New game app improves adherence among diabetes patients, study finds
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A new mobile game app designed by CyberDoctor showed improvements in medication adherence, diet and exercise in diabetes patients, according to a study.
The company said that breakthrough clinical trial results for the game, called PatientPartner," documented for the first time the effectiveness of a story-driven game in changing health behavior and biomarkers. The study was conducted among 100 nonadherence patients at Hershey, Pa.-based Pinnacle Health Systems and presented at the Health2.0 Conference Wednesday in Santa Clara, Calif.
According to the study, medication adherence among patients using the game increased from 58% to 95%, equivalent to three additional days of adherence per week. Meanwhile, diet and exercise adherence respectively increased by 24% and 14%, all contributing to a decrease in blood sugar levels from 10.7% to 9.7%.
"The findings are significant because this is an independent, [institutional review board]-approved clinical trial proving that PatientPartner can dramatically improve patient health," CyberDoctor CEO Akhila Satish said. "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."
PatientPartner is a short, narrative game in which patients choose a character and make decisions for the character, and then as themselves. The game analyzes how they make these decisions and offers patients targeted feedback. Patients then can play sophisticated training modules to learn how to make better choices. The game is based on validated theories of behavioral change and decision making derived from scientific theories applicable to all people and diseases. According to a 2005 National Institutes of Health study, medication nonadherence causes 125,000 deaths per year in the United States, while a widely cited New England Healthcare Institute study from 2009 estimates the annual cost of nonadherence at nearly $300 billion.
"As a physician who has seen the terrible effects of nonadherence on patients in my own practice, I am tremendously encouraged by the clinical trial results for PatientPartner," CyberDoctor board member Mantosh Dewan said. "Because PatientPartner is not connected to a doctor 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."
Rexall taps savvy vet Kelly for top merchant role
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO — Drug Store News has learned that Mary Kelly has been appointed EVP and chief merchandising officer at Rexall Pharma Plus. Kelly, who has more than 26 years experience leading business teams in Canada and the United States, joins the company after four years at Shoppers Drug Mart, most recently as EVP, merchandising and category management. Prior to that, Kelly served 17 years at Target in a variety of key leadership positions in merchandising and pharmacy, and at Revco Drug Stores and Eli Lilly before that.
"Mary has a wealth of experience in the drug retail industry and we’re excited to have her join our team," noted Rexall Pharma Plus CEO Frank Scorpiniti. "Mary will be an integral contributor as we continue to activate our enhanced brand and customer experience." In addition, the company also announced that Patrick Heffernan has joined as VP merchandising. Heffernan — who comes to Rexall from Lawton Drugs/Sobeys Pharmacy Group, where he spent eight years in the role of senior director of merchandising and marketing — has more than 18 years of management and operations experience, creating strategic merchandising and marketing plans. Heffernan will lead the category management team in developing and delivering strategies to continue driving front shop results.
CVS Caremark extends thanks to pharmacists in recognition of American Pharmacists Month
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark is recognizing its pharmacists’ efforts to improve patient care as part of American Pharmacists Month, which is sponsored by the American Pharmacists Association and lasts through October, the company said Thursday.
CVS singled out the services its 26,000 pharmacists provide, saying they lower healthcare costs every day in its retail, mail service and specialty pharmacies. These include immunizations; providing information about health insurance options available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; the Pharmacy Advisor program, which addresses medication adherence problems and identifies gaps in care to improve health among patients with chronic diseases; and a mail service pharmacy and customer service center in Illinois that combines technology and human expertise.
"CVS Caremark is focused on finding new and innovative ways to reinvent pharmacy in order to better serve our customers, and our pharmacists play a critical role in that process," CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo said. "The healthcare landscape in our nation is changing, and pharmacists are no longer simply dispensing medication. Our pharmacists are also providing important healthcare services through innovative programs and services across our practice settings."
In addition to American Pharmacists Month, CVS Caremark will also mark National Pharmacy Technician Day on Oct. 22 in recognition of the 50,000 pharmacy technicians it employs.