News Feature | December 13, 2013

Mayo Clinic iPad App Utilizing FitBit Technology

Source: Health IT Outcomes
Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer


The Mayo Clinic has joined its MyCare App with FitBit technology for part of its pilot program for cardiac patients

Consumer eHealth Engagement reports, “A team of clinicians at Mayo Clinic designed an iPad app to help cardiac surgery patients and their families participate in the pre and post-surgery process, creating a patient-sided driver of successful recovery.”

Dr. David J. Cook, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and leader of the team that created the Mayo myCare iPad application, told Consumer eHealth Engagement, “Making patients knowledgeable, giving them the tools for self-assessment, and setting expectations that they participate in their care is the model for managing healthcare in this country and bending the cost and quality curve.”

That premise led to the inclusion of FitBit technology in the Mayo Clinic’s app, not the first time FitBit technology was utilized. The device previously was used to predict surgical recovery times and evaluate the condition of recovering patients.

Mayo sent surveys to track patient and family satisfaction with the Mayo myCare iPad app and over 90 percent reported they were satisfied. Consumer eHealth Engagement listed several user comments, including:

  • The IPad was a valuable addition to overall patient care and provided a more confident “going home” feeling for us.
  • I would strongly recommend the MyCare IPad, it helped me to understand each day what to expect instead of the high anxiety of wondering if what my husband was going through was normal.
  • was very nice to see day to day what my Dad should be doing to recover from surgery so I can help him improve, also the knowledge that we had helped us figure out what step to take next

“Over the year, we are planning to … extend the iPad recovery support program 30 days post discharge to prevent readmission and in two years we are looking to support longer term care management. We developed this iPad solution with patient education, self-assessment, and reporting and we are planning to extend this solution into 5 or 6 different care areas in the near term”, Cook said.

“Patient participation is completely dependent on usability,” Cook said during a session at the mHealth Summit reports MobiHealth News. “Healthcare technology and tools are not meaningful unless they’re integrated with care plans and expectations, and that’s dependent on delivering knowledge to patients. Once you have a usable tool, you can help self-assessment and reporting, data acquisition and aggregation is meaningful, and clinically meaningful algorithms can impact patient outcomes.”

A total of 149 patients were given iPads with the app already loaded and the tablet reported their mobility and progress via FitBit. “Patients completed 98 percent of the 1,418 self-assessments we threw at them,” Cook said. “They completed 85 percent of their educational modules.” MobiHealth News reports the most astounding statistic is that age was irrelevant in engagement with the tablet - young and old patients alike used and enjoyed MyCare.

Cook plans to work on the app’s security and EHR connectivity next. “The hospital’s a great place to build this, but I think the model we’ve created is equally applicable to chronic disease,” he said.

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