Source: LDI eMagazine, January 3, 2017
The University of Pennsylvania LDI Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics' 2016 Behavioral Economics and Health Symposium was both a spotlight on the latest research work as well as the conclusion of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Donaghue Foundation funded program that began seven years ago. CHIBE played a lead role in the initiative whose goal was to explore the ways behavioral economics principles might be applied to health-related behaviors.
Shivan Mehta, Associate Chief Innovation Officer at the Center for Healthcare Innovation, commented on a study conducted in Australia that suggests text messages could reduce one’s odds of a second heart attack. Mehta noted that the length of the Australian study was important because earlier studies have been conducted over a period of three months or less and the first six months after a heart attack are a high-risk period during which new health habits are formed. He also commented that the Australian study targeted multiple risk factors concurrently—smoking, exercise, diet and general cardiovascular awareness, rather than focusing on a single behavior.
A recent Wall Street Journal article features CHIBE's HeartStrong Study, funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The study is currently testing new ways to motivate people to take their medicine more consistently—including greater involvement of friends and family and the possibility, every day, for those who take their pills to win a small cash prize. Shivan Mehta, director of operations at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, notes that people with active support networks tend to do better, with fewer hospitalizations and possibly lower mortality rates.