LOS ANGELES – Mobile health engagement company mPulse Mobile is partnering with researchers at the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School on two new programs to evaluate the impact of interactive, tailored text messages with a Medicaid population.
“There is a major need for innovation in care delivery and how we can engage patients outside of just the office visit,” said Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, program researcher and associate professor of healthcare policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School, in a statement.
One program will evaluate whether interactive text messaging can help new Medicaid members select and visit a primary care clinician soon after enrolling. The other aims to activate members with chronic conditions to enroll and engage in a disease management program.
During the evaluation of both programs, two-way, tailored text messages will be delivered to a population of Ventura County, California-based Gold Coast Health Plan Medicaid members. Gold Coast works with about 200,000 Medi-Cal members.
While one-way, notification-based text messages have been widely used by health care organizations for years, research to determine the effectiveness of interactive text messaging programs tailored to targeted populations is limited, said Mehrotra.
Gold Coast believes management of chronic conditions like asthma is often unsatisfactory, leading to inadequate treatment and adherence to treatment. For this reason, one of the two mobile engagement programs will focus on increasing program enrollment and personal health engagement, where participating members will be prompted via interactive text messages to sign up for and participate in the Gold Coast asthma disease management program.
“We’re looking forward to seeing learnings from these programs applied industry-wide,” said Dr. Nancy Wharfield, associate chief medical officer, GCHP, in a statement.