ERT’s Target My Hives, an app for patients and physicians treating chronic urticaria, more commonly known as hives, aims to improve patient outcomes by integrating physicians and patient associations and facilitating communal support.
ERT, a data and technology company specializing in clinical trial services, has developed Target My Hives, a digital health network for patients and healthcare professionals treating chronic urticaria, which is commonly known as hives. The program provides a mobile online forum for patients to share their experiences, as well as exchange support and disease management tips, outside of conventional social media platforms. According to the company, the objective of the app is to improve patient outcomes by integrating physicians and patient associations into the network.
In addition to the digital community feature, the app includes patient progress tracking through use of the program’s clinically-recognized urticaria control test and a doctor-locating function for patients to find physicians treating chronic urticarial, with more than 150 clinics currently linked to the community, according to company data.
Chronic urticaria is characterized by the sudden occurrence of red, itchy rashes or angioedema with rapid swelling in the deeper layers of the skin and can be triggered by elements such as sunlight and water, as well as triggers that are unidentifiable.
A common concern within the healthcare community is protecting patient privacy. This concern can be especially prevalent in digitally-based open forums. The app allows users to customize how much of their personal information is visible to others within the program. For example, users can control permission levels regarding the sharing of information with physicians or other users, such as involvement in the community and urticaria control test results. Additionally, the app keeps personally-identifiable information, including full names and email addresses, private from others in the program. Users can delete their accounts and information at any time.
Availability and impact
Since its launch in 2016, the app has been downloaded approximately 70,000 times and has 3500 active users globally, according to the company. The program is available in eight languages, including English, Spanish, and Portuguese. According to the company, use of the app is most prevalent in regions where access to healthcare is limited. One such region is Brazil, where the app has received over 10,000 downloads and accounts for about a fifth of active users.
Company data reports approximately 150,000 individual sessions carried out within the app, with an average of six screen views per session, making almost a million screen views to date. Interactions within the community yield an average of two comments per post, with posts directly asking for communal support often receiving more user interactions, according to the company.
On Oct. 24, 2017, the app received a CPhI Pharma Award for Patient Centricity.