- Amsterdam health & technology institute
- Concept, Design, Development, Maintenance
Improving urban healthcare globally through new technological resources, aimed at increasing quality of life for a lower price: that is the vision of the Amsterdam Health & Technology Institute (Ahti).
About 1 in 3 adults has a high blood pressure. This has major consequences for the well-being of these people: loss of healthy lives and even premature death is not extraordinary. Besides, hundreds of millions of euros are spent annually on medical care for cardiovascular diseases. Partly because current treatment methods are simply not efficient enough. Worldwide, only a limited number of patients are under control of their doctors.
As part of Ahti's innovation program to combat this problem, they have entered into a strategic partnership with M2mobi. Together we have developed a new e-health service - in the form of an app - in which patients with high blood pressure are treated in a completely new way and are monitored remotely. The app is part of a study in which behavioral scientists (from Duke University in North Carolina) do research on how patients can be stimulated to measure their blood pressure more often and regularly. The research is conducted through A/B-testing.
Remotely monitoring of patients with an increased blood pressure seemed to be quite a challenge. This is because you can only have limited influence on patients in their private environment. It is therefore important to develop a user-friendly app that patients actually want to use on a daily basis. For this reason, the behavioral scientists from Duke University are involved in the program. With the app, they want to respond to the behaviour of patients in order to stimulate them to regularly measure their blood pressure.
During the development of the app, multiple parties were involved, all with a shared vision, but also with an individual view on the final result. The behavioral scientists want to ensure the validity and reliability of the research. On the other hand, we look after an optimal User Experience. A proper balance between these two had to be found.
The research is rolled out in four countries - America, China, Kenya and the Netherlands. This also entails a number of challenges. For example, the rules on dealing with patient data differs by country. All layers of the app, hosting in different countries, and data retention must meet the so-called patient data security requirements.
The app is part of an A/B research. This means that the app contains two different flows - the Behaviour flow and the Non Behaviour flow - which are randomly assigned to patients. With the Non Behaviour flow, patients receive the same message over and over again - for example: ‘’Measure your blood pressure’’. Patients who follow the Behaviour flow receive personalized messages. This flow is designed to stimulate patients positively to measure their blood pressure. When the study is completed, the behavioral scientists will have to decide which flow has affected the patients most positively.
As soon as patients have measured their blood pressure and filled out the data in the app, the doctors receive this information. Next, they can analyze this information through a web-based dashboard. For example, the doctors can monitor their patients remotely and cardiovascular disease can be detected at an early stage.
Recently, the first patients have been logged into the app and more will follow in the coming period. We hope to have developed a home care system that can monitor large groups of patients with high blood pressure. In countries with good healthcare infrastructure, such as the US and the Netherlands, this will lead to more efficient care and greater ease of use. While in countries where there is currently no alternative for a large group of patients (China and Kenya), this digital service can be an affordable access to care in general.