BeWell-phoneWith 80% of health care spending going to care for the chronically ill, and cell phones outnumbering land lines (184 million vs. 176 million), the founders of BeWell Mobile saw a market opportunity. BeWell Mobile has developed a software platform for what they call, "patient engagement." Here's an overview of the platform:

Web Portal – By combining action plans
and baseline targets for each patient BeWell can provide easy-to-read
summary reports, including out of norm data, give a snap shot of how
the patient is doing. Medical teams can determine if intervention is
necessary. Patients can send text messages, including automated
messages based on algorithms established by providers.

Electronic Diaries
- Patients can use their cell phone to respond to predetermined
questions and access summary reports. Questions can be asked daily,
weekly or monthly. Instant feedback and one-button access to action
plans is provided.

Reminders - Patients control the type and frequency of automated text message reminders, encouraging adherence to their medical regimen.

Founded in 2004, the company has research projects ongoing with Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research and San Mateo Medical Center.

In a pilot study with the San Mateo (CA) Medical Center, BeWell is
demonstrating how asthma-suffering teenagers can control their chronic
care conditions through cellphone technology and avoid emergency room
(ER) visits. To date, patients and their families have been successful
in utilizing cellphones for monitoring and reporting their symptoms and
taking medication in compliance with prescribed action plans. There
have been no reported ER visits since the program's inception, a
dramatic departure from the norm of 25 hospitalizations per 10,000
children aged 0-14 for asthma-related illness.

The potential for a ubiquitous patient engagement system that's low cost and easy to use is considerable. By employing cell phones, BeWell collects real-time data from
patients, allowing healthcare providers to track individual patients'
progress and determine if personal intervention is required. Patients
also have access to information that helps them stay in touch with
their goals and knowledgeable about their regimen.