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AZ: We have to be able to show mHealth can work

Still room for improvement in mobile health, Andy Jones tells ThinkDigital

AstraZeneca Me&MyCOPD Android mobile appMore work is necessary for pharma to prove its mHealth initiatives can lift patient outcomes, according to AstraZeneca.

The company's Andy Jones told DigitasHealth Lifebrands' ThinkDigital event in London earlier this week that current uses of mobile health technology can be improved.

Jones, who heads up AstraZeneca's Intelligence Pharmaceuticals Group, said: “We think we can do better than the current level of mobile health. We think we can do better by putting the patient at the heart of an integrated system.

“But it is vitally important in the mHealth system that we demonstrate these things work - our goal is to run clinical evaluations to demonstrate improved outcomes.”

As part of this mission AZ is currently putting its Me&MyCOPD service, which the company is developing with Exco Intouch, though a clinical trial in the north-west of England. See a picture of the Android app above.

The digital health support service aims to enhance patient management of their condition by combining mobile devices with medication and symptom monitoring.

Me&MyCOPD uses Bluetooth monitoring of the inhaled medication and patients enrolled on the UK programme will be offered personalised coaching and real-time information about their disease and treatment, enabling them to collect, transmit and review their own clinical data.

AstraZeneca is also poised to begin US tests of a web and smartphone-based self-management tool for patients with diabetes. Patient pilots of the service, which aims to help patients manage their disease, make lifestyle changes and delay the need for insulin, are set to begin in December.

Earlier this year the company signed a further mHealth partnership, this time with Vodafone and will work with the telecoms giant to develop a range of mHealth services for patients with cardiovascular conditions.

“[If] you have a drug that works you have to make sure patients get all the support they can to make sure they use it well, because then you will get a better outcome - that's what we believe,” Jones said.

26th September 2014

From: Healthcare

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