The concept of innovation in Clinical Practice can be a little off-putting. The clinician is working at the “bench” of patient’s lives and are often reluctant to try “new” alternatives to well established patterns of treatment. We believe that much of resistance to change is founded on this reluctance and a conservative approach is understandable. An exception, in our opinion, is the change in procedure that provides useful and actionable data that enriches the intuition that will always be such an important part of the clinician’s arsenal of skills. Most often, such innovations include the class of “better, faster, cheaper” techniques used to acquire or process testing data. The development and wide use of the oximeter is a good example of this paradigm.
We would like to talk about our unique innovation that provides clinicians with insight into issues with and attention to the lifestyle choices the patient makes every day. No matter how perfect the protocol recommended by the doctor, the success of treatment depends upon patient compliance in taking medications, getting exercise, eating well, and managing stress or unusual demands. The clinical physician has just a few minutes to gather such information and correlate that information to the test and laboratory data available to him/her – yet, it is that daily behavior information that greatly determines the success of treatment.
Mobile apps such as MotivationAssist©, are built to gather such information from the patient in a series of 10 or so questions requiring simple “yes, no, or partially” answers. The information is delivered to a PC with a browser in a secure fashion to the doctor which visually alerts him/her to positive or negative trends in patient behavior that may be addressed pro-actively by medical staff with a phone call, referral, or follow up appointment. In this age of growing remote telemedicine usage such a channel of communications is doubly valuable. Its use adds a whole new dimension to the kind of information gathered at triage – daily lifestyle and mindset status is added to height, weight, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, pallor, etc. – to provide the doctor with a deeper look into patient well-being.
The addition of this innovation requires only that the patient has a smartphone and the MotivationAssist© application – along with your encouragement that their participation will help you help them get better and/or manage their health. All that is required is about a minute each day.