Laura Clemons

Patient Engagement Technology: Providers Like It, But Cost Is A Worry

by Laura Clemons | Aug 09, 2018

According to a recent survey, many providers think that tools (such as wearables, smartphone apps and online patient portals) to increase patient engagement are beneficial. However, these tools aren’t being widely used because of the cost.Wearables

The survey, conducted by the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, found the top three benefits of patient engagement technology named by the survey respondents to be:

  • Supporting patients in their efforts to be healthy
  • Providing input to providers on how patients are doing when not they’re not in the clinic
  • Creating an ecosystem that allows for better predictive analytics around patient health and more timely interventions

Additional benefits include a reduction in unnecessary visits, serving as an adjunct to brick-and-mortar health systems and providing extra motivation to patients when they know their providers will be looking at their data.

However, despite the perceived benefits, about half of the survey respondents say the primary reason for low adoption of these tools is that they are not covered by insurance. In addition, 61% of the respondents said that these tools should be covered by payers. Additional barriers reported by the respondents include no direct interaction between the tools and the EHR and lack of an easily readable way for providers to get information from the tools.

When asked how developers of patient engagement technology could improve their offerings in the future, the respondents said that areas of focus should include:

  • Better integration of technology with engagement strategies to prevent attrition
  • Better integration with clinical workflows
  • Easier-to-use products that are not disruptive or burdensome
  • IoT
  • wearables

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