Intelecare And UPenn Collaborate To Conduct Study On HPV Vaccines And Medical Adherence
University of Pennsylvania will use Intelecare's mobile reminder service to study whether SMS messaging can drive appointment adherence
New Haven, CT - August 12, 2009 - Since the FDA approved the product in 2006, 24 million doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine have been distributed throughout the United States. Health care professionals agree that the vaccine could significantly reduce or even eradicate the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world, but some also worry that many young women do not follow through with all three injections needed to render the vaccine effective.
Dosing schedules for the HPV vaccine are cumbersome, requiring three injections over a period of months. Follow through is difficult enough for those with regular schedules and even harder for urban teens and young women who often lack computer access and other resources.
In order to investigate any link between messaging services and increased medical adherence with following the HPV vaccine schedule, a multi-site collaboration is being coordinated by the University of Pennsylvania involving roughly 800 female adolescents in the greater-Philadelphia area. After researchers supply the young women with information about the HPV vaccine and how it protects against the development of some forms of cervical cancer, the students are given the opportunity to opt-in to a SMS (text messaging) reminder service powered by Intelecare. The bi-directional mobile system has unique decision trees and is able to remind participants about upcoming appointments and can even reset reminders for missed appointments.
"Text messaging is a relatively new communication tool, and not much is known about how populations will respond to SMS messaging, especially a group of teenagers with less access to resources," said Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH, a research director at UPenn. "We hope that this pilot study will shed light on how different groups embrace messaging as a tool, and how we can better utilize text messaging to ultimately improve healthy behavior."
Those signing up for the reminder service will be asked for the date of their appointment to receive the HPV vaccine, be reminded to go to the appointment, be able to set up the next appointment, and be congratulated upon the completion of the last shot. Researchers hope to discover what percentage of young women successfully continue through all three doses over the six-month period needed to administer the vaccine.
"Understandably, the healthcare industry is often more focused on developing and marketing vaccines rather than ensuring compliance," said Kevin Aniskovich, Chief Executive of Intelecare. "At Intelecare, our mission is to make certain that patients fully benefit from their medical treatments by adhering to their doctor's orders. I believe this study will shed new light how to leverage mobile technologies to serve niche populations."
Established in 2005, Intelecare Compliance Solutions is a privately owned healthcare information technology company that provides an array of practical tools and services promoting medical adherence. With 84 percent of patients reporting forgetfulness as the major cause of non-compliance, and with the healthcare system suffering over $300 billion in costs annually due to non-compliance, Intelecare's solutions enable patients and caregivers alike to keep track of medications, doses, and doctor's appointments through the phone, mobile devices, and email - all while keeping simplicity, practicality, and innovation at the heart of its developments.
Aside from direct to patient services, Intelecare provides a suite of scalable services for insurers, employers, retail pharmacies, non-profit organizations and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Currently supporting millions of covered lives, Intelecare is dedicated to finding functional solutions to the widespread issue of medical non-compliance that work the way people live.
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