• MJog and my mhealth could help millions of patients with chronic conditions including COPD, asthma, heart disease and diabetes to self-manage more effectively
• Supporting NHS Long Term Plan aim of improved patient self-care could reduce rising hospital readmission rates and ease health trust budget pressures
Millions of patients with chronic conditions could revolutionise their self-care and avoid repeat hospital visits thanks to a cutting-edge new partnership.
Leading patient messaging service MJog and healthcare app developer my mhealth are combining forces to help target people living with asthma, COPD, heart disease and diabetes in a bid to drastically improve their ability to self-manage their conditions.
The collaboration comes as fresh data from NHS Digital shows hospital readmissions for a group of chronic conditions has hit almost half a million patients[i]. What’s more, two thirds of hospital beds are occupied by the one third of the population with a long-term condition.[ii]
With the number of patients feeling supported in managing their conditions falling by more than a third in just six years[iii], the partnership comes at a crucial time in the health service’s bid via its Long Term Plan to improve the prominence of self-care and thus patient outcomes. MJog and my mhealth’s partnership ensures digitally enabled care is available to help patients better manage their health and conditions, a key tenet of the Long Term Plan.
Prioritising patient support
The partnership will see MJog’s unrivalled patient reach used to help the NHS-approved my mhealth communicate digitally with patients who could use its apps to support their long-term conditions.
MJog’s patient messaging service is already used by more than 4,200 GP practices across the country, meaning it easily and regularly communicates with 45 million patients – more than two thirds of the UK population.
This broad reach could prove vital considering trials by my mhealth and other independent researchers have found 90% of patients with an inhaler do not use it properly. Crucially, my mhealth’s own clinical trials have shown it can correct up to 95% of inhaler technique errors with the training in its myAsthma and myCOPD apps, the same outcome as face-to-face rehabilitation.
Importantly for under-pressure hospitals, my mhealth trial data shows readmissions in COPD patients, which cost the NHS £2,000 each, fell by 72% thanks to its app. The recent Topol review of digital health also estimated there could be an overall reduction in admissions of 19% among myCOPD users[iv].
GP surgeries already using MJog and that are located in a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that has purchased access to the my mhealth platform will be able to benefit from the collaboration at no extra cost. Full support will also be given to help practices integrate the technology, identify the relevant patient populations and provide them access to the relevant self-management support and education from my mhealth.
Kevin Nutt, chief executive at MJog, said: “With access to roughly two thirds of the country’s population, MJog’s messaging service is an excellent way to encourage patients to embrace cutting-edge apps, such my mhealth’s, that can help patients better manage their long-term conditions. Our collaboration with my mhealth has the potential to greatly improve the number of patients that engage in self-care, a key tenet of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Harry Thirkettle, senior medical advisor at my mhealth, said: “Our partnership with MJog will help CCGs rapidly identify and contact the right patients about our suite of apps that can support and educate those with chronic conditions. By encouraging self-care, the NHS will improve patient outcomes, help cut long waiting lists and reduce costs by increasing access to important services like pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation, and diabetes structured education.
“Shockingly, only 1 in 10 COPD[v] patients get the rehabilitation they need to improve their prognosis. With its accessible educational resources, my mhealth can tackle this issue and help the NHS meet a key Long Term Plan target.”
The conditions that my mhealth helps patients manage are among the most common and expensive the NHS has to deal with; roughly 4 million people are estimated to be living with diabetes[vi] costing the health service £10bn a year[vii] while approximately 1.2 million people suffer from the lung disease COPD, a financial burden of nearly £2bn each year[viii].
Leading the charge
Two forward-thinking CCGs – Knowsley and Sunderland – are among those taking part in a pilot of the collaboration whereby my mhealth’s services will be promoted to patients via MJog’s messaging service.
Out of the pair’s combined 447,500[ix] patient population, an initial 16,000 individuals with long-term conditions will be able to benefit from the NHS-approved my mhealth platform that allows them to record health-related data, and access a wide range of educational material and self-management tools.
The advantages of the collaboration between MJog and my mhealth have already been felt by some GP practices across the country.
Omer Hussein, business manager at Middlesex-based GP Direct, said: “Innovative healthcare solutions can be a great way of encouraging patients to get more involved in their own care through the use of self-care tools. We used the MJog system to offer patients access to the myAsthma app, produced by my mhealth, and we had a fantastic response.
“We identified appropriate patients through a quick search of our system and then sent out a text message to 1,008 patients using MJog. The response was great and now over 100 patients have 24/7 access to inhaler technique training, education and self-management tools.”
After the pilot, it is expected that many of the more than 100 CCGs that use my mhealth will take advantage of the MJog alliance to help them meet the NHS objectives of improved patient self-care and new care models.
[ix] https://www.sunderlandccg.nhs.uk/about-‐us/how-‐we-‐work/; Knowsley CCG Annual Report