A few weeks ago, I had a chance to follow-up with Martha Wofford, the VP of CarePass about their latest press release. This was a quick follow-up interview to our original discussion. As a reminder, CarePass is Aetna’s consumer facing solution (not just for individuals who they insure) which integrates mHealth tools and data to help consumers improve their engagement and ultimately health outcomes.
“Many Americans have a lower quality of life and experience preventable health issues, adding billions of dollars to the health care system, because people do not take their prescribed medications. There are a myriad of reasons why medication adherence is low and we believe removing barriers and making it easier for consumers to take their medications is important,” said Martha L. Wofford, vice president and head of CarePass from Aetna. “As we continue to add new areas to CarePass around medication adherence and stress, we seek to provide people tools to manage their whole health and hopefully help people shift from thinking about health care to taking care of their health.” (from press release)
As part of this update, we talked about one of my favorite topics – medication adherence. Obviously, this is a global problem with lots of people trying to move the needle. In this case, they’ve included the Care4Today app from Janssen. This tool does include some functionality for the caregiver which is important. It also links in charitable contributions as a form of motivation. We talked about the reality that adherence is really complex, and people are different. This may work for some, but adherence can vary by individual, by condition, and by medication. But, they hope that this is a tool that may work to nudge some people.
I was also glad to see them taking on the issue of stress by adding the meQ app. This is a key struggle, and Martha pointed out to me that 1/4 of adults are either stressed or highly stressed.
“When people are under chronic stress, they tend to smoke, drink, use drugs and overeat to help cope. These behaviors trigger a biological cascade that helps prevent depression, but they also contribute to a host of physical problems that eventually contribute to early death…” – Rick Nauert, PhD for National Institute of Mental Health, 5/2010
She mentioned that they’ve gotten a great reception to this program, but they have a lot more to learn. They’re still in the early period of getting insights and interconnecting all of their efforts. We also talked about some of the upcoming opportunities with the caregivers (or the sandwhich generation). I personally think the opportunity to improve aging in place through a smart home strategy with remote monitoring is going to be huge of the next 10 years.
I did interview the Janssen people as a follow-up which I’ll post separately, but I also thought I’d include this video interview of Martha that I found.