SAP gets into the patient engagement game

The enterprise apps vendor plans to unwrap Health Engagement at HIMSS16 to enable mobile technology vendors and independent software developers to build apps for specific uses cases.
By Bill Siwicki
10:47 AM

SAP revealed its plans to unveil a pateint engagement app at HIMSS16.

The stalwart ERP vendor, which also sells electronic health record, health information exchange, healthcare analytics and evidence-based medicine technologies, said SAP Health Engagement is designed to enable the creation of apps that allow patients to closely interact with their caregivers.

Likely use cases might include immediate responses to health issues, giving physicians real-time insights that can enable them to intervene when needed, prescription fulfillment tracking, and ongoing non-adherence issues.  

“Last year we released SAP Foundation for Health, a common platform upon which apps can be built that take advantage of the healthcare data sets the platform can access – Health Engagement is one such app,” said Dinesh Vandayar, vice president of personalized medicine at SAP. “Non-adherence numbers are mind-boggling, so Health Engagement is the application we have come up with to hit that space where we can not only measure patient outcomes but improve the non-adherence numbers. That is where engagement fits in.”

Roche Diagnostics in Germany has been piloting Health Engagement with diabetes patients. Roche provides a diabetes health kit that includes a blood glucose monitor, wearable technology and other tools. German physicians issue these kits to new diabetes patients.

“Patients and physicians agree on goals, what a blood glucose level should be, medications, diet, and more,” Vandayar explained. “With a Health Engagement app for Android and Apple iOS, a set of algorithms tracks blood glucose levels on a daily basis. If the numbers get out of whack or any of the defined parameters change, then it alerts both the physician and the patient that something needs to be done.”

SAP says it cannot come up with every single patient engagement app health systems and others might require or dream up, so its strategy is to provide a common framework, the cloud-based Health Engagement, and let mobile technology vendors and others build apps via the framework.

“There will be no shortage of patient engagement apps on display at HIMSS,” said David Delaney, MD, chief medical officer at SAP. “Where we’re going with this is the platform. There are all these kinds of solutions, but ultimately what organizations need is not a point solution for diabetes by a small vendor and another point solution from another vendor and so on. Provider organizations need the ability to engage patients on an enterprise level, they need a set of capabilities that is highly secure and scalable with a nice user interface. So for us, success is not selling a bunch of diabetes apps, but instead enabling large health systems, life sciences companies and payers to be able to create their own apps.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT 

This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.

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