High Quality, Low Cost HealthCare Video Interview Series: Dr. Jennifer Dyer and EndoGoal
Last week, we met with Casey Quinlan who advocated asking the question, "How Much Is That?" in order to promote cost transparency in healthcare.
This week, we visit with Dr. Jennifer Dyer, in Columbus, Ohio. Jen is a pediatric endocrinologist and entrepreneur and "Endogoddess" on Twitter and her blogsite. Her mobile app, EndoGoal, has just been released. EndoGoal helps those with diabetes monitor their glucose and, through gamification, rewards them when they do. For additional information, see the post on EndoGoal.
For those with chronic disease, self-monitoring is crucial. If the patients can monitor themselves, at home, they can reduce medical emergencies and hospitalizations, thus reducing costs and raising quality of care.
To see other videos in this series, please go to this page. And if you have a story to tell that can reduce healthcare costs and raise quality of care, please comment below or email me at email@example.com Thanks!
Video transcript (by TranscriptionStar)
Joan: Hello. I'm Joan Justice from HealthWorks Collective. And I'm here with Dr. Jennifer Dyer. She is pediatric endocrinologist and a entrepreneur. Jen has just introduced her diabetes app called EndoGoal, and she's here today to talk about it, and how it can help motivate those with diabetes to monitor and treat their illness, and therefore reduce the risk of hospitalizations. So Jen, why don’t you tell us a little bit about EndoGoal how you got started, what your mission is?
Jen: So thank you so much Joan for having me and giving me the opportunity to tell you about EndoGoal. EndoGoal is a very exciting app that I have developed in concert Duet Health and Duet Health are my technology partners, and I'm a pediatric endocrinologist as you mentioned, so my experience along with their technology abilities we have designed the EndoGoal app to motivate health behavior specifically glucose checking, and the app is a rewards program, so its basically rewards, real money rewards that you get for checking your bloods sugars on a daily basis.
It also has a gaining feature and essentially what we're trying to do is to with a chronic and curable disease like IVs. We're trying make it rewarding and motivating to do the daily monotonous task of checking your blood sugar everyday even when you don’t want to, and giving a reward and having a gaining feature is essentially how we're doing them.
Joan: Okay that sounds really interesting. And how does the motivation work?
Jen: So the motivation works in two ways. The number one way is really through a Basic Rewards Program. So for instance very similar to rewards programs like when you get points that you're a grocery store and you get to get gas that basically you get points for doing a daily pass that is part of your life. So for someone with the diabetes checking your blood sugar is a part of their life.
And as they do it four times a day which is basically the -- for most people on insulin and this is Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes anybody that's on insulin they're instructed to check their blood sugars four times a day with each of the three large meals and at that time in order to maintain information about how their blood sugars are doing, and that directly correlates with good health, reduce hospitalizations, so essentially the motivations works that if you check your blood sugar everyday whether its high or low, you get a point and when you open up the app once a day and enter those for blood sugars you get a extra point.
And every week you get to cash in those points for a real award. If you're part of the corporate program then you get a health savings that count your employer will actually be the one that's giving you the money. So in fact you get real money that is a discount on your health insurance, and that's essentially what the reward is, and as far as another motivating factor is the fact that there's a sweet little dog named Cooper.
Joan: I saw the dog. I'm real partial to dogs. I noticed Cooper by the way.
Jen: Actually Cooper is based on my past golden retriever Cooper, and Cooper passed away last year and I'm honoring him by being part of the app, and the fact that when you take care of yourself you get to take care of Cooper, so every time you check your blood sugar, you get to feed Cooper and if you don’t check your blood sugar then Cooper goes hungry and it motivates you to not let Cooper be hungry so the gaming feature is based on appointment game dynamics theory which is kind of like the Tamagotchi digital pet which I remember several years back that its essentially we didn’t constantly interact with it or engage it, and the pet would die.
But I found out with consumer [Phonetic] [0:04:25] research that it would be way traumatizing for Cooper to die, so he just is hungry.
Joan: Okay that's much better. I like that much better. What do the patients and doctors think of the app so far? Have you had any feedback?
Jen: I have actually I did get feedback from a doctor in Portland that had a patient with diabetes that she was about 20 and she had diabetes when she was 12, and she was experiencing something that's common. That's called diabetes for now. She just didn’t want to have it anymore and she's a great kid. She knows everything to do right with diabetes, but she just was frustrated and didn’t want to have it anymore.
And her doctor was able to recommend a tool the EndoGoal app that really her face lit up whenever she you know realized oh there's an app that I can use, and just the fact that its on a mobile phone and into the platform that she likes made her feel special in the sense that oh, you know this is the way I like to check my blood sugars and I got a reward for it.
And the doctor just felt really great and being able to recommend a tool that helps her patient so much, so I mean that was the dream kind of response that I love to hear these kind of responses.
Joan: Sure. Do you have any future apps in mind anything for the near future?
Jen: Well, probably the next step that I'd like to do is once I confirm and like a large user base as well as clinical trials that I'm planning that it works really well for diabetes. I'd really like to move to other conditions like taking your blood pressure that would probably be on the things I like to do next maybe even asthma medication, but working in the field of medication adhering so I mean the possibilities are endless.
So I'm focusing on diabetes first because its something that makes sense to me the most right now, but I definitely want to expand into other areas and customizing the idea to each of the different areas because diabetes is unique and so are so as asthma so is my blood pressure. Everything has a unique component to it, so every single app needs to be personalized to that condition.
Joan: That's great. Thank you so much Jen and congratulations on the successful launch of your app and in order to reduce the cost of chronic disease we really need to motivate patients to do whatever it takes to monitor themselves, take care of themselves, and reduce the hospitalizations and the trips to the ER. So EndoGoal I think is a big step forward.
Jen: And that we're really excited. Its and really as a doctor I chose to do a consumer product like EndoGoal and focus mostly on the patients life because its in daily life for diabetes that the most significant choices are made that affect health are actually made, so focusing on daily life, and kind of like the quantified self-movement is really inspired me to focus more in the consumer space instead of focusing on the hospital or focusing on doctors and even though I'm a doctor I think that you're always going to get more bank for your buck as far as effort goes in reducing cost and improving quality in diabetes when you're focusing on the patient.
Now maybe open heart surgery improvements, the patient is under anesthesia so the best way that you're going to get improvements is by focusing on the doctor, the hospital process, but in a chronic disease like diabetes where all of the choices that are made everyday are the ones made by the patient that's where the biggest of factor is going to be, so I think focusing on future chronic diseases like diabetes where you get to live a full life, but you have to live it managing diabetes is what this kind of app is going to be good for.
Joan: Great Jen thanks so much.
Joan Justice is currently the Senior Curator for HealthWorksCollective. She holds both a nursing and a graduate business degree, and has worked in domestic and international marketing management for several major healthcare corporations. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.