iMHere is an mHealth platform promoting clinician-guided self-care to patients with chronic diseases. Internet accessibility provides a secure bridge between patients’ smartphone applications and a web-based clinician portal, and successfully empowers patients to perform subjective self-care and preventative measures. The app was designed to send monitorial data to the portal and also receive output regarding self-care regimens as recommended by the attending clinician. The combination of interactive, real-time medical monitoring with patient control offers a powerful, unique solution for patients living with chronic illnesses where cognitive and physical disabilities present significant barriers to effective self-care.
Using a web-based portal, the clinician (typically a nurse coordinator, social worker, case manager, or patient advocate) could monitor patients’ compliance with regimens and indicate self-care plans to be delivered to the patient via the app, allowing the clinician to monitor a patient’s status and intervene as needed. Clinicians could use the portal to tailor a regimen or treatment plan for each and every patient (e.g. scheduled medication, wound care instructions, etc.) and the portal would consolidate the plan to the smartphone app in real time—an advancement over existing comparable health portals which cannot push data to the app. Results of clinical implementation suggest that the iMHere app was successful in delivering values for patients and in engaging them to comply with treatment. In the first 6 months of the clinical implementation, patients have been consistently using the app for self-management tasks and to follow the regimes set up by their respective clinicians. We observed that the daily usage increased significantly in the first two months (from approximately 1.3-times/day to over 3-times/day), and then plateau at around 3.5 times per day per patient. This pattern of increasing usage in the first two months and the subsequent plateau is relatively consistent across all patients. The app is currently available in Android platform with an iPhone version under development.