Updated: Nov 26, 2020
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO HAVE PATIENTS ADHERE TO THEIR TREATEMENT
Studies indicate a low response rate by patients to their treatment plans. This was one of the key reasons for which motivated Ravit Ram Bar-Dea, Keren Aharon, and David Voschina to co-found an innovative start-up. Well-Beat’s mathematical and behavior psychology models combine Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning(ML) as the basis to motivate patients.
Medical staff work around the clock to provide the best care for each patient. It is therefore very frustrating when patients do not follow their healthcare plans over time, leading to a deterioration in of their condition.
How difficult is it to motivate patients?
The challenge in getting patients to follow medical plans, conduct regular checkups, and take their medication on time has been a concern for many years. 50-80 percent of chronic patients do not adhere to their care plans – a phenomena that crosses countries, cultures, illnesses, and ages. Physicians find themselves sitting across patients that nod in agreement, but do not implement their recommendations.
The main challenge in solving this serious problem is taking into consideration that people are different on the one hand, while providing a set of automated tools to motivate large populations of patients to action, on the other. This challenge drove the three founders to build a groundbreaking start-up that combines AI and ML technologies, and psychological models, that motivate patients to take their medicine, stick to their dietary plans, conduct physical activity, arrive at pre-set appointments, get their vaccines and so on, as prescribed.
The combination of mathematics and psychology enables creating a personalized message, through the right communication channel, at the right time, in the right tone, using an almost intimate language that influences even the most delicate human behaviors. The result facilitates both trust and loyalty, even under remote circumstances, using digital tools that can include a BOT.
“Over a six-month intervention, Well-Beat helped the cardio recovery team at the Sheba Medical Center, motivate patients to adhere to rehabilitation. Using the platform, the adherence tripled (300%) in comparison to previous years, without additional staff or resources” Says Ravit Ram Bar-Dea, Co-Founder & CEO of Well-Beat. “In addition, the patients’ satisfaction also grew. All of this through a hybrid activity based on behavior monitoring, risk management, and a combination of human and digital intervention.”
What do you mean hybrid activity?
“The Well-Beat solution helps caregivers through a detailed toolbar that displays - the behavioral status, communication guidance, tailored scripts and more. These enable caregivers to adapt the motivational messages, along with the clinical messages, and create diversified communication assistance. In addition, each patient receives personalized, automatic, digital messages – with tailored content, tone, and frequency.
The solution also providers managers with a macro overview via a user-friendly dashboard, that includes predictions, red flags, and overall trends.”
You speak about motivating patients, and their involvement in the treatment process. Is it possible to turn this into a formula, using a machine that understands the patient and provides recommendations?
“The launch of the solution took place following 8 statistical and qualitative research studies in both Israel and the USA, using medical teams and thousands of chronically ill patients who suffer from diabetes, heart condition, obesity, seniors and so on,” recalls Ram Bar-Dea.
“The feedback was positive, and we believe that a big part of the success stems from the ability to carry out personalized engagements with each patient, while avoiding general statements such as ‘Just do it’”
How does it work?
“Every medical process has a clinical protocol put in place by the doctors and expert teams. What to do, when to do it, which medicine to take, which physical activity, check-up frequency and so on. Well-Beat does not amend the clinical protocol, but rather adds a behavioral dimension. The recommendation engine produces messages and guidelines, for both human (caregiver) and digital dialog. The system also receives feedback about the patient’s behavior, including arrivals to treatment, which is used to update any future engagement with the caregiver.”
This is intriguing. Can you give an example of a personalized message?
“For example, some patients prefer data that compares them to others, others prefer to learn about their personal progress. Some patients are completely ignorant about comparisons and need statistical or other research. There are some patients that need to hear ‘we know this is hard for you but let us show you a similar case with great results’; or ‘people that persevered – succeeded’; ‘This treatment is important to you, and will make your family happy’. The idea is to select the right narrative, timing, and frequency. I believe that each Beat, as in music, creates the best harmony for every person…hence the company’s name.”
Tell us about current collaborations
“The platforms assist health organizations across the world. In Israel we worked with the Sheba Medical Center and we are in on-going discussions to continue. In addition, Well-Beat won a tender by the Israeli Ministry of Health, and the first step is incorporating the solution at the Israeli medical service organization - ‘Meuhedet’ HMO to treat obesity. In the USA the solution has been incorporated with the Hartford Healthcare project – Aging at Home, incorporated used by a Pennsylvania residential home, where we helped create personalized communication to motivate seniors. The results were astounding – double the number of participants in social activities. Our target goal is to reach hospitals, insurance companies, private clinics, residential homes and more.”
How did COVID-19 effect your activity?
“Over the past five months our solution has helped motivate patients classified as “high risk” to continue treatment remotely. Especially during this time of anxiety and economical concern it is more difficult to maintain the health of high-risk patients. Using Well-Beat and the proactive personalized digital engagement has motivated hundreds of patients. It is a feeling of pride with immense purpose.”
“Especially today, motivating at-risk populations and patients is of paramount importance, from an economical viewpoint, particularly at a time when the health care system must be efficient, effective, and cost-conscious. This is relevant for HMOs, communities, and private clinics – to reduce the work processes and manage the ‘blind spots’. We need to work at reducing the number of ‘no shows’, even remotely, and drive patients to maintain their treatment plans in the long run. Tools that assist in continuous process management, predictions, persistence, and preventative healthcare (flu shots), enable HMOs to reduce direct and in-direct losses caused by deteriorating health conditions.”
Originally posted on TheMarker Magazine 2020