Proteus is the world’s first digital medicine service, which unlocks never-before-seen insight into patient health patterns and medication treatment effectiveness. While Proteus Discover is FDA-approved, Rush is only one of eight health systems in the world implementing this cutting-edge technology outside the scope of a clinical trial.
Two Rush staff members shared their thoughts about working with the Proteus device, which helps encourage people to take their medication via an ingestible sensor the size of a grain of sand, a wearable sensor patch and a mobile app.
Kerensa Vinson, MSN, RN
I joined the Proteus implementation team in January of 2017. The implementation team has had the highest acceptance rates seen with other customers leveraging a population health approach to introduce patients to the technology. This experience, paired with critical thinking and problem-solving, has allowed our team to quickly identify improvements to the workflows.
My patients have experienced life-changing results with the Proteus tool. Patients have seen marked improvements in their medication compliance as well as improved or controlled blood pressure. In addition, Proteus has had the unexpected benefit of improving communication between the physicians and the patients.
In one case, because the physician had access to the patient’s Proteus portal (which shows the patients daily steps, heart rate, blood pressure, and rest time), he was able to have a deeper conversation about what was impacting the patient’s ability to remember to take their insulin. As the physician dived deeper into conversation with the patient, he discovered some social opportunities around the patient’s living situation and their ability to obtain food on a regular basis. The physician said the fact that he knew the patient was taking their Proteus medications made it natural to explore the other issues that were affecting the patient and the family. Because of Proteus, the physician and the patient were able to make a plan of action to address the issues that were affecting the patient.
The impact of using a tool such as Proteus is truly far-reaching.
Klodiana Myftari, Pharm.D.
I was introduced to Proteus Digital health a year ago. The first introductory meeting upon learning about Proteus left me with more questions than answers. Patient engagement, behavioral modifications, and clear data on medication adherence were some of the characteristics that caught my attention and intrigued me. As the only pharmacist in the room, I couldn’t resist the urge to ask questions ranging anywhere from the science behind the technology, to safety data, FDA approval, latex allergies, cost, information exchange security, and the size of capsules. The answers that the Proteus team gave me left me feeling uncertain but intrigued about the innovation, and the potential that this tool represented.
Medication management is a complex process, but this tool presented an opportunity to simplify it. The Proteus tool provides an innovative communication between clinicians and patients. It allows for personalized care based upon accurate medication adherence data, information about the patient’s physical activity, and rest time. In addition, patients self-reporting via entering their daily blood pressure, blood sugar and weight on the application stimulates patient engagement and helps to build a platform for patient-centered care.
Using this tool has been a conversation changer. I have noticed that as I work with patients who utilize this tool, the communication I have with the patient has changed. Time spent in collecting information from patients is shorter. Both the patient and I start the conversation with the same information in front of us. Both the patient and I know what their medication adherence is, if they are at their targeted goal, and what their physical activity looks like. The focus of our conversation remains on how I can support the patient and providers in managing medication regimen.
My confidence in using this tool has strengthened as I continue to work with it. One patient stated, “Using this tool helped me realize that my health is ultimately my responsibility.” Another patient said: “After using Proteus for a couple of months and making lifestyle changes, I will no more worry about my blood pressure being out of control.” And one of my favorite moments of working with patients using this tool was when a heart failure patient proudly reported that she no longer sleeps on the chair. She was back to sleep on her bed, something that she had not done in years. She got rid of her chair all together.
Proteus Digital Health has been a great tool of support for patients who are ready to take charge of their health and have a dedicated team of health care professionals to support them in this transformation.