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AN APP TO ENGAGE PATIENTS
Self Care Catalysts in Toronto has developed a mobile- and web-based app that patients can use to share relevant medical information, such as symptoms, medications and moods. They can also supply health data from their smartwatches and other wearable devices, and interact with their peers on the app’s social network for support.
The company plans to capture everything that happens to patients "outside the clinic in the real world in real-time,” says the company’s founder and CEO Grace Castillo-Soyao. Much remains unknown about patients’ experiences and decisions between visits to doctors or researchers, she notes. Doctors and researchers can look at anonymized, aggregated data from patients to monitor, say, how well drugs or behavioral intervention programs are working, Castillo-Soyao explains.
By engaging with patients, doctors and researchers can also hopefully keep patients in clinical trials. As Castillo-Soyao points out, “One of the most expensive problems in clinical trials is retaining patients. By engaging patients, we can help retain them.”