Henry Brown is a 67 year-old American living in the mid Central United States. He's prescribed multiple medications for hypertension, depression, diabetes mellitus type 2, and a recent bacterial infection. Henry is not alone. In fact, estimates suggest that at least 70% of the US aging population is prescribed multiple medications due to the rapid increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases. This presents a major challenge for our health care system. Most medications require consistent adherence to the prescribed regimen for them to achieve therapeutic effect. Yet it is known that adherence rates remain suboptimal across population and disease States. Because Henry uses a smartphone, his primary health care provider might recommend a mobile app called the Medication Tracker to help him manage his complicated medication regimen. Henry's primary health care provider recognizes apps have the potential to address the specific needs of patients in a manner that is timely, cost-effective, informative, and engaging. This app can be configured to deliver automated, personalized messaging to remind Henry to take his medication; can help Henry reinforce good self-management behaviors; can provide education on his chronic diseases; and can provide information about his medications, such as black box warnings, side effects, and contraindications for use.
1. Describe the factors that Henry's primary healthcare provider should consider when selecting an app for him.
2. Identify the features most important to facilitate the primary treatment goals of Henry and his primary provider.
3. Describe how Henry should communicate his activities with the app to his primary health care provider.
4. List some risks for Henry associated with using his app.