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Psych Congress  

Implementation of Digital Health Technologies for Real-time Monitoring of Patients With Serious Mental Illness: What Lessons Can Be Learned and Applied From Other Specialties?


Suepattra May, PhD, MPH – Precision Health Economics; Felicia Forma, BSc – Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.; Caroline Huber, MPH – Precision Health Economics; Meaghan Roach, MPH – Precision Health Economics; Jason Shafrin, PhD – Precision Health Economics; Wade Aubry, MD – University of California San Francisco; Darius Lakdawalla, PhD – Precision Health Economics; John Kane, MD – Northwell Health

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.

Introduction: Evaluation of patients with serious mental illness (SMI) relies largely on patient or caregiver self-reported disease symptoms. New technologies (e.g., mobile-based interventions, computerized cognitive remediation, digital medication adherence monitoring) are being developed to better quantify the longitudinal symptomology of patients with SMI, and better facilitate disease management. As new technologies become more widely available, however, psychiatrists may be uncertain how to integrate them into daily practice. To better understand how digital tools might be integrated into the treatment of patients with SMI, this study examines one case study of a successful technology adoption by physicians: endocrinologists’ adoption of digital glucometers.

Methods: We conducted focus groups with practicing endocrinologists from two large metropolitan areas using a semi-structured discussion guide designed to elicit perspectives of and experiences with technology adoption. Thematic analysis identified barriers to and facilitators of integrating digital glucometers into clinical practice.

Results: Ten physicians participated in the study. Respondents stated that digital glucometers represented a significant change in the treatment paradigm for diabetes care and facilitated more effective care delivery and patient engagement. Barriers to the adoption of digital glucometers included lack of coverage, reimbursement and data management support, as well as patient heterogeneity. Provider recommendations to increase use of digital health technologies included expanding reimbursement for clinician time, streamlining data management processes, and customizing the technologies to patient needs.

Conclusions: Lessons learned from endocrinology practices’ adoption of digital glucometers could be informative for clinicians considering integrating digital health technologies into routine care of patients with SMI.

This poster was presented at the 32nd annual Psych Congress, held Oct. 3-6, 2019, in San Diego, California.

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