Bringing together patients' perspectives on eHealth and mHealth

Unmet needs to an app: CML Advocates Network

CML Advocates Network:

How can patient groups identify and demonstrate the unmet need for a specific app? To develop its treatment compliance app, a global network of patient groups, the CML Advocates Network, carried out large-scale research.

They:

  • Surveyed 2,500 patients with CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia) in 79 countries, in 12 different languages
  • Identified which treatment compliance tools patients already use, would use, or would not use
  • Found that 26 per cent of CML patients “would use” a reminder tool on their smartphone.
Do patients really need this app?

At myhealthapps we are well aware of the abundance of `me too’ apps. Discovering apps that do truly address an unmet patient or carer need are hard to find. For developers it makes no sense to produce a health app that is impossible to differentiate from all the similar ones in the market. So, when a patient group, like the Swiss-based CML Advocates Network, conducts research to confirm its belief about the need for an app they want to create, that demonstrates good practice.

Patient groups researching the unmet need

As with most daily treatments for chronic conditions, the challenge of sticking to treatment in CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia) can be daunting. To address this, the CML Advocates Network conducted large-scale research to explore motivations and behavioural patterns of adherence in CML.

The patient group surveyed more than 2,500 patients, in 79 countries, and 12 different languages.

Crucially, they asked patients which support tools for compliance they do, would, or would not use:

  • 26% would use a reminder tool for use on their smartphone.

But

  • “89% would not use email reminders.
  • 75% would not use reminders from doctors or nurses at appointments.
  • 79% would not use phone call reminders.

Their research confirmed the need for health app, given that a significant number of people with CML might find the app helpful. CML Today is the end result.

How CML Today is different from the typical compliance app 

CML Today App logo

Apps created by patient groups for adherence or compliance with treatment recommendations could play an important role in future self-management of medical conditions. The pharmaceutical industry, clinicians and patients have a shared interest in using apps to support compliance.

From both a legal and commercial perspective, the numerous compliance apps from pharma tend to focus on their specific products/brands. From a patient perspective, however, apps might be improved if they managed a range of different products/brands within a therapy area.

Apps like CML Today look more broadly than just one brand to work across a range of medications for CML. So, even if the doctor switches between brands on costs or clinical grounds, the patient can still use the same app. Non-compliance is driven by individual attitudes and behaviours. The best compliance support, like that offered by CML Today, focuses on the specific barriers and motivations for different `behavioural segments’ –selecting the right intervention, in the right way, at the right time to keep the person on track. The app also helps patients to link with support groups in their country.

CML Advocates Network demonstrates the real value of researching first to define unmet need. And by addressing that unmet need, uptake of the health app is better assured.

NEXT STEPS:

Check out the review of the app at myhealthapps.net…

Click here

 

Download a summary of the CML Advocates Network research…

Click here

Download the CML Today app on itunes…

Click here

Download the CML Today app on Google play…

Click here

 



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