Smartphone App Improves Patient Engagement with HIV Care
Mobile health interventions have the potential to help people living with HIV improve engagement in care, promote medication adherence, and in turn, improve patient outcomes.
Mobile health interventions have the potential to help people living with HIV improve engagement in care, promote medication adherence, and in turn, improve patient outcomes, according to study findings.
Through the use of a smartphone app, researchers observed that participants became more engaged with their HIV care, resulting in improved linkage to and consistency of care, increased CD4 counts, and decreased viral loads. In addition to clinical outcomes, participants also reported that the app helped them overcome social and geographic isolation, which often act as barriers to care.
“Among young people with HIV, desired features of mobile health applications include the ability to connect to a community of other people living with HIV, connect with healthcare providers, track personal data, and obtain news and education about their health,” wrote the researchers.
To test the efficacy of such an intervention, the researchers designed and piloted PositiveLinks, a smartphone-based intervention. The app included a variety of features, including: daily queries of stress, mood, and medication adherence; weekly quizzes on general and HIV-specific knowledge; appointment reminders; and a community message board. Also utilizing incentives for app usage, participants who responded to 100% of the queries were entered into a monthly raffle to win a $50 gift certificate.
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