The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Geriatrics Institute plans to conduct a 12-month study on the efficacy of GenerationOne's mobile heath program for heart failure patients. The study is made possible because of a $100,000 grant from the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program.
The Institute will work with the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center to recruit inpatients and clinic patients at various sites. The 12-week intervention period will include 60 participants split into two groups -- 40 assigned to an intervention group and 20 to a control. Both groups will continue to receive their usual care from health providers.
GenerationOne will provide mobile phones to participants in the study. The phones will deliver testing, medication, and wellness reminders that enable users to also interact with the program and input their own health information. GenerationOne's program also offers "round-the-clock" tracking, real-time collection and analysis of health data through users "regular" mobile phones, according to the company's press release. GenerationOne's service notifies clinicians, caretakers at the first sign of trouble to enable them to intervene quickly. GenerationOne patients also receive regular reminders to comply with prescribed therapies or medications.
Heart failure affects five million Americans at a cost of $35 billion annually, according to GenerationOne. If symptoms including sudden weight gain and swelling are detected earlier, then patients and care providers can intervene and potentially avert emergency care.
The James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program funds high-impact biomedical research and technology development in Florida to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of tobacco-related diseases. Grant awardees are drawn from research proposals submitted to the National Institutes of Health for its Challenge Grants in Health and Science. To be eligible for a King grant, projects must have garnered high ratings by national panels of peer reviewers in the federal competition. The Florida Department of Health Office of Public Health Research administers the King program.
"Fifty-thousand people die every year from heart failure," said. Bernard A. Roos, MD, a co-investigator of the study and director of the Miller School's Geriatrics Institute and Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine and director of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the VAMC. "That's the biggest health care cost we have – so effective management of the disease is really going to be an advance."
GenerationOne's press release has many more details about the study