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On Nov. 13, MobiHealth News reported on the results of a two-year clinical trial for HealthPROMISE. HealthPROMISE, an app-based platform developed at Mount Sinai, is designed to improve the quality of care for patients who are struggling with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The MobiHealth News publication was based on clinical data recently presented at the Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Conference.

HealthPROMISE is a unique, cloud-based patient reported outcome (PRO) and decision support tool that empowers patients and providers: patients track their quality of life and symptoms, while providers can use the visual data in real time through EHR integration to provide better care to the entire patient population. During the trial, researchers focused on changes in the quality of care metrics between the groups, while observing shifts in quality of life scores, discovering the proportion of patients who reported controlled disease status in each group and documenting any decreases in IBD related emergency visits and hospitalizations.

According to Dr. Ashish Atreja, HealthPROMISE improved patient health outcomes and long-term engagement by implementing tools that allow care teams to monitor symptoms and more conveniently communicate with their patients. The platform assists with the collection of symptom and adherence data, which can then be reviewed while designing care strategies. Patients using HealthPROMISE are able to update their medical information while receiving a summary of quality care metrics and quality of life trends specific to IBD.

“Patients were coming to see us once or twice a year, but a lot of times we were finding patients falling through the cracks [and] there were symptoms they had for many months before they came back to us,” Atreja said to MobiHealth News. “Three or four hours of physician-time a year is not relevant for many of the patients. We need to have a way to proactively assess how they’re doing every single week or every single month.”

HealthPROMISE was tested during a two-year trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. During the trial, 320 patients with IBD were prescribed with app-based digital technologies to aid in their care. The patients were randomly placed into two groups: one group of 158 patients was assigned a basic medical education app, while a second group of 162 patients was provided with HealthPROMISE.

After 575 days, it was found that the 320 patients had significant improvement in IBD specific quality of life measures. However, patients prescribed with HealthPROMISE were found to have reported a significantly higher quality of life. Uncontrolled anxiety and fatigue were the primary factors when participants reported poor quality of life. Furthermore, app usage data showed that about 75 percent of HealthPROMISE users continued to log in and update PROs throughout the duration of the study.

According to Dr. Atreja, patients who used HealthPROMISE felt they had an ongoing relationship with their physician, even outside of the clinical setting. Dr. Atreja said that continued contact between patients and their care teams was a factor for continued engagement with HealthPROMISE, resulting in patients using the platform regularly.