Program participants live with a range of chronic, specialty conditions, including psoriasis, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. As a result of the pandemic and their conditions, the most common challenges participants faced were stress, lifestyle challenges, and medical concerns. The program identified each participant’s level of social isolation as well as communication preferences. On average, participants engaged in 15-20 dialogues on a variety of health- and habit-related topics delivered through text messages during a 45-day period. Dialogues included interactive check-ins, and visual stories shared via an interactive, dynamic, and mobile-friendly microsite, in addition to one-way messages and tips.
“Through technology, we are able to address loneliness and other social determinants of health while offering actionable and practical interventions for members to more effectively manage their health,” said Caroline Carney, M.D., chief medical officer of Magellan Health and Magellan Rx Management. “The impact that COVID-19 has had on advancing solutions to better engage members in addressing loneliness, and the resulting depression and isolation, is truly pushing the industry forward. The data show us that even in the worst circumstances, we can combat loneliness and help those who are suffering during and beyond COVID-19.”
According to recent research from mPulse, 43% of adults age 60+ in the U.S. reported feeling lonely, well before the COVID-19 pandemic. Loneliness has been linked to a 30% increase in risk of stroke or coronary heart disease as well as an impact on levels of stress and anxiety, interference with good sleep, and effects on long-term immune functioning.
“The pandemic brought forward the health risks of social isolation and how targeted, tailored engagement and experiences enhance patient care,” said Chris Nicholson, CEO of mPulse Mobile. “We are energized by the positive results of this program in collaboration with Magellan Rx and its MRx Cares solution, and our team at mPulse remains dedicated to developing high-touch solutions that use a powerful combination of Conversational AI, behavioral data science, and education to improve health outcomes.”
Additional takeaways from the pilot program:
- More than 34,000 messages were sent to participants over the course of the pilot; over 8,250 responses were received.
- Nearly 20% of participants engaged with the visual stories dialogue by clicking to view, responding to surveys, or following embedded links.
- Program participants and results were stratified by social determinants of health (SDOH), which are the factors that affect health outside of genetics and disease symptoms.
- Participants with higher SDOH impact were most likely to find the program very helpful, suggesting that this type of solution could be a viable option to help address social isolation and health equity challenges in the Medicaid population.
- The program received a 90% satisfaction score with no significant difference on satisfaction or engagement based on participant age, highlighting the value for a Medicare population.
Magellan Rx Management, a division of Magellan Health, Inc., is a next-generation pharmacy organization that is delivering meaningful solutions to the people we serve. As pioneers in specialty drug management, industry leaders in Medicaid pharmacy programs and disruptors in pharmacy benefit management, we partner with our customers and members to deliver a best-in-class healthcare experience.
mPulse Mobile is reimagining health engagement to inspire healthier lives and deeper relationships between healthcare organizations and their consumers. Healthcare’s leading Conversational AI platform combines with award-winning health education for the streaming age to deliver tailored digital health engagement that nurtures, educates, and activates healthcare consumers. With over a decade of experience, 100+ healthcare customers and 500 million conversations annually, mPulse Mobile has the data, the expertise and the solutions to drive healthy behavior change.