WALTHAM, Mass. – Providers find a variety of patient engagement tools to be effective, but a majority feel payers should cover the cost of them, a recent survey by the NEJM Catalyst Council has found.
Just over half of respondents said patient engagement technology tools can create an ecosystem that allows for better predictive analytics around patient health and more timely intervention, the survey authors said.
The online survey was sent to members of the council, which include U.S. health care executives, clinical leaders and clinicians at organizations directly involved in health care delivery. A total of 595 completed surveys were included in the analysis.
The top two benefits of using technology tools for patient engagement, said the respondents, are to support patients in their efforts to be healthy and to provide input to providers on how patients are doing when not in clinic.
Biometric measurement devices, including wireless scales and glucometers, are the most effective tool, said 85% of respondents. Second were apps for smartphones (75%), followed by texting (70%).
More than half of survey respondents said the fact that patient engagement technologies are not covered by insurance is the top barrier to implementation. Other barriers are the lack of integration with electronic medical records, the cost to the patient, unclear benefits and complexity of use.
Sixty percent of respondents believe payers should cover the cost of patient engagement technology tools.
“Views about technology tools for patient engagement are evolving rapidly,” the survey authors wrote in their analysis. “The use and payment of these tools is changing, and there is more work to be done to understand the efficacy of using patient engagement technology to help manage chronic disease and improve health behaviors.”