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Researchers Receive $1 Million Grant to Study Digital Screening Intervention Tool for Adolescents and Young Adults

cliexa is excited to partner with the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) with a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health that provides nearly one million dollars over the next two years for the implementation of cliexa-OPTIONS, a digital screening intervention tool that fosters earlier identification of high-risk adolescents in a clinical setting. The funding supports independent evaluation including, cost-benefit analysis and randomized controlled trial of the cliexa-OPTIONS risk screening tool and MyPLAN mobile health follow-up. The Principal Investigator for the project at UNC is Dr. William Merchant. He is the evaluation professor in the Applied Statistics and Research Methods program in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. 

The cost-benefit analysis assesses cost savings between the cliexa-OPTIONS risk screening against current paper pencil and verbal screenings. Also, the cliexa-OPTIONS risk screening identifies 30- 50% more risk in adolescent populations fostering early identification of adolescents at highest risk for acquiring an STI or experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Improving quality in clinical workflows for adolescent and young adult populations is timely, given that sexually transmitted infections for young people ages 15 -24 are at epidemic proportions.

Saving time and keeping providers satisfied with new technology in clinical workflows is no simple task. The cost-benefit analysis will also assess the benefits of early identification of adolescents at highest risk for adverse reproductive health outcomes, substance use, mental health, and wellness.

Read the full article at: //www.unco.edu/news/newsroom/releases/million-dollar-grant-digital-screening-intervention-tool.aspx

Image of the White House Lawn

cliexa’s hard work and commitment to improving our country’s healthcare systems has been recognized by the Office of American Innovation (OAI) for our advancements within the industry. The OAI, appointed by President Donald J. Trump, and led by Jared Kushner, has invited cliexa to attend the 2019 White House Blue Button Developers Conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, July 30th at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. We are humbled and honored to receive this invitation. We are looking forward to connecting and potentially collaborating with policymakers, technologists, and medical experts to advance the sharing of medical information through mobile technology.

We are one of the few technology vendors who have successfully enabled the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) Blue Button 2.0 API into our software platforms. According to CMS’s website, the Blue Button 2.0 API is a “developer-friendly, standards-based API that enables Medicare beneficiaries to connect their claims data to the applications, services and research programs they trust.” This API enables patients to sync their Medicare accounts to our applications and bi-directionally share the information, specifically claims data, to their providers, and care teams.

With this information, there are a variety of potential outcomes from leveraging this data, including streamlined documentation and the secure exchange of patient information which can lead to uncovering new insights about patients’ health status and increasing time for face-to-face interactions between patient and provider.

Image of cliexa-EASE with CMS' Blue Button 2.0 API enabled

Our first use case for this API was in our application, cliexa-EASE, designed for the Department of Health and Human ServicesAgency for Healthcare Research and Quality‘s Step-Up App Challenge. With this build, we were selected as one of the three winners of this challenge. The goal of the challenge was to develop an application that simplifies the process of collecting, interpreting, aggregating and sharing patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data related to physical function outcomes. Using the Blue Button 2.0 API, patients could connect Medicare accounts to our platform and share their claims data directly to the health systems’ electronic medical record system. Other functionalities including the connection and aggregation of data from IoT and wearable devices, electronic medical record systems paired with custom, mobile clinical assessments.

To learn more about the Blue Button 2.0 API, and the Blue Button Developers Conference, visit //bluebutton.cms.gov/

 

Last week, over 12,000 public health professionals flocked to San Diego for the 75-degree weather, ocean views, and the most significant public health conference in the U.S, the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting and Expo. Two large buildings downtown were dedicated to housing deep dive conversations about, among other things, tobacco use, obesity, women’s health, racial inequity in health and the most cutting-edge research in the field. In reflection, I had three takeaways from the conference about the role and use of digital health in public health.

#1. Health technology and its benefits are not largely understood in its application to the public health community.

Many times, throughout the conference I found myself reiterating the value of a health platform for clinical, research or evaluation processes. Many people I spoke to had a genuine interest but weren’t sure how technology could optimize their work. In reality, many public health programs and projects are researched and evaluated using patient-reported data. Imagine digitizing that process so patients can participate through an application on their phone; imagine the impact that would have on response rates and loss-to-follow-up. Imagine the benefits of pushing routine surveys to patient’s phone instead of having to call to do scheduled evaluations. Not to mention the equitable distribution of programs and interventions across diverse populations, rural populations and those who have transportation barriers that technology can help address. In public health we operate in a world of outcomes, without being able to show outcomes we don’t see funding renewals, patient participation fades away, and programs fail. Health technology provides a way for researchers and evaluators to track outcomes in real time.

#2. UX/UI can be a major make-or-break when looking at making a tool that applies to diverse or vulnerable populations.

My first event was a meeting in a small room with other health technology professionals discussing the process that they’ve undergone to get health technology recognized as a section at APHA. In this room, we considered the impacts on research, evaluation, follow up, data visualization and overall patient experience. One of the most impactful conversations that I had was with a social worker who embraced technology as a tool for diverse or vulnerable populations. She emphasized how user interface and user experience can shape program success in diverse and vulnerable populations. She encouraged me to reach out to individuals who interact directly with the specific population when designing products to be used in public health settings. Only if the patient or client is engaged with the tool, can we see the successes or obtain accurate information for physicians, for researchers, or health program evaluators. A crucial point when considering Take Away #1, and the importance of highlighting tangible outcomes over time.

#3. There is “data overload” in public health.

This conference had some of the country’s top experts in health, with rows of poster projects, all with their own calculated data sets backing the findings that they were at APHA to present. Some will likely be published while others will remain in the researcher’s computer with little other exposure. I spoke to individuals who were collecting health data, payor data, and policy data, and all were positioning their data sets in different areas independent of each other despite their overwhelming connectivity. With the rate that new studies are conducted, data changes so quickly so even systematic reviews and meta-analyses become outdated far too quickly. There is an opportunity to leverage technology to collect a real-time outcomes database to ensure the hard work that researchers do to make correlations and identify patterns is not lost in the data black hole. Entities such as the CDC, NIH and WHO do an excellent job of collecting and displaying related data sets for public use, however the time that it takes to gather data often puts the data sets months to years behind the times. There is a significant opportunity for technology to lend to this real-time collection process.

Overall, the themes of APHA for me centered around how much opportunity there is to impact the way public health programs are research, delivered and evaluated through the use of digital health. These conversations were inspiring and exciting but also demonstrated how much we still have to do to fully optimize the work that we do in the public health field.

cliexa is a semifinalist in the AHRQ's Step-Up Challenge

cliexa is a semifinalist in the AHRQ's Step-Up Challenge

cliexa is one of 10 companies out of 50+ advancing to Phase 2 of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)‘s Step-Up App Challenge with the “goal of developing an app that integrates standardized patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data into clinical care and research.”

For Phase 2 of the Step Up App Challenge, cliexa will design, develop, and demo our application using the FHIR technical specifications and PROMIS® resources for patient-reported outcomes with the hope to be selected as one of the three winners, who will get the opportunity to test their product in nine practice settings affiliated with MedStar Health in Washington, DC.

Read the blog announcing the 10 semifinalists from Director of the AHRQ, Gopal Khanna, M.B.A: //www.ahrq.gov/news/blog/ahrqviews/stepup-challenge-finalists.html

Check out our portfolio of patient-reported outcomes applications: cliexa Mobile

cliexa PTSI Press Release

We are proud to announce that we have officially joined forces with Preventative Technology Solutions, who will now become apart of the cliexa family.

Here is the link to the press release about the acquisition: //www.pr.com/press-release/768313