Philips, Salesforce collaboration aims to improve diabetes care

A new mobile health app and an accompanying online portal aim to help providers make better decisions regarding patients living with Type 1 diabetes by reducing the complexity of chronic disease self-care requirements.

The app collects and tracks blood glucose, insulin, physical activity, mood and stress levels, as well nutrition data from a variety of sources, including mHealth devices, electronic medical record systems and patient self-reported information. The virtual community will let patients and care providers interact regarding health and clinical data via messaging and shared posting, using Royal Philips's cloud-based HealthSuite and its Care Catalyst system and the Salesforce Community Cloud.

An ability to share and interact via mobile technology has proven to help keep teen diabetics engaged in healthcare issues and treatment, according to a study published in December in the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Spectrum.

The new system, created by Philips and the Dutch Radboud University Medical Center, is slated to be in pilot release by year's end. It is the first of a series of connected care solutions aimed at chronic disease management, according to an announcement.

Philips is tapping the Salesforce Community Cloud as it provides a "powerful engagement layer," Carla-Krystin "ck" Andrade, Philips' director of product management, HealthSuite Digital Platform, told FierceMobileHealthcare in an email.

"Philips and Salesforce have a shared vision for connected health. We partner with and closely collaborate in the healthcare market, jointly developing applications and integrating technologies," Andrade said. "Together we are well-positioned to inspire and co-create disruptive new digital propositions that will, potentially, transform healthcare."

The focus on diabetes is for several reasons, Andrade said. There are millions of patients battling the disease and it's a costly condition for payers and providers. It's also a very complex health issue to manage and treat.

"Consequently, patients with diabetes have to make up to 180 decisions a day in managing their condition--that's a decision every 12 minutes--and they need to be in regular contact with their care team, consisting of up to 10 plus different types of caregivers," Andrade said. "The more their care team knows, the more they can support their patients."

The Philips-Dutch Radboud solution illustrates how collaborative technologies can be developed with core competencies of different organizations, Andrade said.

"This approach recognizes that in this relatively new field, joint propositions facilitate more meaningful and relevant solutions for healthcare providers and patients, more innovative approaches to combining technologies, and a shorter time-to-market," she said.

Collaborative tools represent a growing trend in mHealth. In late July, for instance, a coalition of healthcare entities announced a quest to revamp diabetes care by cutting out traditional glucometers and lancets while providing real-time data to care providers. The Mayo Clinic, Gentag, NovioSense and Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems want to create low-cost, pain-free glucose monitoring through a smartphone platform that incorporates a glucometer reader via the device's near field communication technology.

For more information:
- read the announcement