The conventional wisdom is that mobile apps will be a good way for provider s to engage with younger patients, while older patients will require more traditional forms of communication. But now that mHealth is moving past the early adopter phase, and clinical trials are now moving toward the use of mobile apps for data collection, that idea is being re-examined.
"We are seeing a change," says Jennifer Wulff, director of Clinical Innovation at Pfizer. "A few years ago, older patients may not have been as technically savvy as younger patients, but we're starting to see a bigger adoption in smartphones, and we're focusing our development on it as a primary device."
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Wulff's work at Pfizer is concentrated on engaging patients who are participating in clinical trials. "We're looking at uses of data to advance clinical research," she says.
A key element in that work is exploring how to engage with patients in a way that makes their own health records more useful.
At the 2015 mHealth Summit's Life Sciences Roundtable, Wulff will moderate a panel titled "Unpacking Successful Partnerships for Better Care and Outcomes." The discussion will feature Shawn Dolley, a health and life science big data expert with Cloudera; Nancy Green, global practice lead for healthcare strategy and thought leadership at Verizon Enterprise Solutions; Jeff Makowka, director of thought leadership for the AARP; and Tom Parsons, co-founder of HealthXL.
Pfizer has included a focus on providing trial participants with health records via the Blue Button program. "We want patients to be empowered with their health data," Wulff said, noting that they can download their own lab data and aggregate this with their other records.
Pfizer's work is intended to keep patients engaged across the entire life cycle – whether it's a study team just starting a trial and working on the most efficient ways to recruit patients or one that's nearing the end of a trial.
"We want to keep them engaged," Wulff explained. "We want to empower patients by returning their individualized data to them via Blue Button and lay summaries."
For more information, visit the mHealth Summit website.