At Memora Health, we’re honored to boast a deep bench of medical experts on our team. Bringing bedside experience and clinical knowledge to the table, these subject matter experts work continuously to ensure our digital health platform lives up to its promise to empower stakeholders across the care continuum.
Join the conversation as they dig into emerging topics in health equity, simplifying complex care delivery, and more.
Simplifying the post-discharge patient experience with SMS-based digital health
Getting discharged from a hospital can be a vulnerable and stressful experience for patients. They’re often presented with a long list of action items they’re expected to complete once they arrive home, including filling medications, following new treatment regimens, and scheduling follow-up appointments. But a lot of this information can get lost in the process of exiting a healthcare facility — and patients can be left with more questions than answers.
With the limited bandwidth of clinicians to follow up on patients after discharge, what can be done to help care teams provide people with a soft landing?
A recent cohort study sought to address this question by testing whether a 30-day automated texting program would be associated with a reduction in patient use of acute care resources. This investigation found that implementing an SMS-based automated patient monitoring system was associated with a 41% reduction in the odds of 30-day post-discharge use of acute care resources and a 55% decrease in the odds of a 30-day hospital readmission. The study also reported significantly high patient engagement rates.
For much of my career, I’ve focused on the vulnerabilities that occur during transitions of care — and the impact on clinical outcomes in this study represents a path forward to heal these gaps. By leveraging intelligent automation, we can extend clinicians far beyond hospital walls — improving high-touch care for patients while eliminating friction for everyone involved.
Harnessing healthtech to heal breastfeeding disparities for mothers and newborns
Breastfeeding has proven to present remarkable health benefits to newborns and mothers. But many maternity patients still struggle to meet the established recommendations to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and continue breastfeeding through at least the baby’s first year of life. And we know that disparities by race and ethnicity persist, as Black mothers face disproportionate barriers to breastfeeding.
Although women confront numerous post-discharge challenges, the CDC suggests that families may need additional support to facilitate exclusive and a longer duration of breastfeeding. This is where the power of digital platforms with text messaging comes into play.
A recent investigation studied postpartum patients receiving educational text messages and personalized breastfeeding support through SMS with a goal to increase breastfeeding exclusivity at six weeks. Though the results showed no difference in breastfeeding exclusivity by treatment group, Black patients in the intervention group exclusively breastfed at six weeks at a rate 2.6x higher than Black patients in the control group.
These results are eye-opening and suggest that digital breastfeeding support is truly an essential component of public health — not just to improve overall maternal and child well-being, but to help abolish barriers and bring support to Black women and their families.
Using digital healthcare to improve medication adherence
One challenging aspect of diabetes management is addressing inconsistent medication use, which often results in elevated blood glucose levels. People don’t take glucose-lowering medications as prescribed for a number of reasons — and identifying and addressing these barriers is often difficult.
JAMA recently conducted a serial, cross-sectional study on continuity of medication use in U.S. adults with diabetes between 2005 and 2019. This investigation showed significantly inconsistent use of glucose-lowering, blood pressure-lowering, and lipid-lowering medications among sampled patients. What stood out to me most were the participant-reported barriers, which included cost, medication complications, and lack of trust in the healthcare system. As suboptimal medication adherence can lead to further conditions — for people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses — the healthcare industry needs a multi-level strategy for closing the loop.
Memora’s Care Programs strive to help patients stick to medication regimens by educating them, issuing patient surveys, and screening for challenges to medication adherence. This multidirectional approach innate to intelligent care enablement — scalable technology that supports both patients and care teams through complex clinical episodes — enables care teams to identify and address inconsistent medication use, and empowers patients to feel more confident in managing their care journeys.
Leveraging digital healthcare to expand health literacy
Personalized care is one of the hottest topics in healthcare today. It refers to patients receiving treatment specifically tailored to them, but also involves an individual’s ability to understand and make choices concerning their condition and treatment options.
Unfortunately, health literacy — a person’s ability to find, understand, and use healthcare information — varies among patients, and can impact the ease with which they navigate the healthcare system. This divide contributes to stress for patients throughout their care journeys, providers who have to divert attention from acute cases to educate patients, and the healthcare system as a whole.
That’s why patients and providers alike need interventions that could help bridge this disparity and improve health literacy for everyone. A recent study examined the impact a symptom management application (a feature of most of Memora’s Care Programs) could have on patients’ perceptions of individualized care and health literacy levels. The trial showed that those with lower health literacy were positively impacted by the intervention, revealing improved abilities to find, comprehend, and iterate health information.
This result is encouraging and exciting for us at Memora Health — and adds to the mounting evidence that we can help healthcare’s most at-risk patients with our intelligent digital health platform.