Why personalized support is the future of digital health

Many modern digital health care programs fall short when it comes to personal connections, see Vivante Health's solution

Why personalized support is the future of digital health

In the realm of healthcare, the importance of personal connections cannot be overstated. Patients often build relationships with healthcare professionals who understand their medical conditions and personal circumstances, offering invaluable guidance, moral support, and accountability in addressing health challenges. 

However, many modern digital health programs fall short in facilitating these connections. Some rely solely on virtual tools like chatbots, scripted health coaches, or on-call doctors unfamiliar with patients' histories. 

A new model has emerged to address this disparity by harnessing the potential of dedicated care teams, according to an article by BenefitsPRO.com. In this innovative approach, dedicated care teams actively engage with individuals through HIPAA-compliant chat, phone, or video on an ongoing basis. These care teams comprise healthcare professionals such as nurses, dietitians, health coaches, certified diabetic educators, and mental health therapists, granting them full access to digital program resources.  

How one company is utilizing dedicated care teams  

One provider embracing the dedicated care team approach is Vivante Health, specializing in digestive health solutions.  

The GIThrive platform by Vivante Health offers food and symptom tracking, online educational resources, cognitive behavioral therapy exercises, and AI-driven care plans tailored to users' symptoms and conditions. Moreover, users have 24/7 access to registered dietitians, health coaches, and nurses who serve as personal case managers.  

Nearly two-thirds of activated GIThrive users schedule appointments with their care team members, and 95% of them report significant improvements within two to three months, compared to 70% of those who do not utilize the care team support.  

Over time, 91% of users experienced symptom relief. Many attribute their progress to their dedicated GIThrive dietitian and/or health coach, citing their essential roles in improving digestive conditions, addressing issues like stress and sleep problems, and transforming their lives. 

Effective dedicated care teams  

“Dedicated care teams require a substantial investment by the digital health provider, regardless of team members’ professional credentials and experience,” said Erin Commons, MS, RD, vice president of care management at Vivante Health.  

Before engaging in telehealth conversations, team members should receive extensive training to ensure their competence in managing clinical conditions, navigating the app's online resources, and adhering to telehealth regulations.  

Additionally, ongoing training is essential to refine their skills and keep up with platform upgrades, including new technology and features aimed at enhancing clinical outcomes. Clear and well-defined responsibilities are also imperative for the effectiveness of team members, said Commons.  

“At the end of the day, technology is only part of the digital health equation,” Commons added. “Integrating the app experience with human-led interaction is essential to optimize the quality of care, avoid a fragmented care experience, and help users get the right care at the right time, including referrals to physicians when necessary.” 

“By helping close the gap between virtual and real-world care, dedicated care teams can significantly advance the power of digital health to improve care delivery, quality of life and – for employers – employee appreciation of benefits programs,” she said.