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Psorcast: A Digital Health Tool for Patients

Video

Amy McMichael, MD, provides an overview of the Psorcast app and how it can benefit treatment adherence for patients.

Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA: I know there’s a lot of interest in expanding digital health tools so we can extract some of those data from the patient, and also make sure the patient has a chance to interact with some type of adherence tools or their providers without that transportation vulnerability of having to come onsite every time. But we know there are still opportunities. Dr McMichael, with the expanse of digital health tools, how are you utilizing the Psorcast app for patients? Please discuss how that app works for patients and providers. Have you seen it benefiting treatment adherence for your patients? And are there any opportunities for this app to keep improving to better meet the needs?

Amy McMichael, MD: I do think there is a value in using interactive digital tools with our patients because we have a wonderful dermatologist and researcher here in our medical center in our dermatology department named Steven R. Feldman, [MD, PhD,] and he’s done several interventional studies using artificial intelligence. This involves asking the patient when they get started on oral or topical medication for acne, for instance, how they’re doing and checking in. And what he finds is that when you’re interacting with the patient between visits, you’re getting much more compliance with the medication they’re supposed to be on. Rather than, say, giving them a medicine, and checking with them again in 2 months. Well, if they had a problem at week 2, they don’t necessarily call, they just stop the medication. But if you’re interacting, you say, “Oh, are you having any headaches? Or are you having any nausea? Are you having any rashes?” If they say, yes, then you can answer that in real time.

I think these kinds of interactive apps work. Obviously, there are certain patient populations for whom they may not work. Folks who don’t have very high-level phones are not going to be able to do this. Older folks who don’t know how to deal with this sort of electronic interaction may not benefit from this very well because they won’t be able to understand the technology. But I do think it can be very helpful for the patient, as well as gleaning information about what does go on between those visits. As Dr Lopes intimated, we don’t know what all the social determinants of health are, and as I’ve discussed many times with a dear friend of mine who is apt to say, the social determinants of health really determine about 80% of how well people do. We’re in there doing our doctor thing, but probably only affecting about 20% of their care. So these kinds of artificial intelligence methods I think can be helpful for us to understand what we can do to interact with that piece of things, that outside piece of things that we don’t necessarily see, and that the patient doesn’t necessarily share with us when they come in for a visit.

Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA: I appreciate you sharing your perspective as a provider of digital health tools, and maybe how we can utilize them moving forward.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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