News

Undark: Putting Digital Health Monitoring Tools to the Test

PHYSICIANS CALL IT the 5,000-hour problem. If you have a common chronic condition such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, the expert in charge of your health for almost all of your 5,000 waking hours annually is — you. And, frankly, you won’t always make the best choices. “The behavior changes that are necessary to address chronic disease are much more in your hands than in the doctor’s,” points out Stacey Chang, executive director of the Design Institute for Health at Dell Medical School in Austin, Texas. “To cede that control to the doctor sometimes is actually counterproductive.” With that in mind,…

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NPR: ‘Smart’ Pill Bottles Aren’t Always Enough To Help The Medicine Go Down

What if I told you there was a way to use technology to save an estimated $100 billion to $300 billion dollars a year in health care spending in the U.S.? That’s the estimated cost incurred because people don’t take the medications they’re prescribed. A number of companies are now selling wireless “smart” pill bottles, Internet-linked devices aimed at reminding people to take their pills. But recent research suggests that actually changing that behavior may take more than an electronic nudge. All agree it’s a worthy goal. Dr. Niteesh Choudhry, an internist at Harvard Medical School, describes the problem of not taking medication as “the…

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TMSIDK: Behavior Change

http://chibe.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/TMSIDK_S03E24_PHILLY1_v08_FIX_PUB-44k-1.mp3 Tell Me Something I Don’t Know (TMSIDK) is live journalism wrapped in a game-show package and hosted by Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books and host of Freakonomics Radio. In this episode, CHIBE’s Kevin Volpp, Katherine Milkman, and Angela Duckworth are all featured discussing how to make behavior change stick. The episode can also be listened to at Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.

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LDI eMagazine: Penn Research Posters at 2017 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting

As the U.S. political establishment continued its acrimonious debate over the direction of health care policy, more than 2,500 health services researchers assembled at the 2017 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM) in New Orleans to share their latest findings on how best to improve quality and lower costs of patient care. AcademyHealth is North America’s largest professional group of researchers focused on the organization, financing, management and delivery of health care. As usual, a sprawling section of the Research Meeting’s expo hall was devoted to a gallery of nearly 1,300 posters detailing research projects from across the country and the work of…

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When Push Comes to Nudge

Imagine if health care costs could be dramatically reduced, and outcomes improved without any heavy lifting – no bills would need to be passed, no policies approved, and no major restructuring required. What if we could simply will people to make decisions that resulted in better care and a healthier population? “Decisions are affected by emotions, bias, social context. The solution is design,” David Asch, MD, MBA, executive director of Penn’s Center for Health Care Innovation, recently said at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s annual conference. The idea that better decisions can be made simply by guiding people to them…

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MedCity News: Can technology improve medication adherence after a heart attack?

Integrating technology into the healthcare system is no longer unconventional. From helping clinicians keep track of data to assisting patients as they track their own health, technology’s benefits are numerous. But does technology make a difference in every situation? How about when it comes to outcomes after a heart attack? A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine found the answer is … no. The analysis concluded that when compared to usual care, using wireless technology, financial incentives and social support didn’t improve patient outcomes after a heart attack. As part of the study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recruited 1,509 participants,…

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Penn News: Six Research Projects at Penn Bolstered Through Quartet Pilot Competition Funding

CHIBE partnered with three other centers and schools across the University of Pennsylvania to support The Quartet Pilot competition. The grants provides support for innovative or exploratory research projects leading to National Institutes of Health grant applications. “We are seeing increasing synergy in the scholarship between our faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine, the Population Studies Center in Arts & Sciences and Wharton represented in the Quartet,” Kevin Volpp, CHIBE’s Director, said. “This creates a nice opportunity for us to help facilitate further interdisciplinary interaction between our groups, and we are quite excited about that.” Heather Schofield, an affiliated…

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MedPage Today: Triple Attack on Drug Nonadherence Still Fails in Post-AMI Setting

MedPage Today discusses the results of a study done by Kevin Volpp, Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, Dr. Shivan Mehta, Dr. David Asch, Dr. Andrea Troxel, among many others affiliated with the center. The study was done to determine if there were any statistical differences in hospitalizations based on an intervention combining wireless pill bottles, lottery-based incentives, and social support among acute myocardial infarction (MI) survivors. Unfortunately, this study showed that a system of medication reminders using financial incentives and social support did not improve medication adherence. Read the original JAMA article here. Read more…

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Knowledge@Wharton: How behavioral economics could solve America’s health care woes

http://chibe.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/20170504C-KWR-Volpp.mp3   Dr. Kevin Volpp was interviewed on the Knowledge@Wharton radio show to discuss the application of behavioral economics to the complex problem of health care reform. Volpp believes that, despite a House of Representatives vote to repeal and replace it, America isn’t done dealing with the Affordable Care Act. He and Dartmouth College economics professor Jonathan Skinner wrote an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association proposing four general principles that should be part of any effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  

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