Quality healthcare outcomes largely depend on patient adherence to recommended treatment regimens. Even more so when treating patients with chronic and complex conditions. Data from Clalit, Israel’s largest HMO, shows that approximately 50% of its chronic patients do not adhere to the recommended medical treatment, thus hindering care outcomes.
A collaboration between Clalit HMO, IQVIA and Octopus.Health, a start-up co-founded by Clalit and IQVIA, has yielded the design, development and implementation of an AI-based platform that identifies patients who need better support to comply and adhere to their medical treatment plans. The platform has been integrated in Clalit’s systems earlier this year, targeting 300,000 of Clalit’s chronic patients, studying their preferences, and interacting with them to enhance adherence to their treatment plans. The platform’s implementation at scale has already provided measurable clinical impact and indicates significant results.
The system’s interaction with patients is personally tailored to their demographics and clinical data, and applies behavioral economics trial-and-error models to increase its effectiveness. Once treatment gaps have been identified, the system begins interacting with the patient. It introduces healthcare services that are made more accessible in order to encourage adherence. For example, in case a critical medication has not been picked up from the pharmacy, the patient will be offered home delivery of the medication. Additional proactive services include, scheduling appointments in case patients have discontinued their medication intake, providing complementary information when side effects are reported and more. All interactions generated by the system are preformed online and immediately.
· Octopus.Health provides a comprehensive platform that includes an AI-based patient support solution for patients and healthcare service providers. It offers patients a digital tool for managing their appointments, medications, communities, documents, educational material and a communication channel to healthcare service providers. Healthcare service providers are able to initiate proactive processes through the system to manage treatment gaps, adherence issues, follow ups, reminders and more.
Dr. Doron Netzer, Head of Clalit’s Community Medicine Department, stated “this service was created given the realization that in modern medicine, we cannot maintain the concept of reactive medicine. Rather, we need to transition to a proactive approach, which assists patients in making health-promoting decisions on an ongoing basis, not only during the medical encounter initiated by the patient. In this day and age, it is crucial not only to formulate optimal treatments for each patient but also to make sure that the patient understands and applies the guidelines. The platform we developed has already identified thousands of treatment gap cases due to misunderstanding of treatment recommendations, manner of administering medication, or the occurrence of side effects, and provides patients with an adequate response.”
Prof. Ran Balicer, Clalit’s Chief Innovation Officer, stated “Clalit is one of the first health organizations in the world to have implemented such an advanced, AI-driven system to promote individually tailored proactive medicine. Technology finally allows us to provide solutions that link patients and their care providers in a way that empowers patients and allows informed shared decision-making. We are proud that the data assets of Clalit and Clalit Innovation’s business development unit, together with Octopus.Health were able to provide unique value, that I believe will be useful to many health organizations globally which all share similar challenges”.
Yoav Ariav, CEO of Octopus.Health, stated “the reasons why patients struggle to adhere to treatment vary and are not merely the result of forgetfulness. They depend on the patient’s health literacy, support of family and close environment, cultural aspects, the patient’s self-image, willingness to acknowledge the medical condition at hand, the rapport patients have with their medical team, existing or perceived side effects, as well as financial aspects. The goal of our platform is to emphasize to patients that their treatment serves them in achieving their goals and to harness them to its success. The process led by Clalit and Octopus.Health empowers patients in their role of managing their medical conditions, and creates another role in the patient’s journey – a personal, AI-based medical assistant, serving as a connecting link between patients and their care teams.”
Alon Schwartz, Head of Digital Data Department at Clalit’s IT and Digital Division, stated “this new service is part of a comprehensive organizational approach to advance patient-tailored digital services. We have developed an AI-based system that identifies patients that need support in complying with their treatment, studies their habits, and communicates with them in a personalized manner.”