Department of Medicine 2016 Tech Challenge

New Uses of Information Technology to Advance the Missions of the Department of Medicine

A multidisciplinary mobile health superuser team to assist in adoption and implementation of mobile health apps in clinical care

Idea Status: 

The Problem:

There are over 165,000 mobile health (mhealth) applications available which can help patients with medication management, mental health, exercise, weight loss, symptom tracking, etc. However, these apps are being underutilized and physicians know very little about the full spectrum of apps available for patients. This is a tremendous underutilized resource that can empower patients to better manage their care, especially when they have complex medical conditions and treatment plans.

The Barriers:

1. Providers do not have time to identify the best mhealth aps for our patients

2. Even if mhealth apps are identified, it is difficult to implement patient and provider adoption of such technology

Proposed Solution:

Assembling a multidisciplinary team of mhealth app superusers to assist various clinic settings to identify technology options that will allow them to better take care of their patients. Such a team would include at least physicians, pharmacists, and patients who have protected time to identify and test mhealth apps/products and develop areas of expertise. For example, the team could work with a clinic that has identified medication management as a barrier for their patients. The team then tests medication assistance mhealth apps and could even evaluate SMS technologies for patients without smart phones and develop recommended tools to use. They can present this to the clinic and can work with the clinic on an implementation strategy that fits within the clinic work-flow to empower patients and providers to adopt the identified technology. Once this has been successful in a clinic environment, it could be distributed to other clinics facing the same challenge and the team can move on to a new area of need. This superuser team may also be able to work directly with mhealth companies identify unaddressed clinic needs that can be better addressed by mhealth in the future.


I love this idea as it seems that there is an explosion of clinical technology for clinical decision making but little quality control of them.  Similarly, it seems that our "screen procedure" for clinical apps should include a serious quality control made up of clinicians, field experts and computer information experts to ensure UCSF faculty use only the top quality materials for patient care.  When expanding on your project I would include who will be the stakeholders at the table and what process you will use to review the various apps.

Commenting is closed.