360° Coverage : What If Doctors Could Finally Prescribe Behavior Change?

2 Updates

What If Doctors Could Finally Prescribe Behavior Change?

Apr 17 2014, 6:26pm CDT | by

This guest article is by Sean Duffy, CEO and Co-Founder, Omada Health Three out of four Americans will die of a disease that could be avoided—if only they could re-route their unhealthy habits. A...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

19 weeks ago

What If Doctors Could Finally Prescribe Behavior Change?

Apr 17 2014, 6:26pm CDT | by

This guest article is by Sean Duffy, CEO and Co-Founder, Omada Health

Three out of four Americans will die of a disease that could be avoided—if only they could re-route their unhealthy habits. A new category of medicine, digital therapeutics, wants to change the course of these conditions — and of history.

Doctors have known for decades that, in order to prevent disease or its complications, they were going to have to get into people’s living rooms and convince them to change everyday behaviors that would very likely kill them. To that end, back in the early ’90s, health institutions started trying to intervene largely via the cutting-edge technology that existed at the time: phone calls. At-risk populations were dialed up and encouraged to take steps that could ward off heart disease, diabetes complications, lung cancer and other avoidable conditions that cause 75% of Americans to die prematurely.

As you can imagine, these calls largely flopped. A phone interaction led by a stranger who interrupts your dinner hour, no matter how well-intentioned, felt like more like an intrusion than meaningful
support./>

The more we discover about behavioral science, the more naïve those calls seem in retrospect. Whether it’s for weight loss, smoking cessation, diabetes, or otherwise, the best research shows that meaningful behavior change outcomes require not just guidance from a trusted health professional, but also positive social support, easy-to-digest insights about their condition, a carefully orchestrated timeline, and a process that follows validated behavioral science protocols. That’s hard to squeeze into a phone call. Or a doctor’s visit, for that matter.

The world urgently needs better ways to bring behavior change therapies to the masses, and advancements in digital tech are finally enabling us to orchestrate the necessary ingredients to make that happen in a clinically meaningful way.

That’s doesn’t make it easy. In fact, it’s effectively pioneering a new class of medicine, often dubbed “digital therapeutics.” But any clinically-meaningful digital therapeutic needs to clear two significant
hurdles. One, it needs to genuinely engage and inspire the patient, both initially and over time. Two, it must also unequivocally demonstrate efficacy to the medical community by rooting itself in the best science and by producing clinically-significant outcomes, just as any traditional drug is expected to do./>

That’s why, until recently, most available health apps couldn’t truly be categorized as digital therapeutics. For instance, a study in 2012 showed that very few of the top 50 smoking cessation apps available at the time abided by evidence-based protocols. This high-tech snake oil was not deliberate, but it is a side effect of the fact that very few of the leading behavioral science researchers knowing how to program in Objective C or Ruby on Rails. Companies looking to truly pioneer in this new category must both establish and exceed the highest scientific standards while building exceptional online experiences. The good news is that is starting to happen.

Emerging in the white hat category are a handful of medically-minded visionaries who have put real clinical rigor into every aspect of their design. For instance, David Van Sickle, a former CDC “epidemiologist intelligence officer,” and now the CEO and Co-Founder of Propeller Health, built a GPS-enabled sensor for asthma inhalers that links to an elegantly designed app — every puff is mapped and time-stamped, allowing patients and doctors to spot patterns in ‘random’ attacks and identify previously unknown triggers.

Another example is Jenna Tregarthen, a PhD candidate in clinical psychology and eating disorder specialist. She rallied a team of engineers, entrepreneurs, and fellow psychologists to develop Recovery Record, a digital therapy that helps patients gain control over their eating disorder by enabling them to self-monitor for destructive thoughts or actions, follow meal plans, achieve behavior goals, and message a therapist instantly when they need support.

Momentum for the promise of digital therapeutics is building. A massive surge in digital health investing reflects how rapidly confidence in this space is growing. In ten years, we have no doubt that your doctor will recommend a digital program for your depression either instead of, or in addition to, a pill. Your insomnia, kidney stones, or lower back pain might be treated by an experience centered around an iOS app. We can clearly see a future where a doctor’s prescription sends you to an immersive online experience as often as it does to a pharmacy.

The world is finally entering a new era of effective, scalable, and life-saving change, all delivered through the other end of an internet connection. For three out of four of us, that change can’t come soon enough.

 
Update
2

4 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

5 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17" hits home ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Indian-born scientist wins prestigious US award
Washington, Sep 3 (IANS) India-born scientist Dr Thomas John Colacot has won the American Chemical Society's ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry, one of the top honours in the field.
 
 
Beheading of second journalist shocks US; White House in crisis mode
Washington, Sep 3 (IANS) As the beheading of a second American journalist by the Islamic State (IS) terror group sent shock waves through the nation, US President Barack Obama authorised 350 additional troops be deployed to Iraq
 
 
China's yuan weakens
Beijing, Sep 3 (IANS) The value of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, retreated 13 basis points to 6.1697 against the US dollar in its central parity Wednesday, authorities said.
 
 
No link between Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, DRC : WHO
Geneva, Sep 3 (IANS) The World Health Organisation Tuesday said the outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is "a distinct and independent event", with no relationship to the epidemic in West Africa.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Indian-born scientist wins prestigious US award
Washington, Sep 3 (IANS) India-born scientist Dr Thomas John Colacot has won the American Chemical Society's ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry, one of the top honours in the field. Colacot, who studied at St Berchman'...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Beheading of second journalist shocks US; White House in crisis mode
Washington, Sep 3 (IANS) As the beheading of a second American journalist by the Islamic State (IS) terror group sent shock waves through the nation, US President Barack Obama authorised 350 additional troops be...
Read more on Ad Balla
 
Suge Knight knows who shot him
Suge Knight says he knows who shot him at Chris Brown's party last month. The 49-year-old music producer, who was shot six times at the 'Loyal' hitmaker's pre-bash for the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) at 1Oak nightclub...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Claire Danes says motherhood is challenging
Claire Danes admits she sometimes resents being a mother. The 'Homeland' actress, who has a 21-month-old son, Cyrus, with husband Hugh Dancy, also says marriage is hard, but insists she is besotted with both of the men...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
China's yuan weakens
Beijing, Sep 3 (IANS) The value of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, retreated 13 basis points to 6.1697 against the US dollar in its central parity Wednesday, authorities said. In China's foreign exchange...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Miltos Yerolemou joins 'Star Wars Episode VII' cast
Los Angeles, Sep 3 (IANS) Miltos Yerolemou, who was seen as swordsman Syrio Forel in TV show "Game of Thrones", joins the cast of "Star Wars Episode VII". Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill return as Han...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
No link between Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, DRC : WHO
Geneva, Sep 3 (IANS) The World Health Organisation Tuesday said the outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is "a distinct and independent event", with no relationship to the epidemic in West Africa. Based on...
Read more on Business Balla
 
US warplanes drop leaflets on Iraqi city
Baghdad, Sep 3 (IANS/EFE) US warplanes Tuesday dropped thousands of leaflets on the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, urging residents to keep clear of places occupied by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group that overran...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
US CDC calls for global response against Ebola
Washington, Sep 3 (IANS/EFE) The head of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tuesday warned of the risk that the Ebola outbreak could get out of control without a greater worldwide response. "This is...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Don't have a perfect body: Charlize Theron
Los Angeles, Sep 3 (IANS) Actress Charlize Theron says she doesn't have an ideal figure, but is happy with the way her body looks. The actress features on the cover of Modern Luxury's September 2014 issue and looks...
Read more on Celebrity Balla