to develop a tool to better enable patient engagement with support of a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The $468,000 in funding will help create an "Engagement Engine" to help patients overcome barriers to using personal wearable health devices.

More healthcare providers are turning to mHealth tools to improve patient care and communication between patients and caregivers. A recent Research Now study reveals 96 percent of consumers believe healthcare software can boost quality of life and 86 percent of healthcare professionals view mHealth apps as a valuable way of increasing knowledge on patients' conditions.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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