Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS Information Technology Award: 2017 Winners

MMS Information Technology Award: 2017 Winners

Stephanie Rutledge – NeuroCog

Category: Resident

With the wide availability of rapid and accurate diagnostic tests, the art of physical examination has unfortunately fallen by the wayside in many parts of the developed world. In this era of fast patient turnover, shorter hospital stays and earlier diagnosis and treatment, students spend less time by the bedside and are less exposed to the stark physical findings of untreated disease. There are multiple Apps relating to medical education but there is no App which provides a database of physical examination techniques. We have designed the NeuroCog App (for iOS on smartphone and tablet) to teach physical examination skills on-the-fly. This App allows learners to quickly revise examination techniques and clinical findings via 30-second high quality videos with voiceovers of physical examination maneuvers being performed correctly. This is ideal for revising on ward rounds, in the Emergency Department or when admitting patients. With the evolving landscape of medical education and being mindful of limited resources, including faculty teaching time, we need to think about the future of medical education. It is time to ask ourselves which components of medical education can be adapted for and enhanced by technology. We believe that this App is proof-of-concept that it is possible to successfully teach physical examination skills using technology.

Jackson Steinkamp – MySafeRx

Category: Student

Opioid use disorder is a serious public health issue, and more than 100 people die each day in the US due to drug overdose. Buprenorphine/naloxone (B/N) is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) which can prevent opioid overdose, decrease craving, and reduce relapse, but there are significant challenges associated with delivery of B/N. In particular, many patients do not take their medication daily as prescribed; this nonadherence worsens treatment outcomes, increases healthcare costs, and leads to persistent worries about diversion by providers and policymakers. MySafeRx is a multi-component technological platform designed to address these challenges, integrating text messaging reminders, secure electronic pill organizers, daily remote brief motivational recovery support visits, and a standardized protocol for supervised self-administration of B/N. Each day, patients use the smartphone app to videoconference with one a MySafeRx mobile recovery coach (MRC) trained in motivational interviewing. After a brief check-in, symptom assessment, and coaching session, the MRC uses the app to transmit a code, allowing the patient to access a dose of medication from the secure pill dispenser.  The coach observes medication ingestion and dissolution in the mouth, then fills out a daily report (covering adherence, substance use, safety, and mental health) which is visible to the patient’s treatment team through the online web portal. The daily intervention is conducted remotely in the patient’s own home, at their convenience. MySafeRx has demonstrated preliminary feasibility, usability, and acceptability, and a larger randomized trial (n=70) comparing MySafeRx to standard care is underway in southwest Vermont. The platform has the potential to improve adherence, reduce diversion, expand access to treatment in rural areas and among marginalized, high-risk groups, and serve as a nationwide adjunctive adherence support system for B/N treatment providers caring for vulnerable OUD patients.

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