The problem and the solution
Ineffective communication among healthcare professionals and patients can dramatically increase misdiagnosis and mistreatment cases. To prevent patient harm and adverse effects implementation of means to improve the communication between involved parties becomes crucial in preventing negative patient outcomes. The ultimate objective of any doctor-patient communication is to improve the patient's health and medical care. Effective doctor-patient communication is a central clinical function, and the resultant communication is the heart and art of medicine and a central component in the delivery of health care. The three main goals of current doctor-patient communication are creating a good interpersonal relationship, facilitating exchange of information, and including patients in decision making. . HealMate is a mobile application aiming to facilitate a better exchange of information between medic and patient, this way reducing the communication gap between them.
Studies shown that the patients willingness to self-monitor might be associated with disease controllability. In the modern world's chaos it is easy to forget to take a break and listen to our body, and monitor our chronic or acute symptoms evolution this way we often reach out to medical help only when our condition already turned to critical. Self-monitoring could be an instrument of preventive medicine and a tool which clears the path to a healthier lifestyle. HealMate provides means to self-monitor the occurring symptoms this way raising awareness towards a healthier lifestyle.
Our everyday life is filled with habits, these habits may have positive or negative impact on our health. Everybody needs to find its own uniq balance of habits to maintain a healthy lifestyle. HealMate provides means to monitor symptoms in conjunction with habits, this way helping people to find the habits which have the most positive or negative impact on their health, so that they can take action and implement changes in their lifestyle. Does Yoga help to reduce chronic back pain intensity ? Does meditation reduce anxiety ? Does oolong tea help reduce allergy symptoms? Probably yes, but in conjunction with the medical treatment prescribed by healthcare professionals everybody needs to discover on its own the healthy habits which provides further relief. HealMate aims to help in this journey by providing research based informations to its users. Through habit recording patients may record their medication habits, this can bring great value to healthcare professionals to determine if in conjunction with the observed symptoms adjustments in medication are needed remotely, this provides the opportunity to call the patient back for further evaluation, instead of waiting weeks or months until the patient returns, this way highly increasing the efficiency of the treatment.
HealMate is a mobile application on IOS and Android platforms. It is developed in Xamarin Forms, an open source cross-platform framework from Microsoft. It is supported by a Microsoft Azure backend with SQL, Authentication services. Also has a Web Application extension intended only for healthcare professionals to monitor the patients symptoms which helps in treatment plan assessment and overall diagnosis improvements. The Web application is communicating through Web API's with the HealMate backend to present symptoms informations of patients (after their explicit legal consent ).
Impact on COVID-19
in context of the current COVID-19 crisis HealMate can support the medical infrastructure by helping in early detection of potentially infected patients and by monitoring the infected population in the recovery phase. By self-monitoring patients may report their health status to their medical provider this way early signs of the infections can be observed. Also in the recovery phase patients who relapse can be observed faster reducing the risk of propagation of the disease. Using statistical analysis on all data medics can gain deeper understanding faster of the infection signs and symptoms. After the COVID-19 crisis HealMate will continue its mission to help those who seek a healthier life.
To increase the added value of HealMate support from medical community is needed in terms of partnerships to extend the applications capabilities to cover more needs and increase the efficiency of the patient medic interaction. Since information security is in our top priorities we need legal and technical experts to help continuously increase data privacy and compliance to all regulations.
During the EUvsVirus we took the advantage to implement the last features needed for an MVP. Currently we are preparing the app for launch in the Apple AppStore with the following features:
- Local and social account login
- Cloud data synchronisation and storage
- Custom and predefined symptoms journaling
- Custom and predefined habits journaling
- Symptoms intensity evolution chart
- Photo journaling features
Business model: HealMate App - Freemium model with optional subscription HealMate Web App for healthcare professionals - three types subscription packages
Soon we will release the mobile app on IOS devices and start to prepare the release for Android devices. The design, wireframe and project definition of the Web application is done, the development of the product is ongoing. We would like to find partners to test in real world scenarios our products.
References:  Improving Patient Safety Through Provider Communication Strategy Enhancements - Catherine Dingley, RN, PhD, FNP, Kay Daugherty, RN, PhD, Mary K. Derieg, RN, DNP, and Rebecca Persing, RN, DNP.