Next generation HIV prevention tool announced at White House event on World AIDS Day
LOS ANGELES, December 01, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Healthvana, the leading software company focused on HIV, is announcing a nationwide study to see if a digital watch can help end the HIV epidemic.
The study is in response to President Biden’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States, which calls for innovative technology approaches and public-private partnerships to develop and scale best practices, especially to reach those at highest-risk in underserved communities.
"To improve health equity, you'll see that the President prioritized the Ending the HIV initiative, which will allow us to focus on populations in communities and jurisdictions with the biggest needs and also increase the uptake of PrEP to those that can benefit from this prevention method," said Harold Phillips, head of the Office of National AIDS Policy. "Accelerating public and private partnerships to optimize for our programs' success, President Biden called for us to accelerate our efforts. In order to do that, we need the partnership with the private sector to help us reach the communities most in need and impacted by HIV."
The nationwide study includes a partnership with the largest provider of HIV care in the United States and globally, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Each study patient will receive a free digital watch (500 patients in 5 cities) to help them stay consistent with a once a day pill, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), that is 99% effective in preventing HIV when taken as prescribed.
"Technology is a part of our daily lives, from getting us to where we want to go, paying our bills, doing our work, and talking to friends through social media. Now we are trying to demonstrate that a digital watch can help keep someone from becoming HIV positive. That’s what AHF and Healthvana are working towards and hope this is the beginning of a new method of HIV prevention," said Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Vice President, Public Health Division, AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
The study involves a low-cost intervention that can enable a new type of engagement with the patient, improve health outcomes and reduce the multi-billion dollar cost of approximately 35,000 new HIV infections each year in the United States.
"We know how to communicate the right message to the right patient at the right time - which we learned by facilitating millions of digital interactions with patients at-risk of HIV, on PrEP or HIV positive. Overwhelmingly, patients tell us they want to interact on their own time and terms - just like they do in every other aspect of their lives. The use of a digital watch is a step in the right direction to see if it can help keep patients engaged in their health," said Ramin Bastani, CEO of Healthvana.
Impact of Stagnation on HIV Prevention
Efforts to reduce HIV in the U.S. have stagnated in the last 10 years. Over the last decade, the U.S. has had an average of 35,000 new cases per year. Beyond the human impact and equity implications, this greatly adds cost for the nation–for example, at that case rate, with an average lifetime cost of $500,000 per new infection, led to an estimated increase of $175 billion in healthcare costs over the past decade.
Clinics will provide a free digital watch for people at high-risk of HIV (e.g., Black, Latino, and transgender patients) to help them stay on top of their health via watch-displayed medication reminders, ongoing education, appointment reminders, and overall health engagement.
Among other things, digital reminders and check-ins are designed to improve adherence to PrEP regimen (once a day pill that is 99% effective at preventing HIV).
5 major metro areas across the country: Clinics in Atlanta, Georgia; Houston, Texas; Broward County, Florida; Los Angeles, California; and Prince George’s County, Maryland (outside Washington, D.C.) will each receive 100 digital watches as part of the pilot (total of 500 digital watches) to measure adherence and overall engagement and evaluate impact after 1 year.
Patient population focus: includes underserved or underrepresented communities–including gay or bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), and more specifically those who are Black, Latino or transgender.
Technology partner: Healthvana - leading HIV-focused technology company in the U.S. that uses evidence-based interventions and patient communications.
Clinical partner: AIDS Healthcare Foundation - the largest HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the U.S. with established partnerships with dozens of states, counties, and cities.
Healthvana uses modern technology to make healthcare better for patients. The company’s evidence-based communication platform is used by healthcare providers to manage and communicate with their patient populations, leading to better health outcomes and lower costs for the entire ecosystem. Since 2015 the company has delivered over 50 million health records across the U.S. Healthvana’s work has been featured everywhere from Fox News to The New York Times, and at the White House. For more information, visit www.healthvana.com/hiv.
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