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NIH Grant to Expand mHealth to Improve Medication Adherence, Hospital Readmissions

September 26, 2012
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded Leap of Faith Technologies (Chicago) a $1,021,296 grant to further develop eMedonline, its software-as-service (SAS) mHealth platform for mobile medication therapy management (MTM) and care transition that improves medication adherence, monitors outcomes, and provides data mining opportunities for drug surveillance and research.

The grant will finalize the translation of this evidence-based mHealth technology to the marketplace. The eMedonline platform is built upon research in behavior change and informatics related to medication adherence. It has consistently demonstrated medication adherence levels of 98 percent along with clinically significant improvements in patient self-efficacy in numerous clinical trials funded by NIH and industry. eMedonline has also significantly reduced hospital readmissions in a pilot study among CHF patients and offers great potential in care transition. Estimates of costs (hospitalizations, emergency room visits, assisted care, and more) associated with patients not taking medications as directed approach $250 billion in the US.

Medication adherence plays an important role in Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) criteria for electronic health records (EHR). The average rate of adherence is only 50 percent across all disease states, and a review in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that up to 80 percent of cancer patients failed to follow their prescriptions. MU2 criteria, with important links to healthcare quality and outcomes reinforced through Federal payment policy, will continue to drive increasing emphasis on the importance of effective medication use and adherence.

The NCI grant will be matched by an industry partner to fully connect the eMedonline platform to the EHR, resulting in a coded medication adherence document using clinical document architecture (CDA). This results in an adherence solution that is fully connected to the clinical system as part of an integrated care plan. In this way, eMedonline provides longitudinal data around medication adherence and outcomes in a structured, codified format previously unavailable to the provider.
 

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