Development and validation of a technique used by community pharmacists to identify and recommend digital health tools to assist patients to effectively manage their chronic diseases


Therappx was born of a desire to contribute to more preventive and patient-centric care. It operates in the field of digital health tools (DHTs), a growing industry, defined by mobile applications, connected objects, and recently, digital therapeutics.
Current models of care are reaffirmed as primary care is evolving. Hundreds of mobile applications and connected objects are available on Canadian soil. They have the potential to put the patient at the heart of their care journey and incorporate initiatives to promote behavioral change. In pharmacy, this is reflected today in better management of chronic diseases and adherence to treatment with the use of Digital Health Tools.
Yet, despite this potential, they are poorly adopted by patients and clinicians like pharmacists due to the lack of integration into the healthcare system, the absence of referral systems and/or recommendation tools. A solution that favors the mass adoption of DHTs is currently necessary in order to exploit their full potential.
Thus, inspired by a year of research and development on the subject and having learned from successes and failures from around the world, Therappx develops the very first Software Pharmacy: A platform that takes the form of an app library listing DHTs that will be referred to the patient following an initial assessment of their problems. This assessment, completed either by the pharmacist or by patients on the platform directly, will lead to the recommendation of applications by an intelligent algorithm. Ultimately, this algorithm may be trained to understand which recommended tools have generated clinical outcomes and thus lead to predictive artificial intelligence as a decision-support tool. This will lead to more specific recommendations based on patient’s data points. Our intentions to innovate by placing the patient at the heart of the Software Pharmacy are what is driving this project by working with treatment adherence and health education researchers. We have only one objective in mind: improve the development of the Software pharmacy by making it truly patient-centric, address unmet patient needs and increase patient engagement with properly validated digital health tools that may lead to clinical outcomes. Therefore, we innovate by successfully incorporating Digital Health Tools in regular healthcare processes such as Chronic Care in pharmacy.
Thus, in addition to change the state of knowledge in DHTs, the objectives of this research project are to validate the components of a platform such as Software Pharmacy that will generate a better engagement of patients to DHTs, if the targeting of a specific digital health tool for a given patient increases engagement, if the prescription of digital tools by pharmacists increases engagement, if the combination of a Software pharmacy and tools enable pharmacists to better track their patients remotely and ultimately, whether this combination generates clinical outcomes and improved care experience in a patient population in pharmacy.