A study lead by Mitesh Patel, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, gave 281 overweight and obese participants a goal of 7,000 steps per day for 13 weeks. Participants were randomized to one of three incentive groups with daily feedback, a gain incentive ($1.40 for each day goal was met); lottery incentive (daily eligibility if goal was achieved); or loss incentive ($42 allocated monthly upfront and $1.40 removed each day goal was not achieved) or a control group with daily feedback. They found that financial incentives framed as a loss were most effective for achieving physical activity goals.
Source: HERO, February 16, 2017
The American Journal of Health Promotion recently announced its Papers of the Year for 2016, and CHIBE's Mitesh Patel was recognized with an Editor's Choice Award. Dr. Patel's article, "A Randomized Trial of Social Comparison Feedback and Financial Incentives to Increase Physical Activity," was selected for the award based on a five-fold criteria emphasizing the timeliness of the topic and the unique contribution of the paper to the literature.
Source: NPR, February 15, 2017
Mitesh Patel provides insight on how behavioral economics intersects with health care savings behavior, and recommends new approaches to Health Care Savings accounts to leverage our predictable irrationality.
Source: Forbes, January 31, 2017
In an article on a new activity and waistline-tracking smart belt, WELT, Mitesh Patel, M.D., M.B.A., M.S. gives designers of the technology some feedback: "It would be helpful if [they] decrease[d] barriers to sustained use such as less frequent charging and being waterproof...We need more evidence on how to best design behavior-change strategies around these technologies.”
Source: USA Today, January 8, 2017
In a USA Today article, CHIBE affiliated faculty member, Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS is interviewed on the effectiveness of new fitness trackers, such as the Apple Watch, on reaching daily step count goals. Dr. Patel speaks to the importance of setting personal, realistic goals, rather than trying to reach 10,000 steps a day immediately.
Source: Time, November 2, 2016
Time magazine interviewed Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS to hear his take on the value of the new Apple Watch and other wearables for tracking fitness activity.
"Patel says wearables are most useful for consumers who are already focused on their fitness. Simply giving someone a new gizmo isn’t enough to change behaviors in a sustained way, particularly if the user has low motivation to begin with."
Source: Forbes, October, 25, 2016
In an op-ed for Forbes, Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS discusses the application of behavioral economics principles to electronic health records (EHRs), particularly in relation to generic prescriptions in light of increasing drug costs.
Dr. Patel says "Because EHRs have become ubiquitous, how they are designed impacts people across the country—for better or for worse. Behavioral modifications to the EHR interface can ensure that more patients are prescribed the lower-cost generic option when it is available."
Source: US News & World Report, October 13, 2016
CHIBE's Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS comments in U.S. News & World Report about a recent study showing that watch-like wristbands that monitor heart rate may not offer true readings during exercise. Patel, who was not involved in the research, said, "further study is needed to determine which devices are more reliable for use in clinical care."
In interviews with NPR and Men's Journal, Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS comments on a recent study at the University of Pittsburgh, which found that a group of people who were given fitness trackers while dieting and exercising lost more weight than a group who self-reported their activity - even though their activity levels were equivalent. "There aren't many — if any — long-term studies of wearable tech," Dr. Patel told NPR. This study is the longest yet, "and that's why this research is important. We need more studies like this to show what wearable tech can and can't do."
Source: Penn LDI eMagazine, August 2016
Penn LDI reports: "In a new international partnership, the University of Pennsylvania's LDI Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) will jointly conduct a series of behavioral economics studies.
CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp said 'The similarity between the issues faced in Singapore and in the US in terms of switches in provider payment toward value and concerns about the role of non-communicable diseases such as obesity and diabetes as a major driver of health costs and poor outcomes is remarkable. We are excited about the possibility of this collaboration.'
The new CHIBE/NUS project will launch a number of pilot studies in various areas of population health including better management of diabetes, medication adherence, the promotion of healthier lifestyles, and the use of wearable monitoring devices for chronic disease management."
A new CHIBE research study published in American Journal of Health Promotion found that comparing performance to average peers and offering financial incentives was the most effective method for increasing physical activity among teams of employees. "Many employers are using workplace competitions and financial incentives to encourage physical activity and other healthy behaviors among their employees," says Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS, lead author of the study. The research team's findings demonstrate that these efforts can be successful when behavioral economics principles are applied.
Source: Bench to Bedside (CHOP), June/July 2016
Researchers from CHIBE and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) are collaborating with the goal of improving teens' glycemic control through behavioral economics. Their research has been made possible through the use of CHIBE's innovative Way to Health platform. CHOP reports: "The platform automates many of the research functions necessary to perform these sorts of behavioral economic randomized controlled trials using devices such as wireless activity trackers and other mobile health applications."
Source: Medical Express, May 9, 2016
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, led by Mitesh Patel, found that a change to prescription default options in electronic medical records immediately increased generic prescribing rates from 75 percent to 98 percent. Patel commented "Our results demonstrate that default options are a powerful tool for influencing physician behaviors but that they have to be well-designed to achieve the intended goals."
Mitesh Patel, David Asch and Kevin Volpp authored an Op-Ed in The New York Times about the effectiveness of workplace wellness programs based on recent research they've published. Their research suggests that financial incentives can work well for employee wellness programs, but only if they are separated from insurance premiums.
The Washington Post published a write-up of Mitesh Patel and colleagues' past work on wearable technologies. While a lot of people are interested in the potential for wearables to transform health behaviors, there hasn't been much evidence yet that these devices do that, says Patel. There is also little understanding of how the health community can get wearables into the hands of the patients who need them most. Patel also offered some guidelines for how people or organizations can best use activity trackers.
Sources: Penn Medicine News, US News & World Report, Philadelphia Inquirer, NPR, NPR Blog, Chicago Tribune, Kaiser Health News, WebMD, HealthDay, Medical Xpress, WDAM, Metro, Human Resource Executive, PhillyVoice, Health Affairs Podcast, January 6, 2016
A study led by Dr. Mitesh Patel, published in Health Affairs, revealed that three different types of incentive programs using either health insurance premium adjustments or lottery-based financial incentives were ineffective for promoting weight loss in a randomized trial using weight scales in the workplace. Authors note that the apparent failure of the incentives to promote weight loss suggests that employers encouraging weight reduction and other healthy lifestyle choices through workplace wellness programs should test incentive designs different from the typical premium-based financial incentives.
"Wearable Devices as Facilitators, Not Drivers, of Health Behavior Change," an article written by Mitesh Patel, David Asch and Kevin Volpp was named one of the top five most popular articles of 2015 by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). According to Altmetric, the article was viewed more than 40,000 times, covered by 15 news outlets, tweeted about by 992 Twitter users and mentioned on 58 Facebook pages.
A New York Times Article entitled "Assessing the Fitness of Wearable Tech" highlighted an opinion piece featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association written by Mitesh Patel along with David Asch and Kevin Volpp.
A new study published in JAMA by Meredith Case, Holland Burwick, Kevin Volpp and Mitesh Patel is the first to compare the accuracy of smartphone apps to wearable devices when measuring physical activity. The researchers tested 10 smartphone apps and devices and found that the smartphone apps were just as accurate as the devices at tracking steps. "Our findings suggest that smartphone apps could prove to be a more widely accessible and affordable way of tracking health behaviors,” says Patel.