Posts tagged Mobile Apps
BWH Asthma App Sustains Patient-Provider Communication Between Visits

For patients with moderate to severe asthma, it’s not uncommon to see a pulmonologist or allergist for routine follow-up appointments at three- to six-month intervals. But a lot can happen in between those visits, and patients don’t always call their provider when their symptoms worsen – sometimes misjudging a significant deterioration of breathing as allergies, a cold or simply not bad enough to merit the hassle of trying to book another appointment.

Two innovators are confident that window of opportunity could be pried open with digital health tools. David Bates, MD, chief of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care and medical director of the Partners HealthCare Center for Clinical and Quality Analysis, and Bob Rudin, information scientist at the RAND Corporation, have teamed up to create an app that can help patients track their symptoms between appointments.

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Patients and Patience Drive Successful Innovation

With all innovation projects there are limited funds, time and effort (this is sometimes more constrained in the clinical setting). Because of these challenges, it is key to be strategic and efficient with how to use those precious resources. iHub works to help move through innovation in a strategic way. The key to success is having patience, discipline, and rigor in the early stages of the design and development process.  

When Karen Fasciano, PsyD, came to iHub, our conversation was different: as the Program Director for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Young Adult Program (YAP), Karen and her team had a clear vision for why they wanted to build an app.

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New App Developed for Young Adults Coping with Cancer

When diagnosed with cancer, it’s natural for a patient to focus on the physical treatments – surgery, radiation, chemotherapy – needed to beat the disease. But the emotional and mental health dimensions of a cancer diagnosis can be overlooked – feelings of anxiety, depression, loss, isolation, anger and more can interplay with illness, exacerbating a stressful and difficult time in a person’s life. This is especially true for young adults with cancer. Young adulthood is the most likely time for the onset of mental health difficulties, and it can be challenging for young people to identify and express the complex emotions that come with cancer.

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Building Better Apps for Better Care

The Brigham Innovation Hub connects the hospital community to the right resources to implement digital health projects that could benefit patients.

“Our job is to connect the BWH community to the right resources to implement digital health projects, whether building their own apps or working with a startup to create one,” says Josie Elias, MBA, MPH, iHub’s program manager for digital health innovation.

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Digital Tool Helps Patients, Staff Find Their Way

For about two years now, an interdisciplinary team at BWH has been working diligently to build and test the online navigation tool. Josie Elias, MBA, MPH, program manager for Digital Health Initiatives at the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub (iHub), who has led the project since its inception, said she’s proud of what the teams have accomplished and hopes people find the tool to be useful.

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