With an estimated 115 people dying each day from opioid abuse, the issue has become an epidemic, drawing attention from the White House, Congress, law enforcement and the healthcare industry. To address the crisis, healthcare providers are looking to treatment plans that integrate addiction control with behavioral and psychiatric
In applying mHealth and telehealth technology to addiction treatment, healthcare providers are looking to create a digital profile of the patient. While traditional treatment plans have focused on group therapy and care in the doctor’s office, connected health platforms enable providers to work with the patient at any time and place, and to see what the patient goes through each day.
“We’re building a panoramic view of your life,” says Jacob Levenson, CEO of MAP Health Management, an Austin, Texas-based, nationwide network of close to 100 addiction treatment providers that
Applying Connected Care Solutions to a National Crisis
Healthcare providers are finding many different uses for connected care in the substance abuse space. Examples include:
- mHealth apps that give users access to coping skills and care resources, peer support and on-demand access to caregivers in times of crisis
- Digital messaging platforms that allow care providers, family members, or peer support group members to deliver timely messages of support
- Mobile health units, deployed to urban neighborhoods, rural communities and even high-traffic areas like schools, prisons and retail centers, that essentially bring the doctor’s office to patients with access issues
- Telemedicine and telehealth platforms that enable patients to engage in virtual visits with their care provider or a mental health specialist from the comfort and anonymity of their own home
- Telemedicine platforms that enable rural providers and those dealing with high-impact populations to collaborate with substance abuse experts and mental health experts on the latest treatments, as well as to talk about difficult cases or chat with peers
- mHealth wearables that monitor a user’s vital signs and issue alerts – to the user and/or the user’s care team – at times of stress
- Apps and wearables that measure medication adherence in medication assisted treatment (MAT) programs
- mHealth devices (including patches, ingestibles and wearables) that can deliver timed doses of medication to help users manage pain or stressful situations
“Collaboration among multiple providers and organizations that address the public health issues associated with opioid abuse are crucial,” The Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) reported in a December 2017 article. “When diagnosing and treating opioid abuse, skilled practitioners (located remotely) can provide an array of integrated patient services using telehealth technology.”
“Through telehealth, participants can receive needed treatment by accessing expert help without current barriers, receive needed medications, be taught new skills to prevent relapse, and make important connections with others with healthcare system change,” the article added.
Read more on mHealthIntelligence.com