BALTIMORE, MD. (November 2020)
emocha, the nation’s leading digital medication adherence platform, has announced results from their digital adherence program with pediatric asthma patients at LifeBridge Health, a nonprofit community health system that operates several medical facilities in and around Baltimore, Maryland.
Patients who participated in the two-month program used emocha to submit daily check-in videos of themselves taking their prescribed inhalers, while emocha’s care team provided daily and direct engagement to improve inhaler technique and adherence, and supported patients throughout treatment. emocha’s care team also delivered personalized engagement to help patients and families in maintaining their asthma care plans.
Preliminary data suggests improved asthma control among participants, with a reduction in asthma-related ER visits and fewer oral steroid prescriptions. Outcomes included a high adoption rate among participants, with close to 1,000 virtual medication visits. Within the two-month program, the majority of patients exhibited at least one technique issue — most of which were remotely handled by emocha’s clinical adherence team.
“For children to get the benefits of their asthma medication, they must first use their inhalers. We are pleased to see these preliminary results from our pilot that suggest that the participants successfully used the emocha app and submitted video check-ins, allowing for follow-up to help them improve their inhaler use and technique,” says study investigator Scott Krugman, M.D., vice chair of pediatrics at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai.
Nonadherence rates among both pediatric and adult patients with asthma range between 30-70 percent. Adherence is critically important in asthma management in order to minimize hospital and intensive care admissions, rising costs of healthcare, and inappropriate escalations of treatment. Because the majority of patients do not demonstrate effective inhaler technique–one of the principal reasons for the high prevalence of uncontrolled asthma–specifically solving medication technique as a barrier to adherence is a vital marker of improved outcomes.
This is particularly critical in Baltimore City, where children under 18 years of age have an asthma prevalence more than twice the national average: 20% vs. 9.4% respectively. Baltimore’s pediatric asthma hospitalization rate is the highest in Maryland and one of the highest in the country, and ED visits among African American residents have been calculated to be 6.5 times higher than White residents.
emocha’s digital adherence program has proven efficacy in multiple studies, including an NIH-funded study in which emocha secured 94% average adherence and saved ~$1,400 per patient and CDC reports detailing emocha’s activities during Hurricane Harvey and a recurring TB outbreak in Puerto Rico. Previous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) among children with poorly controlled asthma. Results from one study demonstrated that all children who engaged in the intervention showed significant improvements in asthma management. Another study that evaluated a school-based DOT program for pediatric asthma found that participants experienced more symptom-free days, fewer activity limitations, fewer days absent from school, and fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
“Studies have shown that DOT can help children with asthma in low-income settings, and emocha has perfected video-based DOT using engagement and video technology,” says Sebastian Seiguier, CEO of emocha. “This cutting-edge, cost-effective program was a home run, as kids learned to use their inhalers properly, and clearly expressed how much better they could breathe even after just a few weeks on emocha. We are excited to expand this program to children in the school-based setting.”
About emocha Mobile Health
emocha empowers patients to take every dose of medication through video technology and scalable human engagement. Patients use a smartphone application to report side effects, communicate with providers, and video record themselves taking medication at every dose. Providers or emocha’s clinician-led Adherence Solution team use a secure web portal to assess compliance adherence and engage with patients. The platform is being used by public health departments, hospitals, health centers, and managed care organizations across the globe to radically improve medication adherence for patients with diabetes, tuberculosis, opioid use disorder, asthma, COPD, hepatitis C, and other chronic and infectious diseases. Learn more at www.emocha.com.
About LifeBridge Health
As one of the largest, most comprehensive and most highly respected providers of health-related services to the people of northwest Baltimore, LifeBridge Health advocates preventive services, wellness and fitness services, and educational programs. LifeBridge Health consists of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Bon Secours and its subsidiaries and affiliated units, including LifeBridge Health & Fitness and the LifeBridge Medical Care Centers in Eldersburg, Mays Chapel and Reisterstown. Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital and Carroll Hospital are all acute-care general hospitals with complementary clinical centers of excellence.
Contact: Sarenka Smith | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | phone: 443.525.0156