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Frequently Asked Questions

Health Literacy

What is health equity?

According to the World Health Organization: “health equity is defined as the absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health among population groups defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically.”

What is health literacy?

According to HRSA, the U.S. Gov’t Health Resources & Services Administration “Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions. Low health literacy is more prevalent among older adults.

What is E-health literacy?

E-health literacy is the degree that patients can access, understand, and utilize digital health interventions and solutions as part of an individual’s overall healthcare.

What is digital health literacy?

Digital Health Literacy is the degree that patients can access, understand, and utilize digital health interventions and solutions as part of an individual’s overall healthcare.

Why is healthcare literacy important?

Healthcare literacy is important so individuals can play an active role in their own health, the same way financial literacy helps individuals manage their finances and financial health.

What is a prescription digital therapeutic?

A prescription digital therapeutic is an FDA cleared software application (app) that is prescribed by a physician or other healthcare professional who can write prescriptions. A prescription digital therapeutic is typically used in conjunction with medication and/or therapy. Digital therapeutics treat and manage the behavioral component of diseases or conditions and leverage current gold standards for behavior change like CBT, cognitive behavior therapy. As all diseases have a behavioral and mindset component if even just to deal with the stress of being sick, CBT is applicable for most medical problems including depression, addiction, diabetes, PTSD, insomnia, hypertension and more.

What is a prescription digital therapeutic?

Remote Monitoring, also known as Remote Patient Monitoring and Remote Physiologic Monitoring (RPM) is using any combination of technology to monitor patients outside of the clinic or hospital. The technology can include medical devices, consumer devices, sensors, AI based software, monitoring devices, microphones, video cameras and patient inputted data. What gets measured gets monitored: the goal is to track patients to prevent, predict and catch medical problems early. RPM is also used for medication dosing optimization, feedback loops and behavior change.

The ideal Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is personalized to the patient and disease or condition; fits seamlessly into the patient’s life; tracks and metricizes biomarkers, environment, behavior, physical and/or mental states; is actively monitored by a combination of software and humans in real-time; and has a fast, easy way to connect the patient to a healthcare professional when the RPM data and analysis indicates that is needed.

What are the benefits of remote patient monitoring?

The benefits of remote patient monitoring include catching medical problems early or in time to save a patient’s life, tracking disease progression, and helping elicit behavior change through feedback loops.

Are there any disadvantages of remote patient monitoring?

There are some disadvantages to remote patient monitoring. There can be too much irrelevant data that overwhelms the patient or healthcare professional. With any device or test, there is always a risk of false positives, false negatives, or incorrect data. More devices and data transfer mean more opportunities for security breaches. 

What causes poor health literacy?

Many things cause poor health literacy. Until the past 2 decades, healthcare information was not easy to access outside of medical school and other educational institution or a clinic and hospital visit. The people who worked inside of the healthcare system were the experts, and to get information a patient had to go to these experts. This is normal operating procedure for anyone who was born before 1985.

Fast forward to 2021, and the amount of accessible healthcare information can be overwhelming for individuals who don’t work in healthcare. It can also be difficult to separate fact from fiction using Dr. Google. Those who don’t have easy access to the internet are still reliant on learning about healthcare from their doctors, clinicians, and nurses.

Another contributing factor to poor health literacy is fear. Being sick can be scary for anyone. Some patients aren’t open to learning or new ways of doing things when they are scared, making a new disease, condition, or disorder more difficult to teach and treat. 

How does remote monitoring work?

The way remote monitoring or remote patient monitoring works is the patient has a combination of monitoring devices, sensors, and software. The monitoring devices can be consumer devices, FDA cleared clinical grade devices, or a combination of both consumer and clinical grade devices. These devices and sensors can metricize, monitor, and track biomarkers and vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse rate, pulse rate variability, EKG, blood oxygen level, glucose levels, temperature and more. Devices can also metricize and monitor the environment or behavior. Devices can include smart watches, blood pressure monitors, temperature monitors, video cameras, microphones, implanted sensors, sensor patches that stick to the skin, wall sensors, sensors embedded in clothing and more.

Some of these devices can store the patient’s data on the device for download over cable, some are Blue-tooth enabled, some are directly connected to the internet, some use near-field communication, some use edge-computing, some use cloud-computing. In order to be used with a clinic or hospital, the data transfer needs to be secure and HIPAA compliant.

The health plan, employer, physician, or other healthcare professional works with the patient to determine the best combination of devices or sensors for that individual. The healthcare professional or organization then uses a combination of software and humans to actively monitor the patient in real-time 24/7.