For people with chronic conditions, coronavirus has made them even concerned about their health and how they will manage it in isolation.
According to a user survey done by Medisafe, 56% of patients and caregivers are concerned that the pandemic will interfere with their medication regimen. The survey was intended to determine how these patients and caregivers are feeling about managing their condition during this uncertain time.
“The overall takeaway from the survey is that in a time of uncertainty, it is even more important to touch base with patients and check-in,” said Jennifer Butler, chief marketing officer at Medisafe. “Almost 70% of respondents are very to extremely concerned about coronavirus and there is a tremendous level of anxiety ranging from the impact this could have on immunocompromised patients to overall access to medications. Social distancing has isolated us from traditional support programs so we need to digitally reinforce the community and the support available.”
That’s where digital health tools come in. Medisafe, a mobile health platform, helps patients manage their conditions and medications through its app. Its survey reached about 500 users in 18 countries.
The survey also found that 66% of patients and caregivers were either very concerned or extremely concerned about the coronavirus. Another 91% said they were practicing social distancing and 67% were sheltering in place.
“Digital healthcare companies play a vital role in keeping patients connected and healthy during this uncertain time,” Butler said.
One thing the company found patients wanted was reliable COVID-19 information from a trusted source, Butler said, a gap that healthcare companies can easily fill.
This concern about the illness, paired with restrictions that close many businesses and urge people to stay home as much as possible, leads to the increased concern about refilling prescriptions and tracking one’s health without doctor visits.
To help these patients manage their health and stay connected with friends and family during isolation, Medisafe deployed several efforts for its users. One effort was opening up its care support platform, Medisafe Care Connector, for the next six months. That program allows doctors and care teams to monitor patients remotely.
The company also held its first webinar for users called “You’re Not Alone,” which reached more than 100 viewers, Butler said. The company reviewed its capabilities for patients in the webinar and brought in its chief medical officer Daniel Sands to answer user questions about COVID-19. Medisafe also partnered with Everyday Health to bring reliable coronavirus content to its users.
“Digital healthcare companies can provide tremendous support in times like these to build that digital loyalty with patients,” Butler said. “Checking-in with patients and letting them know they are not alone is so important. We realized that some of our nice-to-have features, such as Medfriends, Online Pharmacy Services and emailing reports to clinicians, become critical points of connectivity during social distancing times. If digital healthcare companies are nimble enough to act quickly, then by all means let patients know you heard them and put resources into place during this time.”