Children in Florida who require life-changing heart transplants will be able to receive free support to help improve medication adherence, potentially reducing the frequency of organ rejection over the next two years, thanks to a $1.67M NIH/NHLBI Small Business Innovation Research SBIR award to Scene Health formerly emocha Health, a leading video medication adherence platform.
Dr. Dipankar Gupta, M.D., a pediatric transplant physician at the University of Florida’s Congenital Heart Center, and Dr. Michael Killian, Ph.D., MSW, a College of Social Work faculty member at Florida State University, will lead the joint project to enable pediatric transplant physicians in Florida to deploy Scene’s platform to provide personalized interventions to improve overall medication adherence to immunosuppressive therapy, prevent related hives, and improve overall medication adherence
Medicines that modulate transplant patients’ immune systems can assist the body in preventing organ rejection, which is a major risk. Teens, in particular, struggle to stick to the regimen.
To tackle this difficult problem, Drs. Killian and Gupta led a pilot study that leveraged the collective strengths of an interdisciplinary research team that included Dr. Mia Lustria, Ph.D., a professor at Florida State’s School of Information.
Drs. Killian and Gupta have maintained their focus on the interdisciplinary nature of pediatric transplant health research by establishing the Initiative for the Advancement of Pediatric Transplant Health Research. The program makes use of a statewide network of health researchers, clinicians, and pediatric heart transplant centers.
Scene’s mobile app connects patients with a care team of pharmacists, nurses, and health coaches via asynchronous daily video check-ins from anywhere and at any time. Scene makes it enjoyable for patients to take their medications on time, assists them in addressing any medication challenges, and empowers them to improve their health by identifying and addressing barriers to adherence related to social determinants of health.
Dr. Gupta, the new project’s co-principal investigator, added, “Use of video medication adherence platforms has the potential to ultimately improve outcomes for pediatric heart transplant patients, particularly adolescent patients who frequently struggle to stick to medication regimens.” We are thrilled to see this technology supported and expanded across Florida.”