Feasibility of Recommending mHealth Solutions to Patients Receiving Virtual Primary Care
Keywords:Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Anxiety, App, Artificial Intelligence, Behavioral Health, Machine Learning, mHealth, Pain, Primary Care, Stress, Telemedicine, Tobacco, Virtual, Weight
This pilot program tested the feasibility of connecting patients receiving medical care from 98point6 (a virtual healthcare platform that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver primary care through a text-based, smartphone interface) with the 2Morrow app (a behavioral health platform that utilizes acceptance commitment therapy [ACT] to address key chronic disease drivers and conditions). It also evaluated the potential for future clinical research using this methodology.
Materials and methods: Adult patients of 98point6 who expressed one of several behavioral health concerns (tobacco addiction, pain, stress/anxiety, or weight management) were evaluated by a board-certified primary care physician. They were subsequently given the recommendation to download the 2Morrow app and use one of the ACT-based programs at no cost. De-identified data were collected about 2Morrow app usage. Surveys were sent to patients via email at 7 and 28 days post-recommendation to collect information about their experience using the app.
Results: From April to October 2018, 98point6 and 2Morrow conducted a pilot program to offer the 2Morrow app to patients who expressed concern about any of the following topics: tobacco addiction, pain, stress/anxiety, or weight management. 98point6 providers recommended the 2Morrow app to 28 patients, 16 of whom downloaded the app and used at least one 2Morrow program. Five patients used multiple modules within the 2Morrow app. De-identified data are presented regarding those patients who used the app and which modules were accessed and with what frequency. Four patients completed the post-recommendation user surveys.
Conclusions: The 98point6 virtual healthcare patients showed good adherence to the recommendation for ACT delivered through a mobile app. Patients followed through on physician recommendations at rates equivalent to similar published studies. A clinical trial to measure patient satisfaction, compliance, and outcomes is feasible. The ability to treat several behavioral health concerns commonly seen in primary care using an entirely digital healthcare plan deserves additional study.
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