HIV patients + mHealth apps = lives saved

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund

HIV patients using a mobile app for medication reminders are almost three times more likely to be adherent, according to an analysis by a nationwide specialty pharmacy.

Phoenix, Ariz.-based Avelia Specialty Pharmacy is reporting that 79 percent of its HIV patients who are using the mscripts app are maintaining an adherence rate of roughly 90 percent, whereas 65.3 percent of its HIV patients who aren't using the app are reaching that threshold. According to data from the National Institutes for Health, HIV patients must maintain that 90 percent mark to suppress the virus, or risk treatment failure.

“HIV regimens have decreased in complexity, (but) medication non-adherence continues to be a major cause of HIV-related morbidity and mortality,” Eric Sredzinski, PharmD, Avella’s executive vice president of clinical affairs and quality assurance, said in a press release. “This new mobile health application is yet another opportunity for Avella to maintain its focus on providing comprehensive support to our patients while empowering them to achieve improved outcomes.”

The mscripts platform serves roughly 2.5 million patients nationally, according to executives of the San Francisco-based company. Working with national, regional and specialty pharmacies and hospitals, the platform uses interactive SMS messaging ad branded mobile apps to provide dosage and refill reminders and other prescription management functions.

The Avelia-mscripts study is far more positive than national figures suggest. According to a 2014 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 30 percent of HIV-positive Americans are maintaining that 90 percent threshold for viral suppression.

“Avella’s patient population is already highly adherent when compared to the general population,” said mscripts CEO Mark Cullen said in the release. “We’re excited to see that getting those patients on the mobile platform will make an even more significant impact.”

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