Mobile Health Around the Globe: Verizon Launches Philanthropic Mobile HealthCare Programs
At the recent mHealth Summit conference, Verizon announced the launch of their innovative philanthropic healthcare program. The Verizon Foundation is investing about $13 million in non-profit partnerships through grants and in-kind technology to help combat chronic disease. See Pat Salber's previous post about the initial announcement here.
Verizon chose 4 innovators for this program:
Verizon Foundation will help the National Association of Community Health Centers fight chronic disease and promote wellness. "For the first time at Verizon we are integrating our technology solutions and philanthropy to accelerate change in healthcare and improve patient outcomes," said Rose Stuckly Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation. "We are deploying our technology together with behavior modification programs to empower people to take control of their health. To view Verizon's infographic on chronic disease, click here.
The University of San Diego will benefit from funding and technology for the work of Dr. Richard Garfein on medication compliance for patients with tuberculosis. One third of the world's population is affected by Tuberculosis, most commonly in Asia and Africa. In the US it costs over $5000 per patient to treat TB. Why? Because the treatment lasts for 6 months and medication adherence is critical. Usually, directly observed therapy (DOT) is mandated - the patient must be observed taking the medication which involves daily visits by a healthcare worker.
Dr Garfein and his team devised a program of VDOT (Video Directly Observed Therapy) whereby the patient records himself taking the pills and sends the video to the healthcare worker. This is a simple procedure (the patient just presses a green button to record) and is encrypted, secure, and HIPAA compliant. The video cannot be viewed by the patient; it is immediately encrypted and sent so if the patient loses the phone, the video is not viewable.
Dr Garfein gave a demonstration of VDOT at the mHealthSummit and answered questions about the project. Initially VDOT is on trial in California and Mexico Dr Garfein hopes that it will roll out in other countries such as Africa and Asia where TB is prevalent.
the Society for Women's Health Research will receive funding for four new pilot projects that will be conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins University and Emory University. The projects are: “Enhancing Medical Patient Outcomes With Electronic Resources (EMPOWER) Trial: Platforms for Retaining Health Information,” “Electronic Tracking of Sedentary Time Coupled with Activity Reminder (TrackSTAR),” “Cardiovascular Disease Disparately Affects Women with Diabetes: Development and Feasibility Assessment of a Smartphone Application to Promote Patient Self-management and Enhance Patient/Provider Communication,” and “Move-It Trial: Empowering High Risk Women to Help Prevent CVD and Diabetes.” Each study is designed to encourage patient self-management through innovative technology, and enhance quality of life.
“SWHR is excited for the opportunity to be one of Verizon’s first philanthropic partners,” said Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president and CEO of SWHR. “We know these projects will empower women across the country to manage their care, and we are grateful Verizon recognizes and has embraced this important cause.”
The Children's Health Fund will be the beneficiary of six mobile health pilot initiatives across the country. Mobile-Mobile units (!) - actually a truck equipped with a mini-clinic and telehealth function - will be able to visit and provide healthcare for children in underserved or remote areas.
Now watch this short video about how Verizon is helping with mobile health.
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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.