MEDLY
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Lifting the chronic disease burden

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Need

One of the biggest burdens we face today globally is chronic disease. These include chronic heart failure, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes, representing 63% of deaths worldwide.1 In Canada, the cost of chronic diseases on the healthcare system is as high as 93$ billion annually for treatment and lost productivity.2

The treatment for chronic diseases is further complicated as more than one-third of Canadians face two or more chronic health conditions at the same time.3 Amongst Canadians aged 65 and over, 74% have at least one chronic condition, and 24% have three or more.4 Putting the numbers aside, patients with multiple chronic conditions often face reduced quality of life, challenges in taking control of their conditions, and requires more resources from the healthcare system.5

But there is an opportunity to take away the worry from chronic diseases and lighten the burden for the patient, their loved ones, and the healthcare system.

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Our Service

The Medly mobile application was developed to support patients with two or more chronic conditions and their clinicians to better manage symptoms and enable real-time feedback. Medly is connected to bluetooth-enabled devices, so that patients can record their data such as daily blood pressure readings and weight to make sure they’re on track. Users can also send and receive information about medications, lab results, educational materials. The clinical care team can remotely monitor the user’s health status and be notified through automated alerts when their patients experience abnormal symptoms. With an open and readily available communication channel, the patient can worry less and get back to doing the things that make them happy.

Healthcare Human Factors is leading the product and service design of Medly. We designed the entire process from the moment when the patient receives Medly from their doctor, sets up the app, brings it home for everyday use, to their next visit to the doctor. We held workshops with the clinic to ensure that the process aligns seamlessly with the existing clinical workflow. At every stage, we ensure that with Medly in hand, the patient will feel more empowered, in control, and happier.

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What’s Next

Our team has worked closely with Medly from the inception of the app, to its first randomized controlled trial, which demonstrated improvements in heart function and self-care,6 to its deployment today. The Medly app is now being operationalized at the heart failure clinic at University Health Network, one of the largest hospital networks in North America. There, Medly is being prescribed by the clinician to the patient to take home, as they would with any prescribed drugs. Moving forward, we will be working with other clinics and hospitals to implement Medly, and change the lives of those with multiple chronic conditions.

1 Global Status on Noncommunicable Disease. World Health Organization. 2011.
2 Mirolla M, The Cost of Chronic Disease in Canada, GPI Atlantic Jan 2004.
3 Why Health Care Renewal Matters: Learning from Canadians with Chronic Health Conditions, Health Council of Canada, December 2007. Retrieved from http://www.healthcouncilcanada.ca/tree/2.20-Outcomes2FINAL.pdf
4 Seniors and the Health Care System: What Is the Impact of Multiple Chronic Conditions?, Canadian Institute for Health Information, January 2011. Retrieved from https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/air-chronic_disease_aib_en.pdf
5 Ibid.
6 Seto E, et al. Mobile Phone-Based Telemonitoring for Heart Failure Management: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res 2012;14(1):e31

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